The Super Awesome Art Squad Is Back at Hawai‘i State Art Museum This First Friday

The art collective debuts “Birthday Party” at the HiSAM Museum Gallery Shop x Mori by Art+Flea on June 7. It runs through July 27.

Editor’s Note: Through our partnership with the Hawai‘i State Art Museum, HONOLULU Magazine publishes a monthly blog written by Lisa Shiroma, owner of the HiSAM Museum Gallery Shop.

  "Fascinated", "Pretend Superhero", and "Wild Ride" by Daven Hee. Ceramic

CLockwise from left: “Fascinated,” “Pretend Superhero” and “Caught in the act” by Daven Hee


Get ready to party! The Super Awesome Art Squad is back after a two-year hiatus with Birthday Party, opening on First Friday, June 7 at the HiSAM Museum Gallery Shop x Mori by Art+Flea. The Super Awesome Art Squad is a local collective made up of 10 artists who explore the universal themes of food and social gatherings through their artwork.


SEE ALSO: Check Out Artist Gaye Chan’s Hand-Woven Plastic Baskets at Hawai‘i State Art Museum


"Fresh Sashimi" by Ashley Huang. Ceramic
“Fresh Sashimi” by Ashley Huang


Beginning with the 10 Grains of Rice show at the Arts at Marks Garage gallery space in 2014, Daven Hee, who has spent the past 30 years as an active studio artist and art educator, has organized food-centric art exhibitions to explore what nourishes us and how we interact with food in social situations. His visions for the shows were ambitious: Gather eight to 10 artists who work in a variety of media—ceramics, metal sculpture and painting—and work together to transform the entire art gallery to create an immersive space centered on food themes. The shows that followed, Ice Cream Party (2015) and Dinner Party (2016), also at Arts at Marks Garage, brought record numbers of attendees on the opening nights.


SEE ALSO: These Works of Art by Local Artisans are Available Right Now at Museum Gift Shops

  "Whale Bowl" by Mariko Merritt.  Ceramic

“Whale Bowl” by Mariko Merritt


The collective’s do-it-yourself attitude, creative installation style and friendly energy has been noticed by many local art enthusiasts, including Maile Meyer of Nā Mea Hawai‘i, who picked SAAS to participate in Aupuni Place, an artist studio and exhibition space in the old Ward Warehouse location in 2017. Participants from the past exhibitions, along with a couple of new additions, moved into Aupuni Place and held the Sweet and Sour group show, solo shows and potluck karaoke party during their time there.


SEE ALSO: Have Lunch with an Artist at Hawai‘i State Art Museum

  "I Need Some Tequila Shots" and "It's My Birthday!" by Lisa Shiroma. Oil on canvas

“I Need Some Tequila Shots” and “It's My Birthday!” by Lisa Shiroma


Two years have passed and now SAAS reunites for the Birthday Party show. The latest incarnation of the artist collective includes Daven Hee, Emily Lee, Calvin Lac, Lisa Shiroma (yes, that’s me!), Daniel Stratis, Ashley Huang, Reid Tabata, Allyn Goo, Mariko Merritt and Jon Vongvichai. Why the “Birthday Party” theme? On July 5, the HiSAM Museum Gallery Shop x Mori by Art + Flea is celebrating its second birthday. Join us for our super awesome festivities and catch the show from June 7 till July 27. Cheers!


Lisa Shiroma

isa Shiroma is the owner of the HiSAM Museum Gallery Shop and runs it with partners Aly Ishikuni-Sasaki and Travis Sasaki from Mori by Art + Flea.

Lisa worked as gallery manager for Koa Art Gallery at KCC from 2014 to 2017.

In July 2017, Lisa, Travis and Aly renovated and reopened the Hawai‘i State Art Museum’s gift shop space as a new art gallery and gift shop “for Hawai‘i artists, by Hawai‘i artists.”