To celebrate the arts and traditions of a growing part of Hawai‘i’s social fabric, the Honolulu Museum of Art School presents the program Carrying Culture: Micronesia, which includes an exhibition, workshops, and the film The Land of Eb in March.

Spearheaded by artist and Art School supporter Diana Tusher (she designs the installations for exhibitions for such groups as the Handweavers Hui and Hawaii’s Woodshow and the museum’s annual Studio Benefit Sale), describes the event as “an introduction to the richness and diversity of Micronesian cultures.”

Tusher, who has lived in Guam, became friends with Lynn Martin Graton, another former Guam resident, while the two were graduate students at the University of Hawai‘i. Both are fascinated by the rich cultures of the Western Pacific, and see Carrying Culture as a way to honor their traditions and raise awareness about the region’s history and culture. Also helping to organize the program is Margo Vitarelli, who grew up in Palau and is now the education director at the Mānoa Heritage Center.

Micronesians are a part of the museum’s surrounding community, and we’re proud to get to know our neighbors and help to raise awareness of their cultures and lifestyle.

Carrying Culture: Micronesia programs

Exhibition: March 19-April 28
On view in the Art School’s Mezzanine Gallery will be photographs by Lynn Martin Graton taken while she was doing field research in Micronesia in the 1980s, a canoe, and displays about the geography, cultures, arts, and traditions such as navigation.

Art School Workshop: Coconut Front Ornaments, March 21
While working as a researcher in Micronesia, Lynn Martin Graton discovered baskets and the wide range of objects made from plant material. She sought out female elders who were expert weavers, and sat with them, learning apprentice-style, to make traditional coconut frond baskets islands from Ulithi to Palau, and Fiji to Hawai‘i. (That’s Graton pictured above, practicing her weaving skills in Guam in the 1980s.)

Graton is extremely grateful to her teachers, and has great respect for their traditions. She wishes to pass on the gifts given to her through venues such as this workshop. Graton will introduce students to this island art form through the creation of a lightning bolt, a grasshopper or a fish. With her deep knowledge of Micronesia, you’ll come away with a lot more than knowing how to weave coconut fronds.

For more information, email gro.muesumululonohnull@loohcstra.
Or simply register online.

Jonithen Jackson, left, in 'The Land of Eb'

Jonithen Jackson, left, in ‘The Land of Eb’

Film: The Land of Eb, FREE, March 18
Kona-based filmmaker Andrew Williamson was so taken by Jonithen Jackson, whom he met through a mutual friend, that he made a fictionalized account of Jackson’s life—starring Jackson. Jonithen Jackson’s family was relocated from the Northern Pacific Marshall Islands—the site of 67 nuclear tests from 1946 to 1958, including the 15-megaton Bravo shot. The health consequences of the testing still plague Marshallese today—and is part of the story of The Land of Eb. Filmed in Kona and Ocean View—where Jackson and his family actually live—this narrative film reveals a part of Hawai‘i that even many of us who are born and raised here are unaware of. A must-see for everyone who lives in the islands. See details and trailer.

DOE Workshop, March 18-20
The Honolulu Museum of Art School holds a workshop for DOE elementary-school educators on learning to facilitate inquiry-based learning with primary resources while increasing understanding of Micronesian cultures. This workshop aims to help teachers understand the students with whom they work, and to instill cultural pride in Micronesian students.

For more information, contact Justin Davies at gro.muesumululonohnull@seivadj
Or register online.