Coverup in Kapaa

  • Photo courtesy of Sean McCrink

    The recent mural created along the oceanfront bike path in Kapaa is no longer visible after being repainted over in white.

KAPAA — Artists spent three days creating a 40-foot-long mural depicting the island’s character on a wall fronting the oceanfront bike path in Kapaa Town — only to paint over it a week later.

The colorful artwork featured large capital block letters spelling “Kapaa” with inset images of jungle fowl, coconuts, hula, wahine and a shaka. But some did not appreciate the painters’ labor or their passion for art.

“The bike path is intended to provide a peaceful walk/ride along the ocean without this kind of visual disturbance,” wrote Kapaa resident, Judith Fernandez, in a letter to the editor. “The ocean and mountains are intended to be appreciated without artificial decorations.”

The mural was voted to be covered up by the community board and the landlord, according to Sean McCrink, co-owner of Yes I Elephit Skate Shop, who commissioned $500 for the two collaborating artists.

The creators repainted the wall Tuesday with plain white paint to accommodate the residents’ request.

David Flores, collaborating painter and team artist for the Kapaa skate shop, has previously created murals along Kuhio Highway and on Oahu that were well-received. He will be participating in “Pow! Wow! Hawaii” in February, where contemporary artists from around the world paint huge murals on the side of Waikiki’s industrial buildings.

Flores still performs live painting demonstrations at Kilauea Art Walk every Saturday and plans to continue expressing himself through his artwork despite the request to cover up the mural.

“We’re just trying to liven up this community,” he said.

  1. ruthann jones February 1, 2018 5:32 am Reply

    no more Van Gogh….you get my drift!

  2. Charlie chimknee February 1, 2018 6:00 am Reply

    Aloha Kakou,

    The photo chosen for this article is like a photo showing us Mt. Rushmore but only showing us 1/2 of one of the faces.

    Who chooses the photos at the Garden Island…The Abbreviator…?



  3. James February 1, 2018 6:13 am Reply

    Wall looked pretty cool in my opinion. Way better than the white

  4. Steven McMacken February 1, 2018 7:19 am Reply

    A BIG “Mahalo” to the Kapaa community board for their quick response and decision to have this offensive graffiti removed. And, David Flores, a word of advice: Kauai does not need livening up. Please go somewhere else to do your murals.

    1. Cameron Lovelace February 2, 2018 5:18 pm Reply

      We hired David and and I ther friend to do mural it wasn’t just random .. all we trying to do is attract people to area and my local business .. one word of advice for you is to mind your own business… you will only see more murals popping up because people actually like them 🤙

  5. Ted DeMarce February 1, 2018 7:45 am Reply

    Thanks for keeping it clean, I am an artist also, but feel the walls should be kept clean. No ads, no nothing, so we can see the beauty of kauai.. Thank you Ted & his lady Mary

    1. Cameron Lovelace February 2, 2018 6:32 am Reply

      Thanks for hating you will only see more because of this

  6. Ulla Freeman February 1, 2018 8:14 am Reply

    Kauai has it’s natural beauty , it is unnecessary for an artist to “liven up”the community . We have the OCEAN, MOUNTAIN,FLOWERS all around us, please keep the art in galleries and shops . Aloha !

    1. Cameron Lovelace February 2, 2018 5:13 pm Reply

      I feel sorry for your boring life 🤙

  7. gordon oswald February 1, 2018 9:12 am Reply

    Uhh… Excuse me? We don’t want you to come to Kauai and “Livin up our community”! THAT IS NOT YOUR JOB! We’re just fine trying to enjoy perhaps one of the last places in the United States that one can go and be around NATURE! Your lack of understanding of your “environment” is abhorrent and not appreciated. Please go back to Oahu, which is already ruined and “livened up” beyond repair. Please live your plastic artificial lives elsewhere.

    1. Cameron Lovelace February 2, 2018 6:24 am Reply

      You have no idea what you talking about we painted the mural to attract customers to our business don’t be ignorant ,, and hers a update I’m born and raise in Hawaii and Iwe hired my friends to do art walk ..

    2. Cameron Lovelace February 2, 2018 5:11 pm Reply

      You lack of understanding of my environment is what bothers me it’s my place of business I hired my friend to do mural landlord was ok with it… all it took was a few people on the board to vote it off .. FYI I’m born and raised in Hawaii and have family all over Hawaii … I really don’t appreciate you telling my friends to go back to Oahu .. all we trying to do is attract people to the area for our local business that actually does support our community
      I really feel sorry for your boring life
      🤙. You will only see more murals popping up hahaha

    3. Russell Gibson February 14, 2018 11:37 pm Reply

      Says the haole from Utah. You think the Hawaiians wanted your house or your car on their island? Or you? Your house is “nature” but street art isn’t? You’re all just a bunch of old kooks who are stuck in the past and want to close the door behind you after you’ve already ruined a once beautiful island. Keep living your lie, donkey. You’re part of the problem.

