Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami joined local artists Seth Womble and Samuel Schryver Friday to celebrate the completion of their new Hōlua mural in Līhu‘e. The mural is located on the east-facing wall of the Pi‘ikoi Building at the Līhu‘e Civic Center.
“When I see this mural and the striking imagery it represents, my spirits are immediately lifted and I can envision a brighter future here in the Līhu‘e town core,” said Mayor Kawakami. “My hope is that it will inspire others, as it has inspired me. I’d like to thank Seth and Samuel, along with our county team, for their hard work and thoughtfulness in creating this spectacular display.”
The Hōlua mural was funded through a quick-build grant from the State of Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH), with a purpose to enhance public spaces in ways that will encourage physical activity. The grant funds projects that can be quickly implemented in months, instead of years, and that can help the community envision more permanent, long-term solutions.
The mural was painted between Aug. 17 and 28, and it will be a backdrop to a temporary skate park that will be installed also through DOH’s quick-build grant funds.
Artist Seth Womble explained that the theme of the mural links together the historic nature of the Līhu‘e town core, traditional Hawaiian sport, and the youthful exuberance of a skate park.
“This mural represents moving forward, while honoring the past,” Womble said. “The Hawaiian hōlua was an expertly crafted sled made to exact speciﬁcation. These sleds were ridden by the ali‘i, down prepared slopes, at speeds said to be up to 60 MPH, for thousands of feet. I hope this mural creates intrigue for our community, more visits to the Kaua‘i museum, and some excitement about beautifying and activating spaces on this wonderful island.”
The Hōlua mural is the first of many new murals that will be painted in downtown Līhu‘e this year. As part of the upcoming NirMānāFest, five new murals will be created along Ewalu Street and Rice Street. The NirMānāFest murals will be painted between Oct. 18 and 24, and will represent the collaboration of 15 local artists working together in teams.
To learn more about NirMānāFest, visit the website https://www.nirmana.info/