Timeline: April 2nd through 29th 2015
Lead Artist/Organizer: Ken Nishimura
Artist: Carol Bennett & Mary Nakamura
In the Spring of 2015, Ken Nishimura of Keep it Flowing (KIF) was invited to participate in a massive beatification project on the island of Kauai by Island Partners Hawaii. KIF was assigned to create two large murals that also included a collaborative art workshop involving over 60 participants. Our task was one component of a large beautification and enhancement project for the Boys and Girls Club (BGC Lihue) 3083 Akahi St. #201, Lihue.
Tina Albao of the B&G Club Kauai business manager said, “This is the biggest project on Kauai the Boys & Girls Club has undertaken in its history, when done, it increases the capacity of the Boys & Girls Club, Lihue Clubhouse which has currently about 160 members. Currently, we utilize the county’s park and the grand stand to accommodate some of the programs we offer”.
The entire project took almost a year of planning and was organized by Island Partners Hawaii (IPH) and MC&A for their client VMWare a San Francisco based tech company <www.vmware.com>. BGC Lihue and all organizers project managed and designated tasks for over 700 VMWare staff & families participating in the restoration and rejuvenation of the youth center as well as surrounding areas. Keep it Flowing was contracted to execute a Seascape and Sky Concept Room, Ocean Mural and also host a collaborative workshop for BGC Lihue 37 days before the project completion date.
In our initial onsite review of the BGC in March we had accessed the timeline, scope of the project and taken measurements of all wall spaces and scouted the ideal location for the collaborative mural. Tina Albao the Business Manager of the Boys and Girls Club Lihue, Ben Esteban and Stan S. of Kauai Builders LTD, were very insightful and resourceful throughout the entire project.
Nishimura returned from Kauai on March 21st he immediately stepped into the project management role and created a supply list and budget for all components of the project, sourced all supplies and created a budget report. Nishimura’s experience in mural work and project management was instrumental towards keeping a time-sensitive schedule, resourcing, purchasing and shipment of supplies to Kauai before his return on April 2nd to begin the mural process.
On April 2nd through 8th Nishimura returned to Kauai to manage as well as start the mural painting process. The tasks scheduled for this leg of the project included the purchase of all remaining supplies, updated expense reports, hiring (2) Kauai local artist Carol Bennett and Mary Nakamura, source a contractor and the begin the first stages of painting the Seascape Concept Room.
The “Seascape Concept Room”, inspired by Edward Perotti Sr. Director of Global Meetings and Events for VMWare and Tina of BGC, primary goal was to beautify a worn down and unused room within the youth center and transform it into a space for all Boys and Girls Club members to enjoy, be creative and productive. KIF approached this mural with the goal to render a bright, inspiring and calming sky with clouds and also a very tranquil beach scene by using all 4 walls and the ceiling. With the partnership of Kauai Builders LTD we were able to restore, beautify and bring it to life. This project totaled close to 1500 square feet.
Edward Perotti Sr. Director of Global Meetings and Events for VMWare said, “Ken you are a magician”.
OCEAN MURAL AND COLLABORATION
The “Ocean Mural and Collaboration” program was developed and designed by lead artist Ken Nishimura of KIF to bring excitement and color to the front face of the Boys and Girls Club. The ocean was suggested by Mr. Nishimura to compliment the beach scenery created in the Seascape Concept Room. The ocean scene incorporated native Hawaiian sea life including a vibrant reef background.
The Collaborative Ocean mural consisted of two stages. First stage involved the designing and assembly of a self-standing 72’ long easel with 4ft x 8ft plywood boards attached to the main frame serving as a self-standing canvas. In the second stage of the process, artist Nishimura and assistants painted the base coat of the mural and created line art images of Hawaiian fishes for the VMWare volunteers to render in full color. After the collaboration the mural was installed across the entire front face of the BGC center.
This ocean mural facilitated enough surface area and adequate spacing to involve over 60 VMWare staff members and family who were interested in participating in a creative based task as their contribution to the VMWare beautification and rejuvenation project for BGC Lihue. This project received a lot of praise from all involved and surprisingly additional VMWare staff that was not initially assigned to the project asked and participated in the completion of the mural. The total surface area for the mural was 288 square which measured out to feet 4’ in height x in 72’ width.
On April 27th, 2015, 700 plus VMWare staff and families were loaded on to 8 commercial sized buses and driven to the Boys and Girls Club center and greeted by BGC Lihue staff and volunteers. The VMWare volunteers were directed to their designated work zones to immediately begin their pre-assigned tasks towards the rejuvenation & beautification process. All participants were excited and enthused to be a part of this community program and started immediately on their tasks. The entire project was schedule to be completed within 2 hours ending with special performances from the youth of the Boys and Girls Club and VMWare participants.
Lead Artist Nishimura went into the bus that was assigned to the collaborative ocean mural and greeted the VMWare staff and families then explained the process and guidelines of the task. Ken and his Kauai based assistants guided all participants to the mural site and then immediately started to assign the team to specific tasks towards the project based on their abilities.
All participants were encouraged to complete the project within 2 hours yet many requested additional time to refine and enhance their artwork. We also were extremely pleased that others had joined our group voluntarily during the designated lunch break to participate in the project.
One of the artists within the VMWare group Mr. Tobias Freccia said, “We all had such a wonderful time working at the Boys and Girls location on Monday. The mural project was the highlight of our event here, and everyone I spoke to found that day to be the most rewarding of all our time on the Island”.
The murals will benefit and resonate with all future generations of BGC youth because the themes are directly associated to Kauai’s lifestyle as well as environmental protection of seascape and marine life. The murals will also serve as a reminder to all BGC Lihue members to keep Kauai’s beaches and oceans clean and beautiful. The imagery and overall themes of the two murals have inspired the youth to use their imagination in a peaceful and calm setting to encourage creative thinking.
- Kimo Jenkins, Student Activities Coordinator and organizer of this project
- Stan S. of Kauai Builders LTD.
- Tobias Freccia, Artist
- Tina Albao, Boys & Girls Club Kauai Business Manager
- Miss Mary Nakamura, Artist
- Carol Bennett, Artist
- Kauai Marriott