Long time coming

KAPAA — A mural is something we’ve wanted for a long time, said Josie Pablo, recreation director at the Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital.

She was occupied with other errands Wednesday when Vanessa Owens, Kapaa High School Art Club instructor and adviser, showed up with a handful of students to work on the mural developing in the hospital’s solarium.

“We’re having a mini carnival for the residents,” Pablo said. “I was busy getting prizes for the games when the Kapaa High art students came for the third time to work on the mural. This is fantastic. We’ve wanted a mural for a long time, and Vanessa and her students made it happen.”

Owens said the project was a long process. It involved assessing of the solarium, drawing up proposed designs so the hospital’s nurses and residents could select one, and then painting over the walls of the solarium in preparation for the mural.

“We held several art therapy with the residents so we could know each other better,” Owens said. “One resident, Julia is an artist and has come to give us her comments and suggestions on doing the project.”

Heather Faretta, a junior, said it’s been a great project.

“This is the first year I’ve joined the Art Club since it got started just this year,” Faretta said. “Art is a good way to unwind and be creative at the same time after being stressed from everyday life. Doing this for the hospital is great because we can get together with the girls and give back to the community at the same time.”

Owens said the Art Club got help from the Kapaa High School Interact Club, and Sherman Williams, which contributed paints and supplies.

There is still work to do.

“We’re planning on painting one of the walls with an accent color matching the mural,” Owens said. “That phase will be moved back to when school resumes in the fall. We’re also working on two large canvas prints back at the school. These will be hung on the walls as accent pieces to go with the mural. They should be ready by the time school lets out for the summer.”

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