Students turn out for Rice Street art project

LIHUE — The mural which started taking shape last week will be done in time for the Rice Street Block Party.

Jill Weiner, co-chair of the Rice Street Block Party Art Committee, joined Kapaa High School art instructor Vanessa Owens and Art Club students working on the mural at the alley adjoining Lee’s Furniture.

“When Ms. Owens heard there was a possibility to paint a mural for the party, she discussed it with the students and they jumped at this unique opportunity,” Weiner said. “The Art Club has been painting a mural every year since the program started, and this is their third mural.”

The Rice Street mural is the first project the students have done freehand, meaning there was no projected image, no templates — just the art students with paint versus a wall.

“The students nailed it,” Weiner said.

She said the challenge was to create a mural that has a significance to Rice Street, community participation, and serves as a daily countdown to the event.

For inspiration, they envisioned Rice Street at the turn of the 20th century when sugarcane fields preceded a modern city center with shops and eateries.

During the block party, clotheslines will be strung across the mural so the community can write their wishes and hang them on the lines. For the days leading to the Saturday event, a daily countdown will be at the center of the mural.

Weiner said there was strong support for the project, “from the passersby who stopped to talk and offer words of encouragement to the gentleman who was so happy to see students engaged and having fun that he left a donation which was used to purchase much-needed refreshments for the students.”

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