Maui Arts & Entertainment

Mālama Wao Akua Winners Announced

November 3, 2017, 11:43 AM HST
* Updated November 3, 11:45 AM
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2017 Mālama Wao Akua People’s Choice Award: Maui Manu Triptych by Jupiter Nielsen
PC: Bryan Berkowitz

Hui No‘eau Visual Arts Center and East Maui Watershed Partnership have announced Jupiter Nielsen as the People’s Choice winner of the the 13th annual Mālama Wao Akua.

The Hui says Nielsen is being recognized for his piece titled “Maui Manu Triptych”.

Since July, the Hui and EMWP worked to present Mālama Wao Akua—a fine art exhibition at the hui’s Makawao gallery.

The juried exhibition celebrates and raises awareness about the native species of Maui Nui—Maui, Lāna‘i, Moloka‘i and Kaho‘olawe—merging the worlds of art and conservation with works of art that honor its native plant and animal species.

“When I first moved to Hawai‘i I loved all the showy tropical species of plants,” said Nielsen. “Through volunteer work and reading books I learned of the subtle beauty of the truly Hawaiian landscape.”


“Mālama Wao Akua has been an outlet for my passion since its inception. Folks on Maui don’t often get to see their native forest and can think that it’s gone. Artists can play an important role in conservation by bringing nature to the masses. It takes all of us helping in some way whether that is working, creating, teaching or supporting financially, and this art show has accomplished that goal,” Nielsen added.


Other award winners in 2017 include:

Juror’s Choice (Tamara Sherrill) – When There Were Only 22 by Gabrielle Anderman
Honorable Mention (Tamara Sherrill) – Koa Leaf Necklace by Christine Cafferata
Juror’s Choice (Mike Takemoto) – Summer Silversword by Joanne Hopper
Honorable Mention (Mike Takemoto) – ‘Alalā Within Us by Jennifer Valenzuela
Juror’s Choice Elementary School – Jewel of the Forest by Olena Rodeau
Juror’s Choice Middle School – Profile in Wisdom –by Kaden Ortiz
Juror’s Choice Middle School – ‘Io lana by Chaz Kaneakua
Juror’s Choice High School – Flora for Fauna by Sarah Nassar
Conservation at Work – Higashino Hands by Bryan Berkowitz
Rarest Find – Maui Manu Triptych by Jupiter Nielsen
People’s Choice Award – Maui Manu Triptych by Jupiter Nielsen

Mālama Wao Akua has been on display since Sept. 15 and the artwork will remain in the gallery at Hui No‘eau through Nov. 7, 2017.


The gallery is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with free admission.

A portion of artwork sales benefit Hui No’eau and East Maui Watershed Partnership.

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