Stay Weird, Make Art

Joanna Largosa's photo "Hawaiian Afternoon," an American Visions nominee. She is an 11th grader at Leilehua High School.

Text by James Gonser | Images courtesy of Hawai‘i State Art Museum

Graham Moore, who won the Oscar for best adapted screenplay for the The Imitation Game at the 2015 Academy Awards, had this to say at the podium:

“I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she’s weird or she’s different or she doesn’t fit in anywhere. Yes you do. I promise you do. You do. Stay weird. Stay different. And then when it’s your turn and you are standing on the stage, please pass the same message to the next person who comes along.” This is a message that young people today might take to heart. Many youth in Hawai‘i, weird or otherwise, make art. That was evident at the 52nd annual Hawai‘i Regional Scholarship Art Awards ceremony held at the Hawai‘i State Art Museum on February 21.

Close to 200 students in grades 7-12 were recognized for their artistic excellence at the event and their art works are featured in an exhibition inside the museum.

Students were invited to sign the wall at the exhibition entry where friends and family looked on. State Foundation on Culture and the Arts executive director Jonathan Johnson welcomed the audience before handing out recognition certificates and cash awards to students from public and private schools statewide.

The exhibition itself is an impressive display of the immense talent Hawai‘i’s youth have to offer and underscores the significance of creativity in education today. The show is open through April 10.

The Hawai‘i State Art Museum is located at 250 S. Hotel St. For more information, visit here. Entrance to the museum is FREE.

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