New exhibition brings Hawaiian voices to Five Oaks Museum
A new exhibition is bringing Hawaiian voices to the Five Oaks Museum in Washington County.
Guest curator duo Lehuauakea and Kanani Miyamoto are creating an exhibition called "DIS/PLACE" that shines light on the widely unknown connection between Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest, according to a press release by the museum on Friday, July 24.
Beginning as far back as 1787, a steady stream of workers, families, and entrepreneurs came from the Hawaiian Islands to new settlements along the west coast of Turtle Island, according to the museum. They contributed to the development of the early fur trade and logging industries, agriculture, the building of port towns and trading posts, and even mining during the gold rush.
From its early years, Pacific University in Forest Grove — founded in the mid-19th century — has had close ties with Hawaii, where it maintains a satellite office. Na Haumana O Hawai'i is one of the largest and oldest student groups on campus, and the university annually hosts Oregon's largest lu'au.
"Much of Hawaiian history in the Pacific Northwest and the stories of these families have been glossed over or omitted altogether in the past," said Lehuauakea and Miyamoto in the press release. "'DIS/PLACE' hopes to address these gaps in our collective history and share these ongoing stories (and) telling them with our own voices."
The exhibition will include contemporary artworks and community stories, in addition to historic objects and information. To make the exhibit happen, the curators are asking for art submissions from visual artists working in any medium who have familial ties to Hawaii and are living and working in the Pacific Northwest.
"We are especially seeking work that addresses themes of cultural identity and displacement specific to communities from the Hawaiian Islands," explained the duo in the statement.
Artists do not have to be of Native Hawaiian descent and can include any ethnic group or family who has come from or passed through Hawaii en route to the Pacific Northwest.
The guest curators are also accepting submissions from families and individuals who would like to share the story of their life in this region. The submissions can be in written form, recorded conversation, or photographs.
"This can also be a more abstract representation of your connection to Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest — a song, a piece of clothing, a family heirloom, or even a favorite food item your family enjoys," explained the announcement. "Given the many different communities that have moved between the Islands and the (Pacific Northwest), we want to leave this as open-ended as possible. We welcome your stories in any form you feel is the best representation."
"DIS/PLACE" is supported by funding from the Collins Foundation & the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation. Additional sponsorship opportunities are still available to support the exhibit.
For artists interested in submitting work for the exhibition, the curators request up to five works in any media form for consideration. If you are interested in presenting your work via performance, auxiliary programming or workshops, site-specific installation, or another channel outside of a typical gallery experience, you are encouraged to note it in your submission.
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