art@town opens March 5th

First Friday isn’t the only art scene happening tonight.

The newest installment of the art@town series at town restaurant in Kaimuki will host an opening reception tonight, Friday, March 5, 2010, from 10pm – midnight. The kitchen artists of town will treat guest to complimentary pupus. The public is invited, no host bar.

This installment, entitled "Endless Possibilities" features local artists Naomi Olsen (photographer) on the walls and Mark Chai (sculptor) in the shadowboxes. 

"Discovering the Aina" by Mark Chai.
Photo: Mark Chai Arts

For the first time ever attempted by an artist for art@town, artist Mark Chai transforms the 5 x 5 grid of foot-square boxes in the entrance of the popular eatery into one installation. The new sculpture “Discovering the ‘Āina” pays homage to the Polynesian voyagers who first arrived in Hawai‘i as well as the modern day adventurers who make their own journeys of discovery. Each perimeter box is filled with a blue plastic sheet, melted and manipulated with ocean currents and celestial constellations, reference points for the early navigators. The eight constellations represented are Makali‘i (the Pleiades), Heiheionākeiki (Orion), Hōkūle‘a (Arcturus), Hōkūpa‘a (Polaris), Nāmāhoe (Gemini), ‘Iwakeli‘i (Cassiopeia), Hānaiakamalama (the Southern Cross), and Nāhiku (the Big Dipper). Floating in this sea of ocean and sky are the islands. Carved stumps of wood culled from a fallen tree were cut in a way to mimic aerial views of shorelines as well as to show interesting patterns of the grain. Peer into the holes bored through the wood to find concealed places. Wood blocks from a salvaged beam were sculpted as surrealistic landscapes holding sacred pōhaku (rocks). These remind us of our own memories of discovery as we hike through the forests or along the coast and come upon remarkable geologic formations. Whether it be a lava tube, cave, crater or tide pool, these finds give us a sense of the hidden beauty and wonder of our island ‘āina (land). For a preview of the installment, see the Mark Chai Arts facebook page.

On the walls, ”Limitless" photographs by Naomi Olsen was inspired by the phrase “the sky is the limit”. It implies that there are essentially no real limits, except those imposed by ourselves and each other. Limitless explores limits on the Sky. Olsen says, "Is the way we see the sky a mirror to the way we see others, nature and our own lives? Furthermore, what are the imposed limits on our own lives and the world around us? Can we see our limits? And finally, is there a way to go beyond our limiting nature?" Photography is a way to connect to life and this human experience. Olsen is fascinated by the beauty of this world and the people in it. Exploring our duality and the possibility of something greater in each moment, inspire her intuitive work. She often exhibits her photography in black and white because it goes straight to the heart. There is less distraction, more direct feeling, only values of light. Her images are printed on highest quality archival paper, with professional archival digital inkjet printers. She crafts every piece from camera to print.  For more about Naomi Olsen, visit

town restaurant has been featuring the art@town series since its opening in March 2005. Staying true to the restaurant’s commitment to supporting local whenever possible, the art@town series seeks to support local artist by providing a venue for their work. All art pieces are available for sale.

"Endless Possibilities" will remain up at town through the end of March.

For more information on the art@town series or reservations at the restaurant, call 808-735-5900.