Call Detail

Small Town, Big Art: Call for Public Art in Wailuku, HI

Contact Email:
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: International
State: Hawaii
Entry Deadline: 3/1/19
Application Closed
Number of Applications Allowed: 2
Images - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 10
Audio - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 5
Video - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 5
Total Media - Minimum: 3, Maximum: 10
Entry Fee (Small Town, Big Art: Call for Public Art in Wailuku, HI): $5.00

Opportunity: County of Maui and Hale Hō'ikeʻike at the Bailey House/ Maui Historical Society invite artists to submit an application for the opportunity to implement a public art project during its Small Town, Big Art pilot program, scheduled for July 2019 – June 2020. The selected artist(s) will be commissioned to develop an innovative project that engages a diverse public audience. New or existing work may be submitted for consideration. Themes must be aligned with Hale Hō'ikeʻike at the Bailey House/ Maui Historical Society ( and address the Town of Wailuku’s distinctive sense of place, history and/ or culture. We will accept submissions from a variety of disciplines, but are particularly interested in funding the following categories:

●      New Media Projects (Light or Projection Installations, Video Projection, etc.)

●      Fine Art Performances (Pop-up Performances, Street Performances, Happenings, etc.)

●      Interactive or Participatory Projects

●      Mural Projects

●      Experiential Art Installations

County of Maui, in partnership with Hale Hō'ikeʻike at the Bailey House/ Maui Historical Society, may select as many artists or artist teams as they see fit. Each project’s commission or budget request may vary, depending on the project’s specific needs. The maximum amount the artist may request is $15,000, but the program aims to support as many projects as possible and may choose to give preference to a number smaller budget projects.  The request must be in increments of $100.  Multiple applications with varied project budgets may be submitted.

Call released: February 2019
Application deadline: March 1, 2019
Artist Selection: March 2019
Project development: March - June 2019
Project implementation: Short terms between July 2019 – June 2020

*'Ōlelo No'eau: Hawaiian Proverbs abd Poetical Sayings
By Mary Kawena Pūku`i, Honolulu: Bishop Museum Press


This extraordinary collection of Hawaiian sayings--collected, translated and annotated by Mary Kawena Pūku`i--offers a unique opportunity to savor the wisdom, poetic beauty, and earthy humor of these finely crafted expressions. The sayings may be appreciated individually and collectively for their aesthetic, historic, and educational values. They reveal ever deeper layers of meaning, giving understanding not only of Hawai‘i and its people but of all humanity. Since the sayings carry the immediacy of the spoken word, considered to be the highest form of cultural expression in old Hawai‘i, they bring us closer to the everyday thoughts and lives of the Hawaiians who created them. Taken together, the sayings offer a basis for an understanding of the essence and origins of traditional Hawaiian values.

This book is the product of a collecting effort that was begun by Mrs. Pūku`I at about the age of fifteen, around 1910, and continued throughout her long and honored career as a translator and collector of historic Hawaiian materials and as a teacher and lecturer on the language, music, and dance of traditional Hawai‘i.


Examples of `Ōlelo No`eau selected by Hale Hō'ikeʻike at the Bailey House/ Maui Historical Society for Small Town, Big Art applicants: (Each in reference to Kalo)

Kalo Kanu o ka `Aina: Taro planted on the land. Natives of the Land from generations.

E kūlia i ka nuu.
Strive to reach the highest.
[Motto of Queen Kapi’olani. Strive to do your best.]

Ma ka hana ka ‘ike.
In working one learns.

E aloha kekahi i kekahi
Love one another.

‘Ike aku, ‘ike mai. Kōkua aku, kōkua mai. Pēlā ka nohona ohana.
Watch, observe. Help others and accept help. That is the family way.

‘A‘ohe hana nui ke alu ‘ia.
No task is too big when done together by all.

About our Sponsor: Small Town, Big Art is a 2018-2020 pilot project to position Wailuku, Maui, Hawaii as a public arts district. As one of 60 grant awardees selected throughout the nation, the Maui Redevelopment Agency will proudly partner with the National Endowment for the Arts OUR TOWN program for a three-phase project term that has been six years in the making. Working closely with Hale Hō'ikeʻike at the Bailey House/ Maui Historical Society, we will deliver a well-planned response to the community need for public art in Wailuku Town.


