2023 Young Artists of Hawaiʻi

Students and visitors in the 2023 Young Artists of Hawaiʻi exhibit.

Exhibit open May 20 – July 8, 2023. 2023 theme: “Good Leaders Taking Action”: What are the things that leaders and our community members are doing to make our neighborhoods, our island community, and our planet home better?  Leaders and community members – that’s you and me – must work together if change is going to be impactful, meaningful, and generational.  What do you see leaders and community members doing in your neighborhood, our island community, and our planet home?  What do you want to see?

Young Artists of Hawaiʻi is an annual student art competition and exhibition. Presented by the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority, and Gravitas Pasifika, this program recognizes creative excellence among Hawaiʻi’s public and private school students, Kindergarten through seventh grade. A panel of judges select 96 works for the exhibition, which is presented at the Hawaiʻi State Art Museum. Replicas of the artworks are also displayed at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center for one year, in the Pa Kamaliʻi Courtyard on the third floor.

Not All Backpacks Carry the Same Weight

Child looking at display of backpacks that have been painted and otherwise altered into artworks.

Through Monday, June 5, 2023. Curated backpacks redesigned by homeless youth and Moanalua High School’s English Honors classes. Filled with symbolism, ranging from written expressions, vibrant colors and intricate adornments, every backpack tells a powerful story representing the individual artist’s personal journey, struggles and dreams. Read more about this exhibit on the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts website: sfca.hawaii.gov/news.

Accession: recent additions to the Art in Public Places Collection

View of museum gallery entrance, with a light purple wall holding six small sculptures. A framed kapa in shades of brown and green is visible on the left, on a separate wall, and part of a large blue, white, and black drawing is visible on the right side on a back wall.
Entrance to the “Accession” exhibit at the Hawaiʻi State Art Museum. Front wall: “Takuan #1 – #6”, ceramic sculptures by Maile Yawata; left, “Ka Papa Honua (strata of earth)”, kapa by Roen Hufford; and on the right is “Feather Woman Wailing” (partial view), pastel and charcoal drawing by Emily McIlroy. 

About the exhibit

For more than fifty years, the Art in Public Places Collection of the Hawaiʻi State Foundation on Culture and the Arts has been recognized as one of the most significant collections of contemporary art of Hawaiʻi. This exhibit invites you to engage with a selection of recent additions to the collection from across the islands. The artworks acquired from juried and curated exhibitions offer an insight into current trends and themes in the local arts scene and provides an opportunity to see the diversity of works being created in Hawaiʻi today.

“Accession” will be on view through 2023.

Baskets from Gaye Chan’s “Carrying Capacity” project will be in the “Accession” exhibit, opening February 10, 2023.

Under the Blue in the POD

SFCA Arts Education Specialist Danica Rosengren with exhibit visitors in “Under the Blue”

This community art installation in the first phase of an immersive art experience that explores the various zones of the ocean. Inspired by phytoplankton, Native Hawaiian artist Solomon Enos encourages people of all ages to make dots and dashes on the wall, which will turn into the backdrop of an immersive ocean performance venue for young people with developmental disabilities and disorders.

This project is a partnership of the Hawaiʻi State Art Museum, the Friends of the Hawaiʻi State Art Museum and the Honolulu Theatre for Youth. On view in the ground floor Passion on Display (POD) exhibit space.

About Hawai‘i State Art Museum Exhibits

Artworks on display in the Hawai‘i State Art Museum are from the Art in Public Places Collection of the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, or student art competitions (the Annual Hawai‘i Regional Scholastic Art Awards and Annual Young Artists of Hawai‘i). Most of the Art in Public Places Collection is on display in public buildings, including schools, libraries, and state offices. The collection can be viewed and searched online: Art in Public Places Catalog.

View of the Sculpture Garden from the second floor courtyard.

Sculpture Garden

On the ground floor of the building was once a recreational area that featured a large swimming pool and bleachers. This area has now been transformed to serve again as an urban oasis. It retains elements that evoke memories of the pool, offering pathways for discovery and sites for reflection. The garden is open to the public during building hours (Monday – Friday 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.). Admission is free.

Upcoming Exhibits

  • to be announced

Past Exhibits

Red background with seated figure in shades of purple, yellow, green, red, and gray. Text reading 'Altered States'.

Altered States

Highlighting unique and alternative visions of the world through twenty-three artworks from the SFCA’s Art in Public Places Collection. August 6 – December 12, 2021. Take a virtual tour: Altered States Exhibit Virtual Tour.

“Altered States” artists

Andrew Binkley, Sachelle Dae, Isami Doi, Francis Dubois, Sally French, Ryan Higa, Renee Iijima, Sarah Martinsen, Lloyd Menard, Hiroki Morinoue, Michelle Schwengel, Madeline Soder, James Surls, Masami Teraoka, Lauren Trangmar, Tom Walker, Donna Westerman, William Williams, and Scott Yoell.

