“I am very passionate about teaching, I feel that it is my calling,” says Honolulu Museum of Art School teacher and printmaker Denise Karabinus. Before she started teaching at the Art School’s print studio in 2013, the New Jersey native taught workshops at Maine College of Art and Portland Museum of Art in Maine (not to be confused with the Portland Art Museum in Oregon), and served on the Board of Directors at the Printmaking Center of New Jersey.

In addition to teaching intaglio etching at the Art School, Karabinus also teaches sustainable art and design at Hawaii Pacific University. “I feel alive and invigorated in the classroom,” she says. “I enjoy sharing ideas and collaborating with students to help them bring their ideas to life.”

What is Karabinus’s favorite work from the museum collection? A print, of course—Leonie Schwallie’s New Aloha Tower, now on view in Women Artists in Hawaiʻi: 1900-1950. Here’s why:

“New Aloha Tower struck me because the site has recently been transformed into student housing. The etching is spare yet it coveys an accurate picture of Aloha Tower and the surrounding area at that point in time. The skyline was different then. The tower stands alone and there is a construction crane in the background. The piece provides a snapshot of an important monument, which is timely given all the construction in progress on the waterfront right now.  What will the Aloha Tower site look like in another 89 years?”

Leonie Schwallie (American, 1903–1985)
New Aloha Tower
Honolulu Museum of Art, Gift of Eliza Lefferts and Charles Montague Cooke, Jr., 1935