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Country Culture

Most of us are savvy to Chinatown’s art scene, but few venture to galleries outside of Honolulu. It’s worth the drive to check out these rural gems.




Pick up a primo piece of North Shore artistry at Iwa Gallery by such artists as owner and candle-maker Scott Bechtol and painter Dennis McGeary, known for his tripped-out landscapes. With its hurricane-fashioned walls, hand-carved candles, floating incense and groovy tunes, the tumbledown gallery is a time warp. Cruise by on a weekend for Bechtol’s wax-carving demonstrations.  66-119 Kamehameha Highway, 637-4865, thewaxrevolution.com



Last year, Hiroshi Tagami and Michael Powell reopened the Tagami and Powell gallery out of their lush Kahaluu estate. There you can buy paintings by both artists and their friends, including Craig Murayama, as well as Tagami’s custom-patterned rugs, made by Island Rug Co., and Asian antiques. Weekends, by appointment only. 47-754 Lamaula Road, 239-8146.

While in the area, wander into Jim Franklin’s Sunshine Arts. With its bright and tropical façade, it’s nearly impossible to miss. The shop offers in-house framing and shipping, so you can pick up a piece by local favorites like pastel artist Helen Iaea and send it to that special someone. 47-653 Kamehameha Highway, 239-2992, www.sunshinearts.net


Owned by park ranger, bull rider and artist Patrick Ching, Naturally Hawaiian is a gallery where rodeo culture, environmental stewardship and pretty pictures happily co-exist. The outpost features only items designed and made in Hawaii, including Ching’s paintings of endangered wildlife, hand-carved woodwork inspired by ancient Hawaiian petroglyphs and shell jewelry crafted by neighborhood artisans. Stay around for one of the shop’s family-friendly art classes. 41-1025 Kalanianaole Highway, 259-5354, www.naturallyhawaiian.com.
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