Major Wood (Show) at Art Academy March 26 through April 11

Major Wood (Show) at Art Academy March 26 through April 11

On Friday, March 26th, the annual Hawaii Wood Show begins a 2 week run that will spotlight the most talented wood artists in North America and Polynesia. The show will take place at the Honolulu Academy of Arts, at 1111 Victoria Street in Honolulu, and run through April 11, 2010.

In it's 18th year, the show began as an effort to educate both the people making art from native woods, as well as those who purchase wood art. While koa education is a large part of the show, there is plenty of knowledge to be spread about other species of wood. The show also brings together top artisans, architects, forestry workers, consumers and tree farmers.

According to the show organizer, Marian Yasuda, the push to use less than 10 percent of koa in works displayed at the show in previous years has loosened, now that so much koa has been replanted, and is forested less. Yasuda says that Hawaii's native forests are better protected and managed today than when the show first began.

Attendees can view larger pieces, such as beds, dining tables and the like, as well as turned bowls, sculptural and carved pieces. There is a separate section for musical instruments, many of which are crafted locally.

"We see a lot of guitars and ukulele's," says Yasuda. "And every year there is a new shape or type of wood used in one that draws a lot of attention. In fact, one year someone brought a cello they had made from native woods. It was spectacular."

Perhaps one of Hawaii's most notable wood turners, Ron Kent, sponsors an "Aspiring Artist" (under 18 years old) category in which he helps pick the winner. A considerable cash award is given.

The catch for submitting pieces to the show is, while you don't have to reside in Hawaii to participate, all the wood in your piece(s) needs to be sourced in Hawai`i.

"This means we have a lot of artists from the Big Island," adds Yasuda.

Perhaps one of Hawaii's most notable wood turners, Ron Kent, sponsors an "Aspiring Artist" category in which he helps pick the winner.