Coming back to Kress Street

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    From left, Mo‘olelo Murals artists Holly Ka‘iakapu, Bethany Coma and Brie Blake take a break Friday to enjoy an afternoon snack during the Aloha Friday Art Night project on Kress Street in Lihu‘e.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Dondi Iannucci provides background music Friday while the Mo‘olelo Murals artists work on their individual projects during the Aloha Friday Art Night project on Kress Street in Lihu‘e.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Lexi Jones of the Downtown Lihu‘e Night Market enjoys playing with her pet Friday in front of one of the murals painted previous to the Aloha Friday Art Night on Kress Street in Lihu‘e.

The Mo‘olelo Murals artists are back on Kress Street.

Originally funded through the county’s Kupa‘a Rise to Work program, the artists — Holly Ka‘iakapu, Bethany Coma and Brie Blake — were joined by musician Dondi Iannucci, with bass accompaniment by Dr. Addison Bulosan of The Specific Chiropractic Center on Friday as blank sheets of plywood took on life with bright colors of paint while a couple of boys across Kress Street tuned their Tahitian ‘ukulele to the Kress Street acoustics.

“Everyone needs a place to develop,” said Bulosan, who also wears the Rice Street Business Association cap. “Aloha Friday Art Night is a place for all artists and musicians to grow. To earn a canvas (blank sheet of plywood), artists can visit the new and start the registration process.”

Aloha Friday Art Night is on Kress Street each Friday from 2 to 6 p.m. Artists create a unique environment for the foot traffic, usually visitors heading toward Hamura Saimin after parking their cars on Rice or Kress streets.

“We have a snack from Mischa and Aloha ‘Aina Juice Company,” Coma said. “Thank you, Lexi Jones, who is learning the ropes for the monthly Downtown Lihu‘e Night Market.”

Earlier in the day, the mother-daughter muralist team of Kayti and Tierra Lathrop were working on the Alekoko mural that is transforming the Robert’s Jewelry building in preparation for the opening of a “new concept” in the space formerly occupied by Lily O’s.

“They would’ve been here with us,” Coma said, “but they are super busy after completing the Division of Motor Vehicles mural, so they just have to do it when they can.”

Coma said the owner of the Kress building likes what is taking place on Kress Street that was formerly littered with parking and ‘opala. The transformation started with the Mo‘olelo Murals girls working Friday afternoons, and has been highlighted with the completion of storefronts on the former Kaua‘i Realty building.

Sponsored through the Rice Street Business Association, interested artists who are accepted to participate in Aloha Friday Art Night get the benefit of a plywood canvas, refreshments and the participating musician on Kress Street, said Bulosan.

Artists work by themselves and must provide all the materials they need, including drop cloths, and must clean up following their work.

In addition to being a venue for artists to register for Aloha Friday Art Night, the website also highlights work being done by the Mo‘olelo Murals artists, other muralists, and offers a virtual tour of murals and mural projects taking place around the island.

  1. hutch October 18, 2021 2:07 pm Reply

    Good for them! And no useless masks! Very refreshing to see!

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