Save Our Surf with a Trip Around the Island


Trip Around the Island w/ Save Our Surf archived collection

Opens Sunday, October 6, 3-5 p.m.

UH Manoa, Hamilton Library

With music by Paula Fuga and Kamakakehau Fernandez

In the 1960s, a rag tag bunch of surfers formed Save Our Surf, grass roots organization that fought against the overdevelopment of their beloved Hawai‘i shoreline. Headed by John Kelly, the Save Our Surf organization would grow to become an environmental, social, political, and cultural movement over the next four decades.

In honor of their heroic work, the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa will present a collection of thirty contemporary prints created by local artists and inspired in part by the work of Save Our Surf, Juliet May Fraser, and other artists of Hawai‘i’s past. The exhibition, titled Trip Around the Island, will include selected materials from the Save Our Surf archived collection, including prints, photos, flyers, and posters that highlight issues from the SOS movement.



Using old-fashioned political techniques like handbills, demonstrations, and colorful presentations at public meetings, SOS was able to successfully preserve culturally and environmentally important sites from overdevelopment. On O‘ahu, SOS advocated for the preservation of more than 140 surfing sites between Pearl Harbor and Koko Head; they were instrumental in the creation of Sand Island Park and the defeat of a reef runway in Maunalua Bay; they helped get state and federal legislation passed to protect shorelines.

The SOS materials used in this demonstrations have not been viewed by the public for decades. They were preserved as a result of being donated by the Kelly family to UH’s Hawaiian Collection in 2007 after the passing of Kelly. As a dialogue between contemporary artists and the documentation of historical events, this showing will be the only time that the contemporary artwork from Trip Around the Island will be on view alongside the Save Our Surf collection.

The legacy of Save Our Surf is lasting, but the exhibition is not. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to view the work of an organization who preserved some of the greatest parts of Hawai‘i.

Trip Around the Island with the Save Our Surf collection is free and open to the public, and will be on display through December at UH Mānoa’s Hamilton Library, 2550 McCarthy Mall. For more information, visit

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