Dozens of one-of-a-kind art pieces created by local artists, including eight Lāhaināluna students and a Lāhaināluna teacher, will be featured in an art auction fundraiser organized to support the schools impacted by the Aug. 8 wildfires.
Judd Levy, a science teacher at Lāhaināluna and in his spare time, a digital artist with an online gallery, offered one of his artworks to Island Art Gallery in Waikīkī as a fundraiser for Lāhainā students.
At the end of August, he had casually mentioned his plans to Superintendent Keith Hayashi, who Levy said, was enthusiastic about it and connected him with HIDOE’s Community Engagement Branch to support the effort.
“From there it kind of blew up into this art auction,” Levy said. “It was just going to be one piece.”
Levy is working with his school, Maui Hands Gallery and Island Art Galleries to organize the auction. The Department is also working with the Public Schools of Hawaii Foundation to ensure the funds raised go directly toward the Lāhainā schools.
“I hope that we can do something really nice for the students, they’ve been through so much,” Levy said. “The elementary school – they don’t have a school, so they’re still going through some really difficult times. (Students) really deserve something nice and I’m hoping I can make that happen.”
The auction features Hawai‘i-inspired traditional and contemporary pieces of art through various mediums: digital generative art, acrylic paintings and oil canvas paintings.
Mekayla Bandy, a Lāhaināluna senior in the Advanced Placement 2D Drawing class, is excited to have her work featured in an art auction for the first time and for it to support her peers.
“It makes me happy that what I’m doing can help us recover, rise up again and benefit the community,” she said.
original painting features an image of waves crashing on a beach at sunset.
“Whenever I think of my fondest memories of Lāhainā, I think of my boat days, swimming at Baby Beach, the shore break, the amazing sunsets I’ve seen on Front Street,” Bandy said of her piece. “I wanted something to portray the positive memories of Lāhainā.”
“Aloha for Lāhainā” art auction opens online on Nov. 15 and people can place bids starting at 9 a.m. A live auction will take place at Island Art Galleries in the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, Waikiki Beach, on Dec. 2 at 10 a.m. The event will also be
streamed online where people can bid remotely.
There are three pieces in the gallery that are exclusive for the in-person auction. One of them is an
original piece that Levy created after the fires which depicts an image of two elementary-age children adorned in lei and laughing.
“There was so much sadness after the fire. I didn’t want people to view our town that way,” he said. “I wanted something that when (people) thought of Lāhainā, it was something that put a smile on their face. I made it to show the joy and happiness of the Lāhainā children.”