PUHI — Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School instructors Enoka Karatti, and Leslie Frasier agreed the developing mural on the school’s fenceline fronting Kaneka Street is simply a matter of doing what they can do during this COVID-19 pandemic.
“We could never do a project like this before the pandemic,” Karratti, a Hawaiian Studies instructor, said of the small native Hawaiian plant garden developing on a “sliver of land owned by the school” on the Puhi Park side of campus. “The mural is perfect because it attracts people’s attention to the garden. It’s what they see first when they drive by.”
Farsier is the lead for the mural based on an abstract landscape to create a sunset from the mountains to the sea.
“Thirty students?” Frasier said. “I could never manage that number of students at one time. This was the year to do this because of the fact that I have smaller classes due to COVID, and this has made it completely manageable.”
“When I heard about the garden being built, I decided this was the perfect opportunity to put my idea of personalizing institutions into reality,” the art instructor said. “I was attracted to the idea of collaborating across subjects, and Mr. Karatti was very open and welcoming to the idea. I wanted to make a ‘bridge’ to the new Hawaiian Plant garden to bring awareness of the project to the community.”
The mural measuring 4 feet high by 220 feet long is based on a needle felting project the students did and is currently hung in the school cafeteria.
“This is quite an amazing collaboration,” Frasier said. “Funding for most of the fabric is covered by the grant awarded to Mr. Karatti for the garden project. The sixth grade art students are creating the mural by weaving fabric in and out of the chain link to create a beautiful sunset covering the mountains to the sea.”
Frasier said she believes there has never been a project similar to this being done on Kaua‘i, and for that reason, does not know the life of the filler fabric.
“It’s up to the weather,” she said. “But it’s going up a lot faster than I thought it would. Conversely, when it needs to come down, it shouldn’t take that long.”
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.