Ever wonder what it takes to keep churning out engaging events like ARTafterDARK month after month?

“It takes a really good team, and a good support system,” says special events coordinator Wainani Paikai, taking a moment out of her busy Friday to share her staff pick.

“I personally like always being busy. It takes so much prep for a one-day, couple-hour event, so it’s nice to know that there are other projects coming up.”

But sometimes things do get hectic. Those days Paikai finds respite in the peaceful Antiquity and the Body Gallery, where her favorite piece—Chris Campbell’s Strike a Pose II—hangs just inside the door.

Here’s why it’s her favorite:

“I gravitate to oil portraits with women as the subject, but I feel like a lot of portraits don’t show the female body in its true state, especially in our social media-obsessed world. Women are often forced into this box where they can’t have any rolls—they have to be smooth, thin, and perfect. I like portraits that show women with tummies—or just women in their real, true form. There’s also generally a lack of women of color represented in art, so I especially like this one for showing a woman of color. It’s also the first painting you see in the Antiquity and the Body Gallery, which I like. It’s quite vibrant, and I feel like I know this woman. And her pareo is the exact shade of blue as the gallery walls—it’s almost like it speaks to the whole room and sets the tone.

“Coming into the museum, or any fine art museum, you expect to see 17th century to 20th century paintings, but not contemporary stuff like this, and not many people of color in general. So seeing someone you might have known growing up in Hawai‘i is nice. It’s cool that we have that representation here.”

Chris Campbell (American, born 1952)
Strike a Pose II, 2005
Oil on canvas
Gift of Michael Halg, 2011