Aloha museum friends,

Spring is a season of renewal and rebirth, and the museum is in blossom! After a year of work, made possible by the generosity of the Shidler Family, Central Courtyard is now a bright, open space—with repainted colonnades and a Kelly green re-sodded lawn. The Walter F. and Mary Dillingham Frear sculpture terrace garden next to the Contemporary Gallery has been replanted with white hibiscus and alahe‘e, and will feature a ceramic masterpiece by Toshiko Takaezu . Slowly but surely, we are making changes to create a more beautiful environment in which to enjoy art.

This week the museum literally blooms with the Garden Club of Honolulu’s triennial Major Flower Show—Rooted in Paradise. Our partnership with this august and storied organization goes back decades, and this year’s presentation includes a focus on that. The Flower Show is also a great way to celebrate Mother’s Day—combine it with gift-hunting in the Museum Shop (sorry, the café is already fully booked).

Also this year, we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the first immigrants to arrive from Japan (gannen mono: “Meiji era first year arrivals”) as part of a multi-organization, statewide program. As the proud stewards of the most significant collection of Japanese cultural treasures in Hawai‘i, if not the US, we proudly present The Ripple Effect, a show on Japanese textiles that feature water motifs.

And our big contemporary art exhibition of 2018, Abstruction: The Sculpture of Erick Swenson continues to fascinate visitors. It has a special exhibition fee of $10—but members at the Supporter level and above can see it free July 3 to 8. So make sure you join, renew or upgrade to enjoy not only free admission days to special exhibitions, but other advantages such as early registration for Art School classes (Contributing Level and above), and invitations to intimate art events like our thought-provoking Think and a Drink series (Collectors Level and above). In addition, your membership helps fund future museum activities, so it’s a win-win for everyone! You’ll find the membership levels and their benefits here.

I look forward to seeing you at a museum event soon.

Mahalo nui loa,

Sean O’Harrow