mural on bunker
Haley Kailiehu’s mural at Kapolei Regional Park

Haley Kailiehu, a graduate student in the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Education, is working with the Kapolei community to bring art, history and a sense of Hawaiian place to parts of Kapolei Regional Park where litter, graffiti and undesirable activities were commonplace.

Kailiehu, a part-time art teacher at Kapolei High School, has been cleaning and painting an old military bunker in the park with the help of high school students, fellow artists and community members. The mural, which depicts the daily lives of Hawaiian people living in the area during the pre-contact era, consists of seven different landscape panels, each depicting a specific trade or specialization. Some of the scenes include people making kapa, farming dry land plants, fishing, dancing hula and weaving vines.

“As a teacher, I want my students to learn the values of community service, selflessness, and respect,” said Kailiehu. “As an art teacher, I hope my students gain skills that will help them in their future drawing and painting art projects.”

Completion of the project is scheduled for April.

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Adapted from a story by Jennifer Parks, communications coordinator, College of Education