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Viewpoints Featured Show
Suzy Papanikolas
July 18th through August 21st
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Hula Ehu

Suzy Papanikolas' studio is reminiscent of other studios back in California where Suzy and I had both spent some of our youth – a controlled jumble of paintings large and small. There are piles of paints, brushes, solvents, lovebird and cockateel in their gigantic Victorian cage and plants of all kinds creeping around the art and the birdcage. The space was once a greenhouse and retained its former identity in the midst of an old tropical garden.

Local, The emerging show I was privileged to see consists of acrylic paintings of local people, honoring their lifestyle as well as the Hawaiian culture.

Surrounded by her own works as company, Suzy paints in her garden studio. She attends all of the Island festivals, such as the Canoe Festival (in which she took part), the Merrie Monarch, the Taro Festival, the Tahiti Fete, here on Maui and in Hilo. Also she has taken trips to the South Pacific, such as to the Cook Islands and to Fiji, always gathering material for her art. She is drawn to the figures she paints and the portraits in turn relate to the viewer as Suzy captures the beauty and simplicity of the local lifestyle. The artist may depict the kava ceremony or the hula, showing how dedicated Hawaiians are to their culture and to its preservation. Suzy remarked that "there is more of a militance about their wanting to preserve their culture, than in other Polynesian countries and therefore they work harder at it. For instance, a young man, Keomoku Kapu trains his peers in the ways of Hawaiian protocol."

Sisters with Donut

Dancer with Plumeria Ei
Suzy's show presents an overall Hawaiian theme as she works toward combining flowers with the figure, as in the signature piece (Dancer Lifting her Strap, not shown here.) She uses gallery wrap canvases, painting over the edge, making the effect of her life-sized portraits even more dramatic and immediate. She has begun to use metallics and "would like to go in that direction, as in a painting of huge metallic orchids".

Boy with Ukulele

Dancer's Feet
The artist, a very versatile painter, had a serendipitous education. After years of art training in places like Texas and Germany, and at San Francisco State University. She then attended San Francisco Art Institute for post graduate work, then took five years' study in the decorative arts with the Gale Laurance Studio. She also did mural painting in the Bay area, which sharpened up her figure painting. Suzy came to Maui four years ago after extensive travels in the South Pacific.
Margaret Bedell

To see or purchase these and other works in this show, please contact Viewpoints Gallery.
For email, phone, or fax, please click here!

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