The Department of Art and Art History includes two galleries that serve the University of Hawai'i's diverse academic community - the University of Hawai'i Art Gallery and the Commons Gallery. The galleries aim to serve as laboratories for the critical exploration of ideas about historical and contemporary art, design, culture, and society; and as a forum for multidisciplinary collaborations reflecting the Department's and University's mission; and contribute to the cultural life of the region.
The University of Hawai訴 Art Gallery, the larger of the two exhibition spaces with a footprint of 4,200 square feet, presents a varied program ranging from contemporary exhibitions featuring works by local and international artists to thematic exhibitions of art historically significant works. Exhibitions are periodically supported by catalogs. Programming for exhibitions includes lectures by artists and scholars, symposia, films, and tours. Annually 50,000 people visit the Gallery and participate in its public programs. Additionally, the Gallery organizes traveling exhibitions, many of which have been presented at more than 100 museums in the United States, Mexico, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, and Guam.
The Commons Galleryrotates smaller exhibitions on a weekly basis and acts a laboratory for students and faculty to experiment with exhibition design and practices of display. Curators, gallery staff, graduate students, faculty, and visiting artists work in conjunction with undergraduate students in courses like Exhibition Design and Gallery Management (ART 360) to undertake exhibition planning from start to finish. The result is a dynamic and varied exhibition program created by students and faculty for the University of Hawai訴 academic community.
Twenty one years ago, Antoinette Martin was hired to create Gallery 選olani, by transforming a damp, neglected cellar, into an exhibition space, now recognized as one of the finest in the state of Hawai段 showing work from local, national and international venues. Within a vigorous gallery schedule over the years, artists from Paris, France, Kiyoto, Japan, Korea, California, Kentucky, New York City, Oregon, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, and all Hawaiian Islands have participated in exhibitions. The Gallery is now sought after as one of the most outstanding exhibition venues in the state, currently having exhibit requests from artist all over the world, creating a three -year schedule in place with an accumulated waiting list of potential exhibiting artists. In 1998, Joan Rose, the art critic for the Honolulu Advertiser, wrote that Gallery選olani was one of the five galleries in the state having the most outstanding exhibition of the year.