Maui Arts & Entertainment

2018 Schaefer Portrait Challenge Winner Awarded $15,000

January 21, 2018, 10:49 AM HST
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Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s Schaefer International Gallery announced the Jurors’ Choice Award winner for Schaefer Portrait Challenge 2018 at the opening reception on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018. Kaua’i artist Natasha Young was awarded a cash prize of $15,000 for her portrait entitled, “Contemporary Artist.”

Natasha Young Jurors Choice Award winner with her oil painting, “Contemporary Artist.” PC: by J. Anthony Martinez

Natasha Young lives and works on Kaua’i, where she has been creating art from a young age. She grew up experimenting with various media, but became most interested in refining her drawing and painting skills. She graduated from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa in 2010 with a B.F.A. in painting. Her work was also selected for inclusion in the Schaefer Portrait Challenge 2012.

The winning portrait is oil on canvas, 60″ h x 48″ w. In her artist’s statement accompanying the entry for the competition, Young said, “Sometimes memories are made in moments too complex to explain with words—and no one knows this better than an artist. Artists come in all types, styles, shapes, sizes, and walks of life. The only commonality that all artists share is the ability or drive to create, and subsequent dedication in the pursuit of this venture for a portion of their time on this earth.

“I was moved to begin a series of portraits dedicated to the study of the artist, as I find inspiration in the faces of the creators around me. By portraying the artist in their own personal environment, I hope to give the viewer more to consider about the subject. Our possessions, and the way in which we all keep our space, tells a story about the type of person we are. I was inspired by Brennan, a wood worker and tradesman, because I could see the passion he has for his work, in every piece of his I’ve seen. His dedication is visceral and his path is relatable; one can see in him what it takes to be true to who you are.”

Schaefer Portrait Challenge 2018 features 57 artists and their portraits of the people of Hawai’i, with inclusion determined by a statewide juried competition. The exhibit will be open through March 18, Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Schaefer International Gallery at Maui Arts & Cultural Center.


Visitors to the gallery through March 7 can vote for their favorite piece in the exhibit; the winner of the “People’s Choice Award” will be announced at a reception on Friday, March 9 at 5:30 p.m. in the gallery.

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