September 15, 2006 - The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu (Spalding House) - Maria Elena González
September 15, 2006

Maria Elena González

 Maria Elena González (left)<i>The Muse in The Park</i>, 2006, grass and chalk paint, 54.5 x 34.5 feet, Photo by Alex S. MacLean.<br>
 (right)<i>Nanis House</i>, 2006, grass and concrete debris, 50 x 26 feet. Photo by Brad Goda.<br>
 Photos courtesy of the Project, New York.

Maria Elena González
2006 Catalyst Artist in Residence
August 25-October 29, 2006

The Contemporary Museum
2411 Makiki Heights Drive
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96822

The Catalyst Artist in Residence program fosters community dialogue around contemporary issues through participation in the artistic process. Each Catalyst Artist in Residence program pairs an artist with a community organization in the creation of new artwork that highlights the vision of both artist and community. Our 2006 Catalyst Artist in Residence features Maria Elena González in partnership with Honolulu Habitat for Humanity.

For her residency, González created two installations. Nanis House at The Contemporary Museum in Makiki brings the floor plan of the home of a Waimanalo family the Kamaiopilis to the lawn of the Contemporary Museum. The Kamaiopilis are a partner family of Honolulu Habitat for Humanity who just completed construction of their home in June of 2006. With the promise of a bright future, also comes the bittersweet loss of a home. Many old homes replaced by new Habitat houses sheltered several generations for whom demolition represents the end of a chapter in the families histories. Nanis House suggests this complex dilemma by bringing the floor plan of the old Kamaiopili Family home to the lawn of the Contemporary Museum.

Built of concrete debris collected from various constructions sites around Honolulu, the materials used relate the installation to the very physical and economic fluctuations at play here in Hawaii. For instance, some of the concrete comes from hotels on the Waikiki Beachwalk currently being demolished to make way for new luxury condos and hotels. Nani, the matriarch of the Kamaiopili family, worked for over a decade at one such hotel, while raising seven children and several grandchildren in her home on the other side of the island in Waimanalo.

With Nanis House, González has also created an installation at Waimanlo Beach Park that depicts the floor plan of The Contemporary Museum. The Muse in The Park, at Waimanalo Beach Park, the floor plan of The Contemporary Museum drawn with the same chalk paint used to mark soccer, baseball and football fields. Situated alongside the playing fields at the Beach Park, The Muse in the Park, invites viewers to play inside the museums floor plan. In tandem, the sculptures create a conceptual exchange between the Contemporary Museum and the Waimanalo community where the Kamaiopili family lives.
For more information about this Catalyst Artist Residency project, visit
The 2006 Catalyst Artist in Residence project was organized by Wei Fang for The Contemporary Museum in partnership with Honolulu Habitat for Humanity. This program is generously sponsored by the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation, the LEF Community Futures Collaborative, and the Laila Art Fund of the Hawaii Community Foundation. In-kind support has been provided by ResortQuest Hawaii, Jon Duarte Design Group, and Island Demo. In addition, TCM is grateful to Melanie Kincaid, Anne Marie Beck, Jean Pittman, and Will Williams, for their contribution toward Maria Elena Gonzálezs residency. Special thanks to the Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation, Hawaiian Isle Yard Service, University of Hawaii Department of Art and Architecture, the Project Gallery, Mark Chittom, Garry Kaaihue, Derrick Kiyabu, John Koga, Karen Kosasa, Wendy Kawabata, Lynne Mayekawa, Jose Oriola, Silvino Sandalo, Mariko Merritt, Winnie Patterson and Rosalind Young.

The Contemporary Museum expresses its gratitude to the Kamaiopili Family for their participation in this project.
About Honolulu Habitat for Humanity
Honolulu Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization whose mission is to eliminate substandard housing on Oahu. Funded by tax-deductible contributions and aided by thousands of volunteers, Honolulu Habitat builds simple decent, affordable houses on Oahu that are sold to families in need our partner families. There is no profit added to the sale price, and no interest charged on the mortgage. Partner families invest hundreds of hours of their own labor sweat equity into building their homes and the homes of others. Their monthly house payments are returned to a Fund for Humanity that is used to build more houses. Honolulu Habitat is helping to better Honolulus communities and help change the world one family at a time.

About The Contemporary Museum
The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, is the only museum in the state of Hawaii devoted exclusively to contemporary art. The Contemporary Museum provides an accessible forum for provocative, dynamic forms of visual art, offering interaction with art and artists in a unique Island environment. The Contemporary Museum presents its innovative exhibition and educational programs at two venues: in residential Honolulu at the historic Cook-Spalding house, and downtown at First Hawaiian Center.
The Contemporary Museum
2411 Makiki Heights Drive, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96822
Tuesday through Saturday 10am-4pm, Sunday noon-4pm
Discounted admission for Seniors and Students; Free to children 12 and under;
Free to the public on the third Thursday of each month.
Closed Mondays and Major Holidays.
Information: (808) 526-1322 /
24 hour recorded message: (808) 526-0232

Pualana Lemelle, PR Coordinator
The Contemporary Museum
(808) 237-5235 direct
(808) 536-5973 fax

The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu (Spalding House)
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