Big Island artist wins first place at juried exhibition with eruption-inspired artwork

  • "DISPLACED: The Day the Red Glow Stopped" 30x24", acrylic on canvas. (Bailey Ferguson/Courtesy Photo)

Big Island resident Bailey Ferguson’s painting “DISPLACED: The Day the Red Glow Stopped” won first prize in the Kahilu Exhibits Annual Juried Exhibition of Hawaii state artists.

The exhibition call for entry was for “an exhibition that explores the dual forces of creation and destruction that shape our lives and the world around us.”

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Ferguson’s painting, part of a larger series called “DISPLACED,” explores the dynamic movement of the lava below the surface and above, filling landscape and coastlines, altering neighborhoods, flooding the night sky. The title of the painting refers to the moment in time when the lava from Fissure 8 began to slow and the warming nighttime glow began to diminish.

“I started this painting at the time when we were unsure what the volcano had in store for us next. I’m honored my work resonated with other people that also experienced this dramatic event.” Ferguson said in a press release.

As an artist directly impacted by the 2018 Kilauea eruption, Ferguson had unanticipated the positive outcomes from a year of upheaval and evacuation. Ferguson has been a traditional oil painter for 12 years; when displaced, she embraced a new style of painting.

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Ferguson’s work is displayed on Hawaii Island at the Donkey Mill Art Center (Holualoa), House of Fire (Kalapana), Gallery of Great Things (Kamuela) and Puna Gallery &Gift Emporium (Pahoa). Ferguson is a finalist for the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park/National Parks Arts Foundation Artist-in-Residence program, where she hopes to finish the “DISPLACED” series close to her source of inspiration.

“Transformative Forces: Creation through Destruction” exhibition runs through April 27. The first, second and third place winners are: Bailey Ferguson, Dominic Tidmarsh and Gary Hoff. The Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts Awards Acquisition Selection Committee selected works by Carl F.K. Pao, Margo Ray and Dominic Tidmarsh for their permanent collection.

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