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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, August 20, 2006

Guest artist to link museum, home

By Lesa Griffith
Advertiser Staff Writer

Affordable housing and homelessness are burning issues for Hawai'i and they're addressed in a new project at The Contemporary Museum. As the museum's latest Catalyst Artist in Residence, Cuban-born Maria Elena Gonzalez will create two outdoor sculptures one at the museum in Makiki and one at Waimanalo Beach Park in partnership with Honolulu Habitat for Humanity.

Gonzalez will be working at the museum through Friday, then will move to Waimanalo on Saturday.

For both works, Gonzalez's starting point is the Kamaiopili family's Waimanalo home, which was built by Honolulu Habitat for Humanity this summer.

In Makiki, Gonzalez will outline the Kamaiopili house floor plan in stones, and in Waiman-alo, she'll lay the floor plan of the museum gestures loaded with meaning. It's a device she has used to address other themes. In 2002 at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, she traced the floor plan of her childhood home in Cuba to reflect on family and the past.

This week, The Contemporary also opens "Dreaming of a Speech Without Words: The Paintings and Early Objects of H. C. Westermann." Organized by the museum and curated by Michael Rooks, the exhibition is the first public show of Westermann's paintings since 1954 and that one was in a Chicago department store. "Dreaming" opens Friday and runs through Nov. 19.

Reach Lesa Griffith at lgriffith@honoluluadvertiser.com.