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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, April 7, 2008

Art to hang out with on campus

Photo gallery: ArtMania in Manoa

By Suzanne Roig
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Intersections visiting artist Mike Hoyt, left, and UH students Jeff Nisbit, center, and Evan Asher got into the karaoke spirit in Hoyt's Norae Shanty based on Korean karaoke rooms called norae bangs at yesterday's ArtMania event.

ANDREW SHIMABUKU | The Honolulu Advertiser

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MANOA Artist Frank Sheriff hacked away with a hatchet to reveal a steaming hot bronze sculpture of two men's hands clasped together.

The bronzed hands will become part of a bigger work, Sheriff said yesterday, a tower of bronzed handclasps "in a cynical approach to the handshake."

It was just one of the demonstrations for visitors at ArtMania at UH-Manoa yesterday, a student and faculty display. There was student and faculty artwork for sale, live demonstrations, T-shirts, music and a fashion show.

Yesterday's event was an open house for all different art forms, said Allison Uttley, a graduate student running ArtMania.

Visitors wandered the Art Building hallways on the first and third floors looking at art for sale, and took in the opening reception for a display called "Conscious Degradation" in the Commons Gallery.

Over on the other side of the building stood artist Rebecca Horne, who stared into the eyes of Bill Hodge as she drew his face on paper without once lifting her pencil. The drawing was more scribble than sketch. Horne uses the technique to teach art students to rely on what they see and not what they know.

"Art is so important," Horne said. "You learn so much from drawing besides drawing. It's a shame that art is the first to go when budgets get cut. Art is in every culture and it says a lot about a people's values. We need art for self-expression."

While the rain poured down outside, visitors roamed the displays.

Gripping a pottery bowl to his chest, Jim Akina, who lives in 'Aiea, looked at fiber arts. "Art is so important," he said, "because it keeps us in touch with our humanity."

In the silk-screen room, kids and adults silk-screened their own T-shirts with the ArtMania logo.

In the indigo dye room, 6-year-old David Beall and his dad Fred were busy rinsing out the scarf they had dyed for David's mother. Standing in front of the sink in rubber gloves and aprons, the pair squeezed and rinsed until the water ran clear. Even with the protection, David had blue dye on his forehead, his elbows and his fingers.

"I really liked it when I was washing the fabric," said David. "I thought it would come out nice, and it did."

About 500 people attended the afternoon demonstrations. The concept was taken from the Open Studio Day held last year as a way to raise funds for the annual graduate student exhibitions and other arts programs.

Art has opened a new world to Edith Leiby, an 85-year-old Kapi'olani Community College student who was watching the bronze casting.

"I've never seen how they make bronze statues," Leiby said. "I've only seen the finished product. Art keeps us young."

Watching how something is created makes you appreciate it more, said Selma Pang, a Nu'uanu resident.

"Artists need to show how to make things so when you see an art piece, you can see all that went into it," Pang said. "Then it has deeper value."

Reach Suzanne Roig at sroig@honoluluadvertiser.com.