Archive for the ‘Meeting Updates’ 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

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


Mahalo to all the wonderful artists who attended our Hamakua District Community Meeting last night! We had loads of great conversation and collected five more surveys, with many more promised soon. To date, we have collected 55 surveys and have 35 artists on our site! We launched the project only 12 weeks ago and are well on our way to proving Hawaii Island has far more than 270 visual artists. Our goal is to have 150 artists represented on the site before the end of the year so please help us spread the word.

Our next community meeting is on November 15th at the Kohala Intergenerational Center in Kapaau. We look forward to meeting the rich diversity of artists in North Kohala and sharing this wonderful project!



We extend a special mahalo to Michael Marshall, UH Hilo Art Department Chair, for hosting our South Hilo community meeting and for all his support. A wonderful group of artists attended our forth meeting and some terrific discussion resulted. It’s become clear that this project is a pivotal opportunity in many, many ways. But it’s going to take everyone participating–doing their individual part by completing the survey and opting to be included on the website. We are very excited about what this project can lead to and the positive difference it can make for our creative community!


October is National Arts & Humanities Month  and we extend a big mahalo to everyone who attended our South Kohala community meeting in Waimea! While it was a smaller group, the conversation spurred some further discussion. It’s valuable to us to be able to make these direct connections and hear about the needs of local artists. We are grateful to be able to have these creative conversations with our community.

We have a second meeting scheduled this month– Oct. 24th at UH Hilo. Join us to learn more about this project and share with us your insights into the business of being an artist. We’re looking forward to meeting more of Hawaii’s talented artists there!


HINA Pahoa Community Meeting 092112 email

Our second meeting was as successful as our first–wonderful people engaged in creative conversations! We had a terrific time at the Pahoa Community Center last night and are continuing to learn about the needs of our community. There is so much talent on this Island! Mahalo to everyone who attended last night! Mahalo for your enthusiasm about the project, for turning in so many surveys, and for working to spread the word about this project and opportunity! Together we will prove how rich Hawaii Island is with visual artists!

We have two meetings scheduled for October–one on Oct. 9th at the Waimea Community Center for the South Kohala District and one on Oct. 24th at UH Hilo for the South Hilo District. We look forward to meeting more artists at these upcoming meetings!

Sept 19 2012 HINA meeting wrap up

Artists started arriving early for our first Hawaii Island Network of Artists Community Meeting at Volcano Art Center.  We shared our goals for this project and sparked some wonderful discussions. It was such a pleasure to engage in creative conversation with so many talented and passionate people and to feel their excitement about what we are working to accomplish. Our first meeting was a wonderful success and we are looking forward to our meeting tonight at the Pahoa Community Center.

Mahalo to everyone who attended! It was terrific to make new connections, renew old ones, and learn about the needs of our creative community.

"A word? Which word? Could it be love?" by Ellen Crocker

If you’re in the Puna area, join us for our community meetings on Sept. 19th at Volcano Art Center or on Sept. 20th at the Pahoa Community Center. We’ll be discussing this project and issues that affect artists and art collectors alike. Visit our calendar page for details.

In the mean time, we’re adding artists to the site and preparing the Power Point for our first community meeting. Its encouraging to see artists embracing this opportunity and understanding what we’re working toward. Their surveys paint a picture, too, and it will be interesting to see the completed image of the economic and social impact of Hawaii Island artists when we wrap up the research in June 2013.