Sister Malia Wong, a religion teacher at Chaminade, has developed a new project called Marianists and the Arts: A Sense of Spirit; A sense of place. This the one-year project includes “art bubbles” or art workshops, held throughout the fall and spring semesters of 2021-2022. Wong hopes the workshops will help the campus community gain a working understanding of the history and creation of Chaminade University.
“How to do a study? Do it with your hands. Do it through the arts, ”said Wong, Creative Director of Marianists & the Arts.
Dr Genevieve Griffiths, a biology professor who recently took up ceramics, expressed her excitement at meeting Yukio Ozaki, the host of the first Marianist & the Arts workshop. Ozaki taught ceramics at Chaminade for 34 years and came out of retirement to animate an art bubble in the eyes of his late friend and mentor, Father Mackey.
“I’m in your space and touching your items and all of these items are imbued with your presence and I just wanted to meet him,” Griffiths said.
The first workshop started on September 17th and centered on the life and spirit of Father Robert Mackey, SM., the first president of Chaminade. Students and teachers read fond memories of Father Mackey to Sister Claudia, his friend and business partner. Members of the group visited Mackey’s grave at Diamond Head Memorial Park and presented their works in the final session.
Each workshop is free and includes three sessions where faculty, staff, and students mix and participate in various art mediums such as ceramics, woodworking, and drawing. The sessions are designed in two parts: a study and creation session. The study session is where participants read magazines, diaries and / or newspaper articles about Marianists. The creation session focuses on creating a visual work of art that embodies a part of the history of Chaminade University.
“A lot of people don’t know what Chaminade is talking about,” Wong said. “They think it’s a nice campus and everything, but then they ask who statue it [Father Chaminade] is over there. … It is the heart,… the domain of the arts. I’m trying to revive that a bit.
October 13 is the next workshop where Kumu Kahoali’i Keahi-Wood will bring to light the life and spirit of Father Joseph Priestley, SM. This session is still available for registration.
The Society of Mary, or Marianists, was founded by William Joseph Chaminade during the French Revolution. He organized groups of men and women in Europe into communities who served others in the light of God.
The first Marianists arrived in Hawai’i in 1883 to endow and administer the Saint Louis School. According to the St. Louis Aina-based learning webpage, the Marianists purchased 204 acres from the estate of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop for $ 62,000 in 1922. Today, this is the current site of the school, Kalaepōhaku, or “the rocky headland”. The Society of Mary founded Saint Louis Junior College in 1955. Having become a four-year institution, it was later renamed Chaminade College in 1957.
By reflecting, engaging and creating, colleagues have the opportunity to contribute their own artifacts to present on campus. In this way of learning the history of Chaminade, we have the possibility of leaving with a deeper sense of the spirit and the place.
Registrations are still being accepted for various workshops this semester, including ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi animated by Kumu Keahi Renaud through the lens of Brother Oliver Aiu, SM .; Hawaiian plant material hosted by Kumu Kahoali’i Keahi-Wood through the lens of Father Joseph Priestly, SM .; Woodwork animated by Dale Fryxell through the lens of Father Stephan Tutas, SM .; and Visual Art: Cartoon by Meleanna Meyer Through Queen’s Lens Lili’uokalani.
For those interested in registering for a workshop, fill out this Google form to register.
Visit the Marianists & the Arts website for more information.