Worth Of Water – Sculpture Garden Exhibit


The Niaulani Sculpture Garden is located at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani campus in Volcano Village, the gateway community to Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park which hosts more than one million visitors annually from all over the world. The sculpture garden is uniquely situated adjacent to an old growth native rain forest and features a loop trail, designed by landscape architect David Tamura, which provides inviting areas for viewing the sculptures.


The current exhibit’s invited sculptors are Clayton Amemiya, Henry Bianchini, EMSY, Stephen Freedman, Elizabeth Miller, Michael Shewmaker, Randall Shiroma, Erin Skelton, and Jonathan Sudler. The Volcano Art Center is also honored to permanently exhibit Randall Takaki’s Guardian. Sculptures on display are created from a variety of stones, metals, and wood.


Artists have been invited to submit proposals in the form of a drawing with descriptive notes or photos of 3 views of a 3-D maquette for stand alone sculptures or conceptual installations that express the Worth of Water in all its forms; including its sound, shape, interaction with other environmental elements or creatures, impacts, and/or the cultural value of water.

In Hawai’i “…The Hawaiian word for water is wai. The Hawaiian word for wealth is waiwai; wai is doubled, or said twice. When you have wai you have life, the ability to sustain yourself upon the land. And the water is believed to be from the god Kāne i ka wai ola, Kāne the giver of the water of life.  The Hawaiian word for spring of water is pūnāwai. Pūnāwai or puʻuna-wai described a place where water bubbles up from the ground (rising like a hill or a mound), it is the source of water.
The Hawaiian word kūpuna, may be translared as –kū (standing at) puna (source of water); kūpuna are those who stand at the water source…it is that our elders are those who stand at the source of knowledge. They stand at the well-spring gained by years of their life…”

–Mary Kawena Pukui, April 11, 1975 interview with Kepā Maly

THE  WORTH OF WATER, SCULPTURE GARDEN EXHIBITION WILL OPEN TO THE PUBLIC ON DECEMBER 17TH, 2023. Their is an opening reception from 2-4pm that day at the Sculpture Garden at Volcano Art Center Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village,



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