2022 Hawaiʻi Regional Scholastic Student Art Awards

Award-winning artworks by Hawaiʻi students grades 7-12. February 18-March 12, 2022. Take a virtual tour: 2022 Hawaiʻi Regional Scholastic Student Art Awards Virtual Tour.

Two adult people and a child in the Young Artists of Hawaii exhibit.

wall sculpture of shiny clay bricks in orange, brown, light pink, and blue. Text above reads 'Containment'.


Highlighting unique and alternative visions of the Artworks that explore containment through a variety of artistic depictions and approaches, ranging from traditional and nontraditional vessels, abstracted forms, and representations of architectural structures as containers for objects, as well as for individuals and their lives. Artworks from the SFCA’s Art in Public Places Collection. September – December 12, 2021. Take a virtual tour: Containment Exhibit Virtual Tour.

“Containment” artists

Derek Bencomo, Chris Churchill, Jonathan Y. Clark, Double Dog Dare Studio, Christopher Edwards, Richard Frooman, Jane E. Goldman, Linda Gue, Lynda Hess, Kelly S. Hestir, Patricia Hickman, Randy Hokushin, Joshua Holzmann, Imaikalani Kalahele, Russ Katto, James Knudsen, Pat Kramer, Seiji Kunishima, Kirk Kurokawa, Bon Moore, Rowena Otremba, Jennifer Owen, Yukio Ozaki, Margo Ray, Yoshitomo Saito, Mari Sakamoto, Norman Shapiro, Laura Smith, Paul Soldner, Jonathan Swanz, Toshiko Takaezu, Lonny Tomono, Sharon Twigg-Smith, David Vitarelli, Tony Walholm, Shannon Webb, Jean Williams, Wilfred Yamazawa

Painting of Mokoliʻi Island. Frame around painting reads "In Hawaii Hawaii State Art Museum".

“In Hawaiʻi”

Featuring artworks from the SFCA Art in Public Places Collection, this exhibition reflects the rich diversity of creative vision found in Hawaiʻi, exploring themes of influence, innovation, inspiration, insight and inquiry. September 6, 2019 – December 12, 2021. Take a virtual tour: In Hawaiʻi Virtual Tour.

“In Hawaiʻi” artists

Abe, Lalepa Pi’ikoi Ah Sam, Ruthadell Anderson, Mary Babcock, Carol Bennett, Elizabeth Bennett, A. Kimberlin Blackburn, Allyn Bromley, John E. Buck, Mark A. Chai, Jean Charlot, Joey Chiarello, Lucille Cooper, Bryan Czibesz, Isami Doi, Betty Tseng Yuho Ecke, Christopher Edwards, Matthew Egan, Margaret Ezekiel, Dorothy Faison, Scott Fitzel, Juliette May Fraser, Sally French, Ka-Ning Fong, Francis Haar, Susan McGovney Hansen, Todd Herzberg, D. Howard Hitchcock, Pegge Hopper, Diana Nicholette Jeon, Anne Kanahele, Jun Kaneko, John Tanji Koga, Wayne Levin, Huc Mazelet Luquiens, Clarence Maki, Martha Marques, Marques Marzan, Mazatl,  Marie McDonald, Marcia Morse, Terry Holokai Murata, Tetsuo Ochikubo, Carl Franklin Ka‘ailā‘au Pao, Margo Ray, Franco Salmoiraghi, Tadashi Sato, Shawn Spangler and Bryan Czibesz, Donna Stoner, Bruna Stude, Jonathan Swanz, Toshiko Takaezu, Reuben Tam, Madge Tennent, Harry Tsuchidana, Maika‘i Tubbs, Robert Dick Tynes, Phil Uhl, Lionel Walden, John Wisnosky, Suzanne Wolfe, Daniel Wooddell.

Black background with bright green lettering reading Mai hoʻohuli i ka lima i luna

“Mai hoʻohuli i ka lima i luna”

Mai hoʻohuli i ka lima i luna features Hawaiian art from the Art in Public Places Collection of the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, and is guest curated by Drew Broderick, Kaʻili Chun, and Kapulani Landgraf. July 13, 2020 – December 12, 2021. Take a virtual tour: Mai hoʻohuli i ka lima i luna virtual tour.

“Mai hoʻohuli i ka lima i luna” artists

Bernice Akamine, Pam Barton, Wright Bowman, Sr., Sean K. L. Browne, Mark A. Chai, Kahi Ching, Kauʻi Chun, Kauka de Silva, Solomon Enos, Charlton Kūpaʻa Hee, Henry Hanale Kila Hopfe, Rocky Kaʻiouliokahihikoloʻehu Jensen, Elroy Juan, ʻĪmaikalani Kalāhele, Herb Kawainui Kāne, Clemente Lagundimao, Jr., Al Kahekiliʻuila Lagunero, Marques Hanalei Marzan, Marie McDonald, Meleanna Aluli Meyer, Harinani Orme, Carl F. K. Pao, Pat Kaimoku Pinē, Abigail Romanchak, Maikaʻi Tubbs, Hana Yoshihata.