January 16, 2008
Dr. Holoua Stender

Nani Ke Ao Nei Mural

Aloha mai kākou e nā kumu o ke kula ha‘aha‘a,

In 2004, when I was the new KES vice principal, I traveled with the 6th graders to Hawai‘i on their annual 6th Grade Huaka‘i Aloha ‘Āina. While visiting the Bird Conservatory at Keauhou, I saw a mural depicting environmental zones from the top of Mauna Loa all the way to sea level. The 6th grade students seemed to be most interested in the ‘ope‘ape‘a bat and pueo, and other animals, especially manu which were vividly depicted on the Keauhou mural. Being a Hawaiian studies educator, I was amazed by this Keauhou mural, because it was not only beautiful, but it was educational too. The mural reminded me of a poster, but on a much grander scale.

I asked several people about the mural and was told that Herb Wilson, a friend of mine and high school counselor at Kamehameha, knew the artist. When I got back to Honolulu, I talked with our principal, Kahele Kukea, who urged me to contact Herb to find out how we could contract with the artist to paint an educational mural for KES. I found that the artist who had painted the Keauhou mural was Kathleen Kam. I mentioned this to Kathy Chock who immediately began working with the ‘Ike Hawai‘i Arts Consortium (IHAC) committee to secure funding to begin the mural.