LIHUE — A painting created by a Kauai High School senior is now on display at Hawaii’s State Capitol building in Honolulu.
Tia Lardizabal’s submission for the He Inoa O Kaumualii art contest last fall was recently selected as a finalist in Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard’s Kaha Kii Congressional Art Competition, which is held each spring.
“My painting represents the intrinsic value of ohana (family) and kuleana (responsibility), because we need to take care of one another,” Lardizabal said. “After the passing of Kaumualii’s parents, who were also alii nui (head chief), he inherited the title and the role as ruler of Kauai and Niihau.”
Her colorful painting, titled “He Inoa O Kaumualii,” shows King Kaumualii standing with his mother to portray the lives of Kauai’s royal family.
“Kaumualii went through difficult situations and discerned what was best for the land and his people,” she said. “In creating the image of him, his mother and a symbol of his father, I wanted to illustrate how his parents influenced him to become the pono ruler he was greatly known for.”
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.
“Tia is a very unique and talented artist who works diligently to create her original designs and paintings,” said Susan Warren, Kauai High School art teacher. “She researches her subject matter with great care and humbly accepts her various instructors’ input. This particular painting is on its own magic carpet ride to the current display at the State Capitol.”
The artwork has been selected as part of the nationwide high school arts contest as Gabbard announced 20 finalists in her sixth annual Kaha Kii Second Congressional District Art Competition. The event recognizes and encourages creativity across Hawaii with other members of the U.S. House of Representatives. A gallery of the finalists’ artwork is on display in the halls of the Hawaii State Capitol through May 12.
“Our annual Kaha Kii Congressional Art Competition is a great opportunity to recognize the creative abilities of Hawaii’s students and encourage them to further pursue their artistic talents,” Gabbard said. “Mahalo to the educators and family members that support our students as they embrace their passion.”
The overall winner of the district-wide competition will be announced May 12 in a ceremony at the Hawaii State Capitol. The first-place piece will be displayed for one year in the U.S. Capitol alongside winners from all other congressional districts. The second-place and third-place pieces will be hung in Gabbard’s Washington, D.C., and Hawaii offices, respectively, for one year. All winners will be awarded a cash prize.
Tulsi also launched a “People’s Choice” contest on her Facebook page for the public to select their favorite pieces.
The entry with the most likes, loves and shares on May 3 will be featured as the cover photo at the top of her official Facebook page, and the artist will also win a cash prize.