  8. Emiaj February 1, 2018 5:46 pm Reply

    It’s sad they see this mural as an offense to the enjoyment of the bike path and nature and turn a blind eye to the drug deals between locals and homeless population, something I watched while riding bikes with my kids.

  9. Carla February 1, 2018 10:39 pm Reply

    I like how we can have a mural removed in a matter of a week while a woman continues to live and deficate at the same bus stop for over a year…

  10. Lynne Fulp February 2, 2018 10:20 am Reply

    I was pleasantly surprised to see the artwork on a walk recently, and never dreamed anyone would object to it. Please just tell the artists for me that I love their work and hope they won’t let all the unkind comments get them down. The ocean and mountains are beautiful; but more beautiful than that is the spirit of aloha, which I hope won’t be eradicated from this community.

  11. an February 2, 2018 10:55 am Reply

    It is a beautiful idea, maybe not the best place — but what about doing fun murals to the schools that look so worn down or buildings that need some face lifts from old weathered paint???

  12. Vanessa Owens February 2, 2018 1:00 pm Reply

    I’m completely heartbroken to see that our community is not embracing the opportunity to celebrate art along the bike path. This mural was beautiful and symbolic of many of the things that our community members hold dear to their hearts. Art and creative expression should not be viewed as a threat to natural beauty but rather an addition to it and a reflection of it. This was not an act of vandalism. It was a well planed, organized collaboration of artists and community members that worked hard to brighten up an already man-made wall. As an art teacher in Kapa’a, I am sickened to see such a lack of support for such a positive thing. I involve our youth in community mural projects, and this kind of vibe is not encouraging. MORE MURALS! LESS HATE!

    1. Cameron Lovelace February 2, 2018 3:41 pm Reply

      Thank you for the support

      Cameron Lovelace

      1. Cameron Lovelace February 2, 2018 5:22 pm Reply

        Come by mAybe we could organize something with the kids so all these art haters can appreciate what we trying to do … all saints preschool wants a mural from this we need to keep it goin promote art not graffiti 🙂

  13. Stefanie Stauber February 3, 2018 11:17 am Reply

    All these busy bodies should spend some of all this time and energy they obviously have truly caring for our parks. Maybe let’s cleanup some of the drugs and garbage on the path instead of picking on tax paying small business owners! Seriously, this community needs so much real help, this mundane bickering is ridiculous. Let’s beautify Kapaa, honor the rights of private property, and really address the very dangerous issues we face on that path!

  14. Michael Dickens February 7, 2018 5:18 am Reply

    We’re Canadians, have been visiting and walking the path for years. We were delighted to see the mural appear and complimented the artist directly. How much nicer than the derelict busses that had parked there in past years. So sad that people can’t tolerate others. Hardly the aloha spirit we’re accustomed to here.

  15. Katrina Bagano February 12, 2018 9:32 am Reply

    I’m tired of the people who sit on these boards, in these offices thinking that they know what is best for everyone else!! Word of advise. The world keeps turning with or without you and your making others feel small so that you can feel big is shameful. This was a creative attempt and you shut it down, why? This attitude is exactly what is killing our island and youth!!!

  16. Peace March 9, 2018 12:19 pm Reply

    wow! unbelievable responses from the residents. All sound and behave so savage against one another, over a painting. we all have our opinions on everything, that don’t make you right, its just your opinion. It was neither offensive to the point where you start telling people off, attacking or telling them to “go elsewhere”. the painting was not “needed” nor was it “not needed” it simply was a residents idea and there was nothing wrong or right with it. Let it go, calm down, sheesh!

  17. Susan Maria Moore November 29, 2020 5:19 pm Reply

    Sad to come across this story. I love Kapaa and these local artists are telling us stories if we’d be mindful enough to pay attention. They probably grew up here and have a lot to say through a mural, a t-shirt, or anything they create from scratch. Locals are the heart of the islands and their art is what makes this paradise unique. Skaters always get a bad name – some of the best athletes in the world, good people. Shame on people who stole this experience from all who would have enjoyed viewing it. So many more conversations could have happened. Props to David, Sean & YesI.

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