Art at Aka`ula
As the sun set slowly over the hills of Kalae on Friday, students, teachers, families and friends gathered to enjoy Aka`ula School’s “Celebrating the Arts” exhibit. The annual exhibit, which first started in 2006, features the works of Aka`ula students and some family members who donate their art to raise funds for the school.
“It really is about getting [the students’] artwork out into the community,” said Dara Lukonen, one of the school’s founding teachers. “New students have been very surprised and awed when they see their work displayed –sometimes it is as simple as putting a mat on it and lighting.”
This year’s exhibit, held at Rick and Bronwyn Cooke’s residence in Kalae, featured acrylic and water color paintings, ceramics, wooden birdhouses, batik scarves and fabrics and live music.
“There is so much academic pressure since No Child Left Behind was passed, I think students with music and art will be better rounded and successful academically,” said Vicki Newberry, another founding teacher.
Aka`ula School, which was started on Molokai nine years ago, currently has about 37 students enrolled, spanning grades five through 12. Their vision statement identifies their goal of creating a community of critical thinkers who are able to investigate and take informed actions on social, cultural and environmental issues.