In brief

  • "Kids Bed and Dresser" by reclaimed wood artist Chad Gray, Blue Sea Artisans Featured Artist for June. (Courtesy photo/Special to West Hawaii Today)

  • "Hawaiian Memories" is one piece created by reclaimed wood artist Chad Gray, Blue Sea Artisans Featured Artist for June. (Courtesy photo/Special to West Hawaii Today) and "Kids Bed and Dresser

  • "Honu" is a silk painting by Betty Gerstner, Kailua Village Artists Featured Artist in June. (Courtesy photo/Special to West Hawaii Today)

  • Watercolor "Torch Ginger" is a piece by Betty Gerstner, Kailua Village Artists Featured Artist in June. (Courtesy photo/Special to West Hawaii Today)

  • Betty Gerstner, Kailua Village Artists Featured Artist in June, paints a porcelain vase titled "Betty Gerstner in studio 21." (Courtesy photo/Special to West Hawaii Today)

KVA featuring Gerstner during June

The Kailua Village Artists featured member artist for the month of June is watercolor, silk and porcelain artist Betty Gerstner.


Gerstner has been a porcelain artist since the late 1970s, and has been teaching the artform since 2004. In 2000, shortly after moving to Hawaii, Betty began studying watercolor with some of the better-known watercolor masters on the Big Island. In 2016, Gerstner renewed her interest in silk painting. She has added this medium to her porcelain and watercolor painting.

The beautiful scenery, tropical atmosphere and wonderful people are an inspiration to her artistic talents. Her diverse subjects range from the colorful flowers of Hawaii, tropical birds, honu (sea turtle) and other sea life. She is also available to paint pet portraits by commission.

For the month of June, Gerstner will be adding several new art pieces, including a honu on silk, torch ginger watercolor, a framed wall plaque of dragonfly and waterlilies and angel trumpets on a porcelain steel tile.

Gerstner will be working at the gallery on June 8, 15, 25 and 29. The gallery is located at 75-5729 Alii Drive, Suite C-110, in the Kona Marketplace in Kailua-Kona. It is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

For more information, call (808) 329-6653 or visit

Gray showcasing work this month

The Blue Sea Artisans Gallery featured artist for the month of June is reclaimed wood artist Chad Gray.

While working in construction, Gray saw a lot of wood thrown into the dumpster. He decided to take some of the scraps and make beds for his daughters. His creative bug awoke and he started collecting scrap wood from other contractors and woodworking friends, new and old hardwood flooring, teak roofing shingles, and cut offs from koa tables. Gray has been influenced by other wood artists, photos on Pinterest, and by this beautiful island we live on. He sees objects in nature and in his head and tries to make them using wood.

Gray’s “Hawaiian memories ” collection depicts individual sunsets and seascapes along with items of natural beauty and cultural activities. His “Hidden memories ” line is a mosaic of hidden island treasures. They can also be customized with personal memorials to loved ones.

Meet Gray and learn more about his reclaimed wood art at the gallery on June 12 and 26. The gallery, located in the Keauhou Shopping Center, is open from 1 to 5 p.m. weekdays and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.

For more information, call the gallery at (808) 329-8000.

Artist brings secondhand objects to life at EHCC

“Disturbing” and “a bit like Frankenstein” are the words postmodern artist Ken Little first used to describe his works on view at the East Hawai’i Cultural Center this June and July in the exhibition, “Tight Hide.”

But, says the artist, his friends had a different reaction — they saw humor and pathos in creations like the one that began when he found a tattered deer trophy mount, missing its eyes and nose, at a secondhand shop in Missoula, Montana.

As he began rebuilding the deer, using an old boot to recreate the nose, he realized he was returning the skin to the animal. This insight led him to use shoes, boots, and other objects to form his creations, leading people to remark, “how wonderful it would be to see these animals in the wild!”

Having recently retired as a professor of art in sculpture at the University of Texas, San Antonio, Little now divides his time between Texas and Kona. His work shows influences from his time spent in places as diverse as Florida, Manhattan, Montana, and the San Francisco Bay area. He cites as inspirations musicians ranging from Hank Williams to Thelonius Monk and visual artists ranging from Marcel DuChamp to Eva Hesse.

The opening day of the exhibit, June 5, will offer an especially rich set of experiences for EHCC patrons, as the opening is being held in conjunction with a “musical open house” where visitors can participate in hands-on demonstrations of Japanese koto and Javanese gamelan instruments, ask questions, and sign up for future classes.

For more information, visit, call (808) 961-5711, or visit the gallery at 141 Kalakaua St. in Hilo. Current hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. “Tight Hide” will be on view from Saturday to July 30.

Kona resident pens novel

“Out of the Shadows,” by Kona resident Tessa Van Wade will be released in paperback and ebook on June 15 by Blue Sheep Media.

The first book in a series called “The Velieri Uprising,” this contemporary urban fantasy novel has been described as “The Bourne Identity” meets “Twilight” meets “The Matrix.” The novel, Van Wade’s first, can be purchased on Amazon,, and various retail locations.


Van Wade (also known as Tessa Sandberg) is a long-term resident of Kailua-Kona, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She is the owner of The Fit Xchange, a boutique personal training gym and fitness center in Kona. Her writing aims to ignite the imagination and open discussion around topics like female empowerment, self-identity, and acceptance.

Learn more at

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