SOUTH KONA — Artists throughout the region are throwing their doors open this weekend, welcoming everyone to not just experience and explore the artistic creations coming out of local studios, but also to discover their own creative abilities in the process
“I want them to be blown away,” said Joyce Monsky, a member of the Kona Potters Guild. “I want it to pique their interest in art, to realize what’s around them and the diversity of talent that lives on the island.”
The South Kona Artists Collective Artists Studio Tour, which continues today from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., gives the public an opportunity to meet artists and explore the creativity on display from Keauhou to Honaunau.
The tour, in its fourth year, features 21 artists working in media from pottery and ceramics to woodwork and textiles.
Lynn B. Peavy, another member of the Kona Potters Guild, said the event was an opportunity for visitors and residents to meet the artists that have come to Kona from an array of diverse backgrounds as well as learn about what it takes to create some of the art on display.
Peavy, along with fellow Kona Potters Guild members Monsky and Alysia Samaru, had some of their personal creations on display at the Society for Kona’s Education &Art, a nonprofit group that opened its doors as part of the weekend’s tour.
“More than just the art, this is a studio tour,” Peavy said of the weekend’s event. “So people are invited into the studio where these art pieces are produced.”
That opening of the doors gives visitors a chance to see not just the finished products, but the process too.
“It’s also sharing knowledge,” added Monsky. “It’s like if you don’t know anything about computers and you go to computer class to learn. If you don’t know anything about clay and you visit a studio and there are the kilns there and the wheels and the slab roller and people are hand building and throwing and doing all of those things, it opens one up to knowledge and new experience.”
Susie Weaver, who’s been active with SKEA since its beginning, said she planned to visit each and every one of the artists featured in the tour.
“It’s such a lovely showcase of their work,” she said, “as well as an inspiration for all of us, seeing the world in a different way through their reality.”
The tour, she said, is an important opportunity for artists to share what they’re working on and for the public to have the opportunity to support those artists as well.
A little farther north, jeweler Gigi Goochey had some of her work on display, which included pieces inspired by prominent island features like Kilauea and snow-capped Maunakea.
Goochey said the tour gives the public a chance to explore South Kona as well as have a more personal interaction with the artists themselves.
“And I think that’s what I see for myself too,” she said, “just to have a more personal interaction with my clients and share with them my ideas.”
Referencing her works inspired by Kilauea and Maunakea, for example, she said the tour gives her a chance to not only share what she’s made, but also why she made it.
“It really brings the community together,” she said.
And throughout the tour, visitors to the various studios were impressed with what they were seeing.
“It’s great,” said Adam Strecker. “And the artists that are showing their work are more than willing to talk and converse about their work and let you come inside their brain a little bit, figure it out.”
Strecker said he’s known there was an active art community in the area, but until Saturday, he hadn’t had a chance to meet the artists themselves.
The tour, he said, offers an invitation to meet the area’s artists and see the work being produced.
Kathy Boyd, who was with Strecker, noted the great variety of work being featured throughout the tour, a point with which Strecker agreed.
“So far there’s been so much variation,” Strecker said. “No one’s doing the same thing twice. It’s been really wonderful to look around and see everything.”
Maps of featured artists and studios, including an interactive Google map, are available at www.sokoartists.com/studio-tour.