Collecting art is a life-enriching experience, and Contempo #Artshop is sure to set young collectors on the right track to cultivating meaningful, high-quality collections. From June 19 to 28, Honolulu Museum of Art Spalding House will host this new art extravaganza showcasing the work of more than 100 local and international artists. Many artists will be on-site, offering demonstrations and insightful workshops. Each day the programming will highlight different media, from wood and ceramics to glass and photography, with special tutorials throughout providing basic information about starting and developing an art collection. As you’ll find out at #ArtShop, locally made art is a great option for beginning collectors—the talent and quality are high and the prices affordable.

The museum is fortunate to have on staff many of these artists, such as Justin Davies, associate director of outreach programs at the Art School. Pictured above is his work Fishladder, which will be on view in #ArtShop. He calls this fantastical digital assemblage (a mix of photographs he shot and images from the Library of Congress’ digital archive) “a fiction…built out of real moments.”

The inspiration for Fishladder involves a Scandinavian immigrant named Harry Halvorsen, who settled in Chicago in the early 1900s. As Davies explained, “Halvorsen…was photographed in 1915 at the site of the Eastland ferry disaster in which 844 people died. Halvorsen was employed repairing bridge pilings in the Chicago River when he was called into service as a rescue diver. In what became an increasingly grim task, Halvorsen spent days navigating the submerged chambers of the ferry to save lives and recover bodies.”

But Davies, working in Hawai‘i 100 years later, saw artistic license as a way to revise history and ease Halvorsen’s burdens. “As I read more about his story, I wanted to lift the diver up out of his circumstances, and so I extended his ladder and gave him an imagined space of refuge,” Davies said.

While Davies used history as a jumping-off point for his creation, he encourages viewers “to generate their own narratives at the same time.”

Davies’ photo collages are just one highlight of the local art going on view. Check the #Artshop web page often, a full catalogue of artworks will be posted soon.

Learn more about the daily programming for Contempo #Artshop.

To see more of Justin Davies’ art, check out his website.