Volcano Art Center Featured Artists

Kealamakia, Moses

Moses Kealamakia is a “kanaka maoli” (native Hawaiian man) raised in the ranchlands of Waimea on the Big Island of Hawai’i. He graduated from Brigham Young University-Hawai`i Campus with a degree in art, and certification to teach in the state of Hawai`i. In 2015 he received his MFA degree from the Academy of Art University of San Francisco, with an emphasis in landscape painting.
An art teacher for the Hawai`i Department of Education for over 25 years, Moses has always found time to paint landscapes and do art activities. When he is not teaching, he can be found painting the Hawaiian outdoors. He has several solo and group shows to his credit, and been honored with a “People’s Choice” award for one of his paintings.
“I have chosen the concept of ‘aloha aina’ to represent my latest series of paintings. It is a Hawaiian term that means love for the land and people. My approach to this concept is to express this affection in the form of oil landscapes. To produce these images, I place in a backpack, a small but essential amount of painting gear, and hike out to mostly remote places. While there I get very excited and happy to paint. It is very easy to see compositions because there is little human modification. I will then do a minimum of three small ‘thumbnail sketches’ to learn where the darks and lights will go. I will then do a small painting which will serve as notes and practice for when I do the larger painting. Doing a small painting study at this stage is very important because I am recording the fleeting colors and light that I see, not details. Although I will take photographs of what I am painting, that is not as important as the things that I witness. When I return home I then execute a larger painting using my field sketches and notes.
“I am doing this because I want to share that peace and serenity that comes from going to these secluded areas. As a person who was born, raised, and has lived most of his life on the island, I can truly say that I love this land, or in other words ‘aloha aina’.”