Artist & Owner
Coming Home: A Kanaka from D.C.
A Hapa-Hawaiian born and raised in Washington, DC, I finally moved "Home" to Hawai‘i 21 years ago.
Since then, itʻs been a priority and an honor to re-claim my unique and totally amazing Hawaiian heritage, and to inspire other Hawaiians to do so as well. I hope to inspire visitors and non-natives to have a deeper understanding and respect for the culture, and by doing so they will also want to protect it.
Story Telling: Mo‘olelo
I canʻt help but paint the familiar scenes of my own life in Waimānalo and the traditions of contemporary Hawai‘i. They tell the real stories of living here in Hawai‘i. I share stories of my own Hawaiian family passed down from generation to generation, and of ancient Hawai'i passed down through chant and mele.
Challenging Hawaiian stereotypes, I strive to replace them with authentic images of our beautiful home and our strong, steadfast, beautiful people.
Oils to Kapa: Farm-to-table Art
Studying Fine Art and Art History in school, I became passionate about Printmaking and Oil Painting. I am so lucky to have continued these practices throughout my varied career in the arts fields: art teacher, television art director, theater art direction and stage design, event decor, visual merchandising, murals, faux finishes, and even television writing and hosting.
My newest passion, however, is making Hawaiian Kapa and Native Hawaiian and other natural dyes.
Working with Kumu Dalani Tanahy, I have learned to grow, harvest, process, and dye Kapa, as well as make all of the tools that I need. Itʻs given me a closer connection to my Hawaiian culture, to my ancestors, and to the Earth, and is truly a farm-to-table art making process.
My goal is to use the tradition of Kapa to create non-traditional, modern, narrative pieces as well as using traditional designs. Iʻm loving it!
My Hawaiian name, Pūko‘a, meaning Coral Reef, was given to me by my father when I moved "Home" to Hawai‘i. He chose it because the reef is always creating and growing, like me. I named my studio Pūko‘a for the same reasons: to create a nurturing environment for artists to grow and create.