When you travel do you buy souvenirs for yourself? A friend who has traveled extensively buys a small painting every place she’s traveled. Her walls are filled with wonderful art and neat travel memories. I love that idea! What a great way to remind yourself of all the trips you’ve taken.
I love art but most of my Maui art ends up decorating my vacation rental condos. I get a lot of questions from my guests about where I bought a particular piece, or if they could find the artist, etc. So I thought I’d put together a quick list of my “go to” places to find great art on Maui.
Not sure you want to invest in an original painting? How about jewelry, ceramics or a handmade purse? You may be surprised what artists are doing with their art these days! How about a shower curtain print, a cell phone cover or a decorative pillow? Of course you could go with the traditional prints, giclees, cards or calendars too.
There are a lot of great artists here on Maui and if you look in the right places, you can meet them and perhaps even take a picture of them with your new treasure!
Here are my favorite places to shop and meet a local artist while looking for great art on Maui.
- The Lahaina Arts Society is a group of Maui artists who collectively sell their art in two galleries in the old Lahaina Courthouse and its former jail (oceanside of the Banyan tree). The galleries are staffed by member volunteers, a portion of sales goes toward art education on Maui. They also host several craft fairs a month under the Banyan Tree in Lahaina. Here you meet artists and see a much greater variety of art and crafts than what is on display in a gallery. Grab a coffee or shave-ice and go on a treasure hunt! I met Beth Cooper under the Banyan Tree and bought this great oil painting last month!
- The Maui Open Studios if you are on Maui during the month of February, do not miss this free self-guided tour of artists’ studios and galleries. February begins with a preview on Saturday, February 6th hosted at the Maui Culinary Academy in Kahului. On each of the following three weekends artists host open houses around Maui. Meet these local artists, check out their studios, watch them create their art, and shop with all proceeds going directly to the artist! Weekend 1 (Feb 13/14) is Upcountry, Weekend 2 (Feb 20/21) is North Shore, Central and Hana, and Weekend 3 (Feb 27/28) is South and West Maui. View the artists’ information online and plan your route! More information on February’s Art Tour can be found here.
- The Maui Hands Art Gallery has four locations in Makawao, Pa’ia, Ka’anapali Hyatt Regency and on Lahaina’s Front Street. These galleries are privately owned and represent over 300 artists, all based in Hawai’i, the majority from Maui. Every month they showcase different local artists who will then spend some time at the gallery, creating and talking with customers. Last year I bought a beautiful color infused aluminum etching hand signed by Richard Digiacomo at the Makawao Maui Hands gallery.
- The Maui Swap Meet takes place every Saturday morning from 7am-1pm at the University of Hawaii campus in Kahului. Admission price is minimal at $2/person, parking is free. Bring a bag, you never know what you will find at the swap meet! Come early for the best selection. There is no “specific” web info for the swap meet, so I always find the best results is to do a google search (I’ve done it, just click this link).
- Of course there are many individual galleries all around the island. Many of the local shops along South Kihei road and of course a few pricy ones on Front Street in Lahaina (I bought a great Peter Lik picture here years ago) and also at the Shops of Wailea. Any other fun stroll too is through many of the larger hotel’ foyers as well.
You can find lots of great art on Maui, and often it is right where you are. With so much selection, how do you choose? Instinct I say. You’ll know when you find the treasure you love. Quick Tip: I do suggest coming up with a budget before you go exploring!