Monday, Sept. 25, 2023 |
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LIHUE — Tia Lardizabal, He Inoa O Kaumuali‘i student art contest finalist, is being recognized for her artwork portraying Kauai values and the lives of its royal family.
“To be notified I’m one of the finalist for this contest is truly an honor,” Lardizabal said. “Even when I had to complete the work in a small space of time, there was nothing holding me back. I felt honored to pay tribute to my culture.”
The 17-year-old Kauai High School senior from Lihue will receive an award, certificate of recognition and cash prize for her colorful painting depicting Kauai’s last reigning monarch.
“I had five weeks to complete my composition for the He Inoa O Kaumuali‘i Contest,” said Lardizabal in her reflections essay. “My acrylic painting consists of the parents of Kaumuali‘i, including himself, at Limahuli, Kauai. To the viewer’s right is a portrait of Chiefess Kamakahelei, Kaumuali‘i’s mother.”
Lardizabal started her artwork by drawing an outline of the figures with charcoal pencil on 12-by-16 canvas. Making corrections and getting the right proportions took about three to four days.
“After consulting with the Hawaiian history teacher, Mr. Holden, I included, to the viewer’s left, an altar with the mahiole and ho‘okupu offerings that are placed before it, dedicated to Kaumuali‘i’s father, Ka‘eokulani.”
Lardizabal felt it was important to include Kaumuali‘i’s parents to symbolize the importance of family connections.
“The area I found most difficult were the bodies,” she said. “I was comfortable locating the highlights and shadows, but creating the exact right palette of skin colors was a challenge. Eventually, I was able to achieve the right skin tone for both Kaumuali‘i and Kamakahelei.”
She looked at landscape pictures of Kauai and felt a photo of Limahuli Gardens was the most appealing to the eye, so she gave it a try.
“To create depth in the composition, I began by painting the landscape background of Limahuli,” she said. “I captured the shadows and highlights to the best of my ability. To create texture, I used different brush techniques to manipulate the paint’s thickness and to blend a strong range and depth of colors.”
“Working with paint is one of my favorite mediums,” Lardizabal said. “Overall, this was such a great experience. I am proud of my accomplishments and continue to improve my love and skills for art.”
She was encouraged to enter the contest by her art teacher. She is now considering a career pathway in art.
“Hopefully I can explore new venues and create more opportunities to do what I love,” she said. “I would like to continue my work and hopefully become a commissioned artist, but I’m still figuring out what I want to do in the long run.”
Lardizabal participates in leadership training at school and plans to attend Kauai Community College after graduation. She works part-time at Luau Kalamaku and is involved in church activities at Immaculate Conception Church. When not spending time with family, she likes to play piano and guitar.
Her message to aspiring young artists was: “Do not hesitate to take risks. If you are passionate about your art, work at your absolute best in aspiring to reach your goal.”
Lardizabal’s place award will be presented at 2 p.m. Saturday during the He Inoa No Kaumuali‘i Ho‘olaule‘a celebration. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Old Waimea Sugar Mill.
In addition to the student art contest, festivities including music, hula, food, craft vendors, activities, silent auction, displays and mo‘olelo to honor Kauai’s beloved king. Admission is free.
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