Arts & Culture
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Oʻahu is home to many art museums and galleries, and Honolulu is the epicenter of Hawaiʻi’s art scene, both past and present. The Hawaiʻi State Art Museum (HISAM) and the Honolulu Museum of Art both house extensive collections exhibiting and interpreting the art and culture of Hawaiʻi. Alongside works from the 19th and 20th centuries, you’ll find collections of traditional Hawaiian handicrafts, including kapa (cloth made from beaten bark), ʻumeke (wooden bowls), feather capes and quilts, as well as paintings from the Volcano School (depicting nighttime scenes of Hawaiʻi’s volcanoes, most from the late 1800s).
The Bishop Museum boasts millions of artifacts, documents and photographs about Hawaiʻi and other Polynesian cultures, as well as an extensive collection of Hawaiian royal family heirlooms.
Today, the Honolulu neighborhood of Kakaʻako is ground zero for Hawaiʻi’s contemporary art explosion, with colorful murals by global artists that have turned the streets a living gallery. Music, dance, theatre and the arts in general are community treasures on Oʻahu. Artists and makers from around the world intersect with locals still perpetuating Hawaiian traditions and customs. And while the people of Oʻahu blend the rich legacy of Hawaiian culture with the world of the 21st century, you’ll find the spirit of aloha remains as timeless as ever in the Heart of Hawaiʻi.
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