Archive for the ‘Latest Press’ Category

Mahalo to everyone who participated in the Hawaii Island Network of Artists project! We received a flood of last minute participants and ended up with around 320 total! We know it’s still a small portion of working visual artists on this island, but we are very grateful to have proven there are more than 270!

We’ll be adding artists who submitted their info to the website over the next couple of weeks and we’ll be sharing what we learned in August.

Mahalo again!

With Warmest Aloha, Tiffany DeEtte Shafto HINA Project Manager

A super mahalo to Sherry Bracken, who attending our North Kona Community Meeting at Donkey Mill Art Center, for helping us to spread the word! Here’s a link to the info on HPR! HPr 2013 2-13 Wed Hawaii Island Artists Network

Volcano, HI – Volcano Art Center (VAC) has added a new tool to its arsenal to help Hawaii Island artists and is sending out an open call to all Hawaii Island painters, photographers, woodworkers, ceramicists, glass blowers, blacksmiths, jewelers, fiber artists, kapa makers, weavers, mixed media artists and sculptors to take the Hawaii Island Network of Artists (HINA) survey online.

“One of our goals with this project is to prove that artists make a positive difference to our local economy and quality of life,” says Tiffany DeEtte Shafto, Project Manager for the HINA research report and website. “We are asking fine artists and craftspeople who make all or part of their living from their work to take our survey and in return, we provide a free web page on our actively marketed website,”

“We began last July, thanks to funding in part from Hawaii County, and are collecting data through May of this year to prove what we know to be true about our “creative workforce, ” shares VAC CEO, Tanya Aynessazian, who conceived the project. “Our local artists are an unrecognized creative workforce, because so many artists work independently, we need the public’s help in spreading the word about this project.”

Aynessazian and Shafto have been hosting community meetings in each district of the Island as a means of sharing the intent of this project and hearing from artists directly. In 2012, they held meetings in Volcano, Pahoa, Waimea, Hilo, Honokaa, and Kapaau and met with nearly 100 artists—learning first-hand about their needs. Now they are getting ready for their next meeting at SKEA in Captain Cook on Jan. 24th at 5:30 pm, and have three more meetings lined up in Holualoa, Naalehu, and Laupahoehoe respectively.

“The response to the project from the community has been wonderful, but taking a survey takes time and we needed a way to make it faster and easier,” shares Aynessazian. “With the HINA survey now online, making it much easier for artists to participate, we expect to see a major increase in responses and artists represented on our site. “

VAC is actively marketing the HINA website, including a spot on Big Island TV. “Having one site to promote that benefits everyone involved is really rewarding,” says Shafto. “We visualized a website that acts as a resource directory—connecting art collectors with artists and increasing sales of artwork on island through one promoted website and its taking form. We’re out to prove that there are far more than 270 artists on this Island and with the support of our creative community, we know we can do it!” Apart from being one of the grandest undertakings since it was founded in 1974, the acronym HINA has a special second meaning for the staff at VAC. Hina, the Hawaiian Goddess of Hilo and a kapa maker, is a source of innovation and unification.

“Our goal is to honor our connection to the culture and history of this island through the inspiration it provides to today’s makers,” says Aynessazian. “HINA will no doubt propel our mission to the next level.”

To learn more about Volcano Art Center and the HINA project or to sign up for updates, please visit our website at or follow us on Facebook. For even more in-depth information, contact Volcano Art Center at (808) 967-8222 or email


Looking back over the last six months – from learning we received partial funding for this project at the end of June, to publicly launching the project in August and hosting meetings in six communities over three months – we’ve learned a lot! Meeting artists in Volcano, Pahoa, Waimea, Hilo, Honokaa, and Kapaau, has been a great experience. There have been so many wonderful ideas  from our community. They see loads of ways this project can expand – from the place for all the “Call to Artists” opportunities Island wide, to an arts map showcasing local galleries…and the great ideas keep coming. But first, we have to prove what we know to be true about the impact our creative community has on this place while we have the opportunity.  In the New Year you’ll see some changes as we continue to work to prove just how rich Hawaii Island is with visual artists.  Just think, six months from now, a report detailing the economic and social impact we create collectively will be ready to share!

We have much to be grateful for as we reach the half-way point in this project. We look forward to our meetings in Captain Cook, Holualoa, Naalehu, and Laupahoehoe in the next few months and to seeing a major increase in participation. And coming soon to Big Island TV, our first TV ad promoting the HINA Project website! A super special mahalo to Big Island TV and Matthew Lovein of Lovein Productions for their generous support!

On this beautiful winter solstice, we wish you a Happy Holiday season! May your holidays be full of family, good friends, great food, and loads of creating!


Mahalo to everyone who took the time to vote for our project on Good Maker’s Help Your Community Come Alive Through the Arts Challenge. Unfortunately, we did not win the $5,000 grant, but knowing we have your support means a lot to us. We are continuing to pursue grants to fund this research and website because we know this project will make a positive difference for our community. Mahalo nui loa for your support!

Mahalo to The Conversation on Hawaii Public Radio for interviewing our Project Manager, Tiffany DeEtte Shafto, about this exciting project! If you didn’t get a chance to tune in, you can listen to the archives for August 14, 2012.


VOTE for HINA! We need your help! A crucial grant of $5,000 is at stake through GOOD Maker’s Help Your Community Come Alive Through the Arts Challenge. Please take a minute to visit between Thursday, August 9 at 9:00am through Thursday, August 23 at 9:00am (HST) and vote for HINA!


We are thrilled to announce the launch of the Hawaii Island Network of Artists website and research project! This one-year research project is designed to create a positive change in how local artists are perceived, while this website is designed to shine a lasting spotlight on the rich diversity of artists who call Hawaii Island home. We are eager to explore the economic and social impact artists have on our Island and share what we learn with the world.

Each month we’ll be hosting community meetings in one of the nine districts to provide an opportunity to discuss the needs of artists and share our goals for this project. We ask every visual artist living on this Island to complete the survey and be included on this website—it’s free! This website will continue after our initial one year and will be a valuable resource to connect the world with all of the talented visual artists living here. It will transition throughout the year from this initial call-to-artists to a fully filled website showcasing locally made works of art and the artists who create them. The journey is just beginning!


We just got word that the County of Hawaii is funding our HINA Project, a report on the economic impact of Hawaii Island artists on our economy and culture. We’ve been awarded $21,250 of the $25k we requested. Our hope is that this economic report will be a springboard of change for how arts and culture is perceived by the general public: artists here are an unrecognized economic engine AND are creating the very culture we are shaped by! THANK YOU COUNTY OF HAWAII for your support of our vision and in our ability to deliver!