photo from te atinga exhibit
(Detail) Installation image from Te Atinga (1991), Koa Gallery, Kapiʻolani CC, Honolulu, Hawaiʻi.

Koa Gallery at Kapiʻolani Community College reopens to the public on November 8. The gallery was established in 1987 and is a place for collaboration, engagement and risk-taking through exhibition-making and public programming. Koa Gallery is dedicated to showcasing the art communities of Hawaiʻi, Oceania and the Asia-Pacific region, honoring Kapiʻolani CC’s mission to “prepare indigenous, local, national and international students for their productive futures.”

To commemorate the reopening, the gallery presents Koa Gallery 1990–2000: Selections from an ongoing exhibition history. The exhibit reflects on eight moments in Koa Gallery’s early development in order to encourage renewed interest in the venue’s future and its storied past. The exhibitions selected are represented in the gallery through correspondences, announcement cards, press releases, newspaper clippings, installation images and other miscellaneous ephemera. A grouping of artwork originally shown in these exhibitions is situated in relationship to the historical material.

Koa Gallery 1990–2000 will be digitized, uploaded and eventually made available on the gallery’s webpage. Increasing access to this historical material can generate new research and potential scholarship around Koa Gallery’s exhibition history and the many artists, organizers and communities who helped to construct it over the years.

photo of painting
(Detail) Noe Tanigawa, “Initiation,” mixed media, 40 in. x 66 in., from Hawaiʻi/New York/Hawaiʻi (1995).

Exhibit information

Koa Gallery 1990–2000: Selections from an ongoing exhibition history is a free exhibit and will be on display, November 8–December 21. The exhibit can be viewed on Wednesdays to Saturdays, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. and by appointment. Parking is available in lots A and B.

Selected exhibitions for the gallery:

  • Toshiko Takaezu (1990)
  • Te Atinga: An exhibition of contemporary Maori Art (1991)
  • Honolulu/New York/Honolulu (1995)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles…Not! (1995)
  • Pacific Voices (1997)
  • Avatars of Culture (1998)
  • Ka Una Paʻa…“a wedge that holds fast” (1999)
  • Master to Apprentice (2000)

Artwork by Toshiko Takaezu, Kazu Kauinana, Hal Lum, Noe Tanigawa, Sean K. L. Browne, ʻĪmaikalani Kalāhele, Wright Bowman, Sr. and Kaili Chun are included in the exhibition. The selections demonstrate the ways Koa Gallery consistently provided a platform for art, artists and communities of Hawaiʻi, Oceania and the Asia-Pacific region across the 1990s.

Koa Gallery will also host a series of talk story sessions that focus on the lived experiences of artists who participated in the exhibitions revisited to provide an opportunity to reflect on art and exhibition histories of Hawaiʻi while reinforcing relationships with one another in an open and informal setting.