Mural depicts Salt Pond’s origin

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Artists Bethany Coma and Holly Ka‘iakapu work on a mural on the wall of the Salt Pond Beach Park main pavilion Tuesday in Hanapepe.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Dr. Addison Bulosan of the Rice Street Business Association, Nikki Cristobal and Diana Singh of the county’s Office of Economic Development check on the progress of artists Bethany Coma and Holly Ka‘iakapu Tuesday on a mural on the wall of the Salt Pond Beach Park main pavilion in Hanapepe.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Dr. Addison Bulosan of the Rice Street Business Association approves the rendition of Hi‘iaka and the salt pans Tuesday on a mural on the Salt Pond Beach Park main pavilion in Hanapepe.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Nikki Cristobal becomes one with the wahine working the salt pans Tuesday at a mural at the Salt Pond Beach Park main pavilion in Hanapepe.

For over two weeks, artists have converged on the pavilion at Salt Pond Beach Park to tell the origin story of the Hanapepe salt beds and an imagined underwater seascape from the shores of the beach.

Holly Ka‘iakapu and Bethany Coma were adding details to the marine life Tuesday, there from the early hours of the morning to sundown.

Over the course of the painting, Ka‘iakapu said it’s been surreal to watch the project come to life.

Ka‘iakapu said members of the Salt Pond Beach Park homeless camp got involved, some sitting for pictures to inspire the portraits, including one boy who was celebrating his fourth birthday who is now painted playing in the sand. Others brought the crew of painters fish they’d caught for dinner.

The story goes that a young woman had caught too many fish one day and began to cry at the idea of waste, when Pele took pity on her. Pele offered that if she were to rub white crystals from shallow pools onto the fish, they would be preserved. This preservation is pa‘akai, a Hawaiian word for salt making, which means “to solidify the sea.”

Through the county’s Rise to Work program, six local muralists were hired by the Rice Street Business Association for the past three months using federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funds.

For the past few months, murals have been popping up around the county, through partnerships with the county’s Department of Parks and Recreation, the Mayor’s Office, the Office of Economic Development and community members.

“We want to honor our past by sharing their stories so that our local families can embrace their connection to these spaces,” RSBA President Dr. Addision Bulosan said. “How we connect to these beautiful places is an important process of calling Kaua’i home and these murals will help make sure these stories are told for years to come.”

Additional artists featured were Kayti Lathrop, Shianne Schorr, Lucas Murillo and Kaplan Bunce, who were all part of the inaugural mural festival held earlier this year.

Murals can also be found at Hale Opio Kaua‘i, Kaua‘i Beer Company and other locations in Lihu‘e, and at ‘Anini Beach Park.


Sabrina Bodon, government reporter, can be reached at 245-0441 or

  1. Rev Dr Malama December 30, 2020 10:38 am Reply

    Maui people discovered the power of taking back our public places and beautifully designed and maintained parks, shorelines and green belts for the last 20 years or more…. creating pride in our cultural history and adding values of self worth is long overdue on Kauai.
    Beautifully done!!!!
    Mahalo KE AKUA

  2. Kawika Anahola January 1, 2021 10:38 pm Reply

    Within days of completion, beautiful mural will be vandalized, with angry, hateful graffiti. Anahola was vandalized right after park buildings painted and maintained and left that way. No pride. Mural looks great though. Mahalo aloha.

  3. I saw a Vampire once January 4, 2021 2:51 pm Reply

    Do they have security camera around the area? Like on the post or on the coconut trees. Or near the buildings. I know that the place is a little bit run down, but can’t they find someone to clean the park on a regular basis? This would do wonders. I take it nobody cares about the area that much.

  4. therealhawaiian August 13, 2021 6:08 am Reply

    Is this a permanent story that my grandchildren will see 50 years from now?

  5. therealhawaiian August 23, 2021 10:57 am Reply

    OK. What’s up? This Salt Pond Mural, which is probably graffitied to death by now, is still a featured story on TGI! WHY? Not that I have any distaste for those who want to put amateur “art” on buildings, but to run the story every day since 2020 is either beyond stupid, there is no real news to report since last year, or the editors (and possibly their kids) painted the building? Which is it??

  6. Brewer September 23, 2021 9:11 am Reply

    I’ve seen this mural. It is beautiful artwork that depicts the stories of those who have lived in this area in the past and currently. Yes, there is vandalism of artwork on Kauai. There will always be people who destroy what is good in this world. Those people are not inherently bad, just misdirected. As someone above mentioned, Anahola was vandalized, and I’ve seen vandalized artwork at Keahua Arboretum (Loop Road). We need to preserve this artwork for future generations, even if that means painting over what vandals destroy, over and over again, not always waiting for the ‘county’ or ‘someone else’ to do it.

  7. therealhawaiian October 13, 2021 7:34 am Reply

    What a beautiful work of art!

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