Art show seeks to change perceptions

The only thing missing is you, said Franci Davila, the spearhead of ‘O Au Keia, a “Healing Mental Health Art Show” presented by the Kauai Mental Health Advocates and Inspire to Create Media.

“This has been a long process,” Davila said. “Gathering the players — artists, sponsors and performers. Now, the pieces are coming together, and the only thing missing is you. You need to be here to make it all work.”

Doors open at 5 p.m. today at the former Sports Authority space in Kukui Grove Center. Performances under the guidance of Matt Delrosario start at 6 p.m.

“Mental health has had a stigma of being dark and heavy,” Davila said. “This changes people’s perception of mental health to one of being light, free and bright.”

Enlisting the aid of artists Jasmine Asuncion, Trysen Kaneshige, Seth Womble, Chanel Tanaka and Michelle Pimental, Davila said the artists will have their works available for sale as well as participate in live body-painting.

“I started out as an assistant, and during a convention I found out I was going to be painted by a guy from Texas,” Pimental said to Cheyenne Nystrom, one of the body-painting models. “It was something different, a life-changing event. I came here for this event, for Franci, and for mental health.”

Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood, organizers say.

These aspects will be demonstrated through storytelling, singing, hula, African dancing, spoken word, and vendors with gear. There will be gallery space for artists to show off their work.

Participating in the movement and sound are Joyful Noise, Aloha Africa, Juno Apalla, DJ Mateo, Val Faford and her daughter Kiko, students from the Kanuikapono Charter School, and other Kauai keiki and kanaka.

A special keiki area with activities will also be set up.

“Everyone is part of the process,” Davila said.


Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or


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