The Lanai Art Center (LAC) is the only multi-purpose community arts program on the island, providing educational and creative experiences for residents and visitors. Although the pandemic has changed the course of day-to-day operations, two enthusiastic new leaders and a passionate board are helping carry out LAC’s mission of fostering a creative outlet for budding and mature artists. After recently celebrating its 30th anniversary, LAC and its members are finding balance between history and innovation, creating new ways to serve the community while honoring the legacy of those that came before.
When Stars Align
Katie McQuinn and Caleb Goodwin previously called the Northwest home, but after visiting Goodwin’s parents on Lanai in 2019 for their wedding, they fell in love with the island. “We absolutely fell in love with the community,” explained McQuinn. “We knew this is where we needed to be.”
Goodwin, a glassblower by trade, discovered Lanai was the only island in Hawaii without a glass program. He thought that by bringing glassblowing and an apprenticeship program to the island, others could discover the craft and local artists could potentially create another stream of income. Goodwin’s 22-year artistic background and teaching knowledge combined with McQuinn’s experience in hospitality operations and management fit with LAC’s needs, just as the center was looking for new leadership.
In March 2020, McQuinn and Goodwin relocated to Lanai with their two cats and dog, Bruce, landing on the last plane before the pandemic shutdown. In June of 2020, McQuinn and Goodwin officially took over the positions of executive director and gallery manager. While running the Art Center during the pandemic was not a position the couple could have imagined or anticipated, the lull in classes throughout 2020 and 2021 allowed them to gather supplies, recruit teachers and new artists, and secure funding to keep resources affordable for the community. The Art Center also restructured their Board of Directors in January of 2021.
“Covid has been an extreme challenge, but we expanded the art supply section and tried to let the community know that we are here, and this is their resource,” McQuinn said. And it has all been worth the investment: Goodwin currently has two burgeoning glassblowing apprentices, Faith Martinez and Nalu Sunio.
A Bright Future for Art on Lanai
The new directors, along with a predominately new Board of Directors, are honoring the 30-year traditions set forth by longstanding supporters and artists while breathing new life into the Art Center. The center is now posting classes in glassblowing, ceramics, wire wrapping, and resin classes, along with classic, new and popular mediums. “Throughout the past year and a half, we have been trying to build up our offerings so that when we are at a safe place, we are just ready to rock,” explained McQuinn. “Our focus has been on expanding the artistic mediums and classes.” LAC is also extending invitations to Art After Dark every Friday from 7:00 to 9:00pm as COVID safety allows.
LAC has continued to offer opportunities for LHES students to explore art in school, even during the pandemic. Students in grades K-5 take enjoy virtual art classes offered by Ms. Sagawa, the art teacher provided through the Art Center, along with all needed supplies.
“Especially with the direction the world has taken in the last year and a half, art offers a way for people to express themselves and work through emotions that they feel that may not necessarily have words,” McQuinn said. “There are so many ways to express yourself through art. We are finding more and more just how therapeutic it truly is. People are finding their passion, expression and their voices.”
Support the Lanai Art Center
The Lanai Art Center is grateful for the support from our partners and generous contributions from private, government and corporate donors including: Kosasa Family Fund of the Hawaii Community Foundation, Manele Koele Charitable Fund (MKCF), Lanai Community Benefit Fund, Laura Jane Musser Fund, State Foundation on Culture and the Arts (SFCA), Kai Pua, and Northstar Glass.
People who would like to support art programs can also send in cash, check or money order to:
PO BOX 630701
Lanai City, HI 96763
You can also contribute to the center via Venmo @LanaiArt-Center.
With the holidays right around the corner, you can help the center while supporting local artists by purchasing gifts for family, friends and yourself at the gallery. Another easy way to support LAC while you shop is by signing up with Amazon Smile and linking the Art Center as your charity. No amount is too small, and every contribution is appreciated.
Memberships and Artists
2021 Memberships are $35 per person or $60 for a household of four and are another way to support the center while receiving discounts on classes and events, including members only special invitations. As a member, you will also have access to the ceramics studio and woodshop.
Sign up to be an artist on consignment at the gallery (open to all Lanai residents). The center is open Monday through Saturday from 10 am – 4 pm.
Visit the gallery or www.lanaiart.org for more information.