Joyful Heart in the News

Creativity in Bloom

March 6, 2103
Rasa Fournier

One of my great joys, a place of quiet refuge and contemplation while attending UH Manoa, was the UH Art Gallery and surrounding areas. Unlike so much of the harried day, time spent gazing at the expertly arranged works (they don’t just present pieces, they create an entire atmosphere) or watching students construct organic sculptures in the bamboo garden felt nurturing and fulfilling, never depleting. There’s a lot happening in the vicinity these next few weeks, ready to quench your artistic soul.

In the larger gallery (, 956-8251) is a large, snaking clay creation by artist Phoebe Cummings. She spent strenuous hours pushing unfired clay through fine wire mesh and gathering the small, wormy pieces to shape a cave-like structure, Cella (on display through April 5). The dictionary defines cella as the inner area of an ancient temple. All the tiny tentacles give the textured, amorphous installation a cavernous, underwater feel.

Just across the sidewalk is the Commons Gallery, where Michael Hengler’s MFA thesis exhibition, Still Flow, will be on display March 10-15. The industrious project invites visitors to step into the red glow of a molten lava field, with ground that crunches beneath your feet while you journey, via a video and sculptural installation, on an 11-foot lava boat that flows the lava rivers of Hawaii Island.

Finally, visit the Art Auditorium to be immersed in some lady power with the National Organization for Women’s production of Vagina Monologues March 7, 8 and 15 ($10, 7 p.m., This insightful, inspiring, funny, thought-provoking, tear-inducing show introduces audiences to important issues that surpass its attention-grabbing title. Fourteen UH students will present monologues, including two new monologues from creator Eve Ensler, and the staging will include fashion, sound, motion, slam poetry and dialogues unique to this production. Funds raised support Joyful Heart Foundation. As noted by regional director Kata Issari: “UH Manoa’s production of Vagina Monologues is helping raise support for our work to heal, educate and empower survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse.”

All three venues invite you to step beyond your boundaries into alternate, fascinating realms.

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