Calendar of Events

Exhibit: Walking Through Mist: Metaphors and Memories featuring Phan Barker
Sep 16 @ 10:00 am – Oct 8 @ 4:00 pm

Walking Through Mist – Metaphors and Memories, continues through Sunday, October 8th at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus (19-4074 Old Volcano Rd.) in Volcano Village.  Open Wednesday through Sunday, from 10 am – 4 pm. Closed Mondays & Tuesdays.

Phan was born in Tu Chau, Ha Dong Province, North Vietnam, and went south with her family when Vietnam was divided in 1954.  For many years she did not want to return to Vietnam because, in her mind, it was a place of death and sorrow.

In 1992, Phan returned to Vietnam with Jeanette Foster, a journalist friend.  After 23 years, Phan re-established a relationship with her older sister, nine children, and grandchildren. Phan and Jeanette took her sister and family to their birthplace 30 miles north of Hanoi. They visited relatives in their ancestral home and burned incense at their mother’s grave.

On her return home to Hawaiʻi, Phan dealt for months with the overwhelming emotions stirred up by the trip.  She struggled with various media, and a new work emerged.  She named it The White Mourning Cloth series. “The series of work is about my unresolved feeling for my mother and my motherland, mourning the souls that died in the Vietnam War and healing the wounds—mine and others—whose life has been affected by the war.”   In conjunction with her exhibit, she presented a slide show and lecture entitled Seedlings of Peace and a healing ceremony for the community.

In this series, Walking Through Mist, Phan shares with the community haunting images from the past, untangled emotional issues, honors her parents, Uncle and Aunt, and pays tribute to people who sheltered and helped her reach the United States.

Cheesecloth, bamboo, silk, thread, woodcut printed paper, and drywall are the materials she uses to re-weave and reclaim her world’s past utilizing the half-century of growing skill and understanding. In Vietnamese culture, cheesecloth is used in making mourning clothes.  “For me,” says Phan, “this fabric embodies eternal sadness.  Its sheerness is mystical.”

In December 2021, the Walking Through Mist Series debuted at the East Hawaiʻi Cultural Center.  The curator, Andrzej Kramars, said it was one of the year’s three best exhibitions.

“…. It is one of the most moving, extraordinary exhibits I have ever seen.  Each piece was so moving, and so meticulously done.  Thank you for bringing this to us.”  Marilyn Nicholson, Former Director VAC.

“It is a gallery of memories, so skillfully assembled that we are drawn into another world, into that temple of quiet that is recollection.  Images in thread on the semi-transparent gauze of mourning cloth are a perfect vehicle and metaphor for memory – convey the underlying emotion where memories reside.”  Caroline Garrett, Writer, Poet.

“This exhibit is a treasure that took her a lifetime to make.  It is breathtakingly beautiful aesthetically, conceptually, and a deeply meaningful gift openly given from a truthful soul.”  Elizabeth Miller, Artist.

Phan has participated and lectured nationally and locally in numerous Invitational Exhibitions, including the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition, the US Geological Survey’s Asian Pacific American Art Exhibition, the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, and The Contemporary Museum in Hawaiʻi. Her artwork is in the Honolulu Art Museum, Hawaiʻi State Art Museum, and the Toyota Corporation collections.

Thursday Night at the Center: Marine Life Presentation with Marc Hughes
Oct 19 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Thursday Night at the Center: with Marc Hughes

Join Marc Hughes on Thursday, October 19, 2023, at 6pm, at Volcano Art Center Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village. This video presentation provides a visual display of many associations that can be seen in scuba diving and snorkeling depths in the oceans around the Big Island.

The videos and accompanying explanations of the intricate nature of these interactions show just how complex the marine environment is and how important it is to preserve the coastal areas. Questions and discussions are welcome, and the goal of the presentation is to highlight the importance of individual species of animals as they relate to the overall health of the marine environment.

Marc Hughes is a dive guide and marine life educator in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. He graduated with a degree in Marine Science and Conservation Biology from the University of Hawaii in Hilo and participated in research cruises in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands as well as cephalopods research cruise in the Main Hawaiian Islands. All the videos in the presentation have been taken by him and part of his program for teaching the public and students through visual examples with a storytelling point of view.

 Thursday night at the Volcano Art Center, focusing on art, Hawaiian culture and our environment.  The series is intended to inspire, enhance your appreciation of art and life experience, while fostering community connections. This presentation is free, although a donation is greatly appreciated.

Teen Workshop
Oct 21 @ 8:30 am – 2:30 pm

Teen Workshop

The Volcano Art Center is proud to offer the Liko A’e Teen workshop. A one-day workshop will be held at VAC’s Niaulani Campus, Saturday, October 21, 2023, from 9 A.M. – 2:30 P.M. Open to children ages 13-18 years of age. The deadline to register is October 12, 2023.

This one-day workshop offers your teen an opportunity to explore various art forms. The classes are dedicated to visual art instruction in hand building with clay, drawing instruction, mixed media encaustics, and zentangle.

Please bring lunch and snacks.

The early registration discount: $45/$40 (vac member) – early registration deadline is Thursday, September 28.

Cost: $50/$45 for members of VAC. The deadline to register is October 12th.


Financial forms are available for those in need.  Apply for a scholarship Here



Exhibit: Niaulani Sculpture Garden Exhibit – Worth Of Water – Sculpture Garden Opening and Artist Reception
Dec 17 @ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Worth Of Water – Sculpture Garden Opening and Artist Reception

December 17, 2023

more information to come!

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