Sunday, January 21, 2001
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Posted on: Sunday, January 21, 2001

Surfing through artists' eyes

By Victoria Gail-White
Special to The Advertiser

There’s a little bit of everything — surf history, surf culture and the artists’ personal surf experiences - inside the limited space that houses the Honolulu Art Gallery’s "Surf Safari" group art exhibition.

Top: "Your Majesty II." Lynne Boyer, oil on canvas.

Above: "Wave Will Come." Bonnie Kerr Pilon, oil on board.

The walls are packed with waves, water and surfers. The show celebrates surfing in Hawai
i and includes the artwork of some celebrated surfers. Lynne Boyer, a former pro surfer, paints the jeweled tubes she knows well in oil, and surf reporter and champion Jeannie Chesser airbrushes wave pastorals on canvas.

The artists were culled from Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island.

Surfing dates back to old Hawaii, as the petroglyphs portray. The show’s invitation incorporates an engraving by John Webber, the first Westerner to sketch a man on a surfboard. "A View of Karakakooa, in Owyee" shows a surfer amid outrigger canoes paddling out to meet Captain Cook.

John Severson, longtime Maui resident and creator of Surfer magazine and surfing movies in the ’60s, displays a collection of serigraphs from his surfing experiences here and in California since the ’50s. His prints, bordered with vintage-looking Hawaiian surfboard and flower fabrics, have a rough wood-cut look.

Surf Safari’

Through Feb. 5

Honolulu Art Gallery


The photographs of Bill Romerhaus and Lou Tascott freeze-frame the waves at Pipeline and Waimea. The paintings of Bonnie Kerr Pilon ("Wave Will Come") and Matthew Puder ("Tipie") remind us of the seemingly endless wait for a wave.

Superstitious surfers often make seaside shrines. D. Berry’s "Surf Shrine" incorporates found objects from beaches on a scroll text. Humorous works include Lynne O. Stevens’ "Moana Lisa" and Doris Milotta’s depiction of the birth of a surfing Venus complete with surfboard, wild boars on shells and the winds blowing Botticelli-style.

The realistic print of Bill Braden’s "Temple Wave" counterpoints the abstract "Perfect Line@ Pipe" by Pat Conlon. But a small, highly textured watercolor by Deborah Painchard titled "Big Blue," reminiscent of coming up to the sun on the surface of the water after being under for too long, seemed the uplifting gem of the show, a glimpse at survival.

Keeping up the desire of the owner, Bonnie Kerr, to stay politically active, a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Oahu Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation.

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