Courtesy: Rob Rakowski
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Kahului Maui, Hawaii

Philip Bernaldo Sabado (

Pomaikai School, 4650 S. Kamehameha Ave., Kahului Maui, Hawaii, 96732
Also known as:  Hoo Pomaikai
Owner:  Pomaikai School
Date:  2011, 2013
Placement:  schools (buildings)
Artwork Type:  mosaics (visual works)
Material:  stone (rock), tile
Description:  This mural is the Hawaiian concept of "From the Mountain to the Sea. Here we see that the stone begins deep in the mountain top and with rain and evolution is brought to the lowlands were the stone is utilized by the villagers for any number of uses, from cooking to shoring up their Lo'i, their taro patch. As the stone descended, on the journey to the shore, it was evolved, and formed. In this same way, the children of this elementary school will be formed by their parents and teachers to be our citizens of tomorrow.

Commissions have been a place where I can blend my personal understanding and love of all history. Murals are a very effective means of communicating. Art has a way of speaking to you, no matter how many times you may view a mural, each time you may see something new. I love that children, as well as all who live or travel in and around the specific area will learn and grow in that discovery.

My approach is to come to every project with respect for the ancestors that came before us. Every immigrant who traveled to these shores, came with the dream to build a better future for themselves and their families. My family had this vision as well. I want that determination to be evident in the faces of those immortalized in this mural, and by all that pass and stop to appreciate the story of our early Western History. My highest hope is to inspire and to remind us who came before us.

As in any project the first priority is quality and a balance of respect, and research, these go hand in hand, especially in Hawaii where the history is multi layered. In my recent commissions I have been honored to have the advise and council of an elder that provides the additional information that is not always accessible. I immerse myself in additional history of the area that the commission and the location is focused on.

The location plays a large part in the projects development. Whether the mural is external or internal, plays a large role in the desired medium used. External murals need to stand the test of time, and remain as beautiful as when they were installed. Another consideration is how many people will have access to the site, and the safety of the element used.

Inscription reads, "Achieving balance and stability within an ahupua'a (land division stretching form mountain to sea) is important. The kuleana (responsibility) of the kumu (teacher) is to teach the youth to maintain such equilibrium, with special attention paid to the balance between humankind and nature. Lessons include the importance of perpetuating natural resources for future generations and the values and tools that create prosperity."



Ho'opomaikai Mural, Wailuku, Maui


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