Our Town is the NEA’s signature creative placemaking program that supports partnerships of artists, arts organizations, and municipal government that work to revitalize neighborhoods. This practice places arts at the table with land-use, transportation, economic development, education, housing, infrastructure, and public safety strategies to address a community’s challenges. Creative placemaking highlights the distinctiveness of a place, encouraging residents to identify and build upon their local creative assets.


Background: Maui County’s downtown Wailuku is the gateway to the enormously significant Iao Valley, with historic plantation-era and art deco architecture framed by the green backdrop of the West Maui Mountains. Ancient Hawaii’s center of power and population, Wailuku became a culturally diverse locus of commerce when thousands immigrated from Asia, Europe, and America to work the plantations. With the decline of the sugar industry in the 1960s, Wailuku became blighted. Within the last decade, the town has inched toward revival with a handful of local eateries and an army of creatives inspired to reimagine Wailuku. In 2012, project "reWailuku" began, inviting the community to explore options for public spaces, and capturing the public’s vision for the future of Wailuku.


As of 2018, the County is implementing a three-phase redevelopment project (*Construction: August 2019 – January 2021) to rejuvenate the downtown as a cultural district. A consortium of local arts and culture champions has recognized this as an opportunity to highlight Wailuku’s identity and heritage through art, but the political will to support the arts when balancing a multitude of priorities has been fickle. While the modest plantation culture pervades, the NEA’s support of the Small Town, Big Art pilot arts project creates an enormous opportunity to prove the return on investment in the arts across multiple sectors.


The goal of these short-term public art projects is to promote the unique history, culture and community of Wailuku Town by highlighting the contemporary art community with a unique and diverse platform for artists to execute and display original artwork.


Project Information:  Artists will apply for the opportunity to develop a project for Small Town, Big Art (March 2019). Once selected as a finalist and placed on contract, the artist or artist team will begin Project Development (March – June 2019) with the guidance of the Small Town, Big Art coordinator and Hale Hō'ikeʻike at the Bailey House/ Maui Historical Society staff, as necessary. This process will result in a project proposal that will contain a project timeline, a detailed budget, project renderings or other visual examples, and a project description; during this process, the Wailuku project location will be finalized.

●      Artists will be required to provide all tools, equipment, technology, knowledge and labor necessary to successfully execute the proposed project.

●      For specific projects, such as murals or installations, it is at the discretion of the County to confirm or assign a location.

●      Projects are meant develop and promote the unique history, culture and community of Wailuku Town.

●      All projects will be professionally documented through both video and photo recording. The County shall retain ownership of the video and photo documentation and may choose to promote or display the work publicly, at a later date.  Artists shall retain ownership of the copyright of the works.


Space: Determined during the Project Development stage (Mar - Jun 2019), art spaces may include the Wailuku Civic Complex fenced-off build zone (encompassing 68 acres) and neighboring business façades as canvas for murals or green walls (plant-based art installations), sidewalks, crosswalks, and a brick plaza. Artists will create public art (e.g. visual, film, dance, music, hula). Hale Hō'ikeʻike at the Bailey House/ Maui Historical Society-driven Small Town, Big Art signage will connect each space to the hosted art form.

Evaluation Process: County of Maui reserves the right to reject any and all applications, to waive any irregularities in the applications received and to accept the applications that are in the best interest of the County. County of Maui is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Applications will be reviewed by an evaluation panel with selection criteria aimed at quality, style, experience in creating communal or public art, significance to Wailuku and alignment with one or more above 'Ōlelo No'eau.  All applications must submitted by March 1, 2019. Proposal requirements:

1. Artist Statement (letter of intent/ "why you're doing this”): Text Box
2. Bio: Text Box
3. Budget (from $100 - $15,000 max): File Upload
4. Project Description ("how you'll do it"): Text Box
5. Resume: File Upload
6. Work samples (max = 10 images at 5 MB, for a total of 50 MB; 5 audio at 10 MB for a total of 50 MB; 5 videos at 100 MB, for a total of 500 MB) Total max of any application: 600 MB) of your past work, current work, and/or images of the proposed project which demonstrate your ability to meet the defined project opportunity.
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