We scoured Hawai‘i to curate the ultimate guide to living luxuriously. Here are our top arts and entertainment picks for 2021.
Elton John at Maui Arts & Cultural Center
BEST CONCERT SUNG FROM THE RAFTERS
Currently offering streaming shows, Maui Arts & Cultural Center has been a home for the arts for more than 25 years. Past performances have included the annual Maui ‘Ukulele Festival and Ki Ho‘alu Guitar Festival, as well as appearances by superstars like Elton John. 1 Cameron Way, Kahului
Artist Margaret Rice collaborated with Kai Sallas for this surfboard. Surfer Kelis Kaleopa‘a models the piece.
BEST ARTIST CAPTURING MODERN FEMININITY
Celebrating the female form, Kailuaborn artist Margaret Rice has an undeniable signature style. “I embrace the lush colors, textures and moods that I have long been surrounded by and translate it into my own language of soft , muted hues and comforting tones—not to mention the way I love to capture a gorgeous lounging lady,” she says. “Through my art and illustrations, I try and bring to life my heart’s inspiration on paper.”
Children’s art at Hui No‘eau. The next Youth Art exhibit runs July 30 through Aug. 27
BEST PROGRAMS FOR BUDDING CREATIVES
Community-based arts and education center Hui No‘eau provides programs and workshops for creatives of all ages. The youth summer camp is a perennial favorite, with the four weeks culminating in an exhibit of the young artists’ works. Through July 23, the center presents ‘Apo A No‘eau: A Celebration of Hawaiian Craft smanship, a showcase of traditional Hawaiian arts through materials like lauhala, kapa, ‘ohe kapala and more. 2841 Baldwin Ave., Makawao
BEST GALLERY CHAMPIONING LOCAL VOICES
“Local artists celebrating local culture is our motto,” says Gallery Olani founder Andy Cabrera. The oil painter and copper sculptor’s works hang next to 25 Hawai‘i artists’ creations, which are exclusive to the O‘ahu gallery. “The best art is jaw-dropping art,” he says. “I have seen hundreds of customers come up to our gallery windows in a complete daze and literally their jaws are dropping.” 92-1480 Olani St., Kapolei
Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawai‘i at Ala Moana Beach
BEST ALFRESCO ARTS EXPERIENCE
The scene at Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawai‘i is one of pure majesty as 7,000 candle-lit lanterns painted with remembrances, prayers and affirmations set sail at Ala Moana Beach each Memorial Day. Officiated by Buddhist community Shinnyo-en and presented by Nā Lei Aloha Foundation, the lantern floating has been on hold during the pandemic with hopes that the tradition will soon return. While we wait, virtual options are available.
See also: The 11 Best Festivals In Hawai'i
Ballet Hawaii’s rendition of The Nutcracker
BEST ART THROUGH MOVEMENT
With high hopes, Ballet Hawaii will return for its annual holiday showcase (Dec. 17 to 19). Hawaiian-inspired The Nutcracker features music from the Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra as ballerinas jete and pirouette across the winter wonderland. Neal S. Blaisdell Concert Hall, 777 Ward Ave., Honolulu
BEST MUSEUM MAKING AN IMPACT
This arts institution welcomes the entrance into a “new” normal with Joyful Return (through Jan. 16, 2022), a community-driven, museumwide exhibition that celebrates the resurgence of personal connections, conversations and art. Other current showings include Hokusai’s Mount Fuji (through September), Kamran Samimi: In Stillness (through Aug. 15) and more. 900 S. Beretania St., Honolulu
BEST FESTIVAL BREAKING BOUNDARIES
Presented by Halekulani, Hawai‘i International Film Festival is the premier showing of contemporary cinema and emerging talents from Asia and the Pacific Islands. Each November the festival presents screenings, educational programs, panels and more, with past guests including Taika Waititi, Elisabeth Moss and Randall Park.
BEST ARTIST MAKING A STATEMENT
Raised in Kapahi on Kauaʻi, Kalani Largusa uses his canvas to showcase his experiences as a Hawai‘i artist. Here, he gives a glimpse into his process.
“My work examines a sense of time in terms of the pace of the painting process, the time inherent in contemplation and oft en, through the use of the symbolic mark of the ‘x,’ my proximity to it all. If my paintings are indeed an artifact of time, then these works are intensely self-referential. ... As a gestural action the mark is proof of my being—proof that I exist. Always searching, the paintings evolve as I evolve in time, perpetually gauging my position in relation to what was before, who I am and am becoming.”
Photography by: Hui No'eau Staff; courtesy of Macc; Logan Tanaka; courtesy of Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawai'i; Joe Marquez/The Smoking Camera; Kalani Largusa; Chris Rohrer