Oahu Arts & Culture

Arts & Culture

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Oahu Arts & Culture

Oahu is home to many art museums and galleries, and Honolulu is the epicenter of Hawaii’s art scene, both past and present. The Hawaii State Art Museum (HISAM) and the Honolulu Museum of Art both house extensive collections exhibiting and interpreting the art and culture of Hawaii. Alongside works from the 19th and 20th centuries, you’ll find collections of traditional Hawaiian handicrafts, including kapa (cloth made from beaten bark), umeke (wooden bowls), feather capes and quilts, as well as paintings from the Volcano School (depicting nighttime scenes of Hawaii’s volcanoes, most from the late 1800s). 

The Bishop Museum boasts millions of artifacts, documents and photographs about Hawaii and other Polynesian cultures, as well as an extensive collection of Hawaiian royal family heirlooms. 

Today, the Honolulu neighborhood of Kakaako is ground zero for Hawaii’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 Oahu. Artists and makers from around the world intersect with locals still perpetuating Hawaiian traditions and customs. And while the people of Oahu 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 Hawaii.

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