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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Art on the Zoo Fence
2760 Monsarrat Ave
Along the Honolulu Zoo Fence
Honolulu, HI 96815

Visit us in beautiful Waikiki and discover the richness of Hawaii through the eyes of a variety of artists. The artists will personally introduce you to their work in the splendor of this outdoor tropical setting.

Bishop Museum
1525 Bernice Street
Honolulu, HI 96817

Hawaii's museum of natural and cultural history. Experience daily exhibits, garden tours, planetarium shows, interactive exhibits, live hula and Hawaiian music. Shop for authentic Hawaiian and Pacific gifts. Discover the history of Hawaii!

Polynesian Cultural Center
55-370 Kamehameha Highway Suite 1010
Laie, HI 96762

Hawaii's favorite visitor attraction offering 7 Pacific Island villages and exhibits on 42 acres. Featuring Hawaii's most authentic luau, and our new show, "Ha: Breath of Life.” We also offer an immersive big screen showing of "Hawaii'an Journey", canoe rides and Polynesian themed shopping.

HAWAII: Change & Continuity exhibit
Hawaii State Art Museum
250 South Hotel Street
Second Floor
Honolulu, HI 96813

A venue for the Art in Public Places Program of the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, the Hawaii State Art Museum (HiSAM) features works of art primarily by artists with a connection to Hawaii and exhibits on topics of interest to communities in our state. Admission is always free!