UH Maui College welcomes new art installation to the campus

Maui College
Nicole Beattie, (808) 984-3549
Director of Marketing and Community Relations
Posted: Jan 21, 2015

New campus artwork to be blessed on January 29, 2015.
New campus artwork to be blessed on January 29, 2015.

A playful mother monk seal and her cub immortalized in stone is the most recent artistic addition to the UH Maui College campus, and on January 29th the sculpture named Kūlapa Kai (to frolic in the ocean) is set to be officially blessed at 4:30pm. The public is welcome to attend.

The sculpture, carved from a solid block of New Zealand marble by local artists Bruce Turnbull, and Kim Mosley, is part of a gift from Jim and Mary Hirshfield’s "Summit Foundation" which
seeks to leave artistic legacies in the form of sculptures, notably of animals that live in a
particular region.

“Ever since we honeymooned here 47 years ago, Maui has held a special place in our hearts,”
said Jim Hirshfield. “We are pleased to be able to return some of the joy we have received by
supporting the college and through it the broader Maui community with this gift.”

Kūlapa Kai is set on a small, grassy knoll between the campus’ Kalama and Noiʻi buildings, and
provides a contemplative spot for faculty, students, and visitors. The sculpture took nearly a year
to complete, with the majority of the carving done at Turnbull’s Kahakuloa studio. The piece was
lifted by crane and placed on campus last August. Students at the college particpated in sanding
and finishing demonstrations, and learned how to grind, polish, and chisel the stone with power
and hand tools for the statue’s finishing touches.

“We sincerely appreciate this beautiful addition to our campus,” said Chancellor Lui K. Hokoana.
“I’ve already heard from faculty and students about how much they enjoy the new piece, and it
was a wonderful opportunity for our art students to get some hands-on learning as well.”

“I love walking around the piece and taking it in from every vantage point,” said UHMC art
faculty member Jennifer Owen. “It was a fellow art teacher, Mike Takemoto, who pointed out
that from one of the nearby sidewalks, the sculpture looks entirely abstract, while from the other
walkways the forms of the monk seals are revealed.”

“As a stone carver, I see shapes, expressions, movement, and intrinsic life in the veins of a jagged
rock,” said artist Kim Mosley. “Chiseling and sanding this New Zealand marble brought vitality
into a dormant stone--revealing the playful essence of a monk seal and it's pup. I’m grateful to
have been part of this transformation.”

Bruce Turnbull added, “The world needs more beauty. I only hope I can enrich the lives I touch
through the beauty I create.”

In addition to Kūlapa Kai, the Summit Foundation has commissioned two sculptures in
Washington State. They approached the University of Hawai'i Maui College in May of 2013
about the possibility of a sculpture gift at the Kahului campus.

For more information about the statue, or for those interested in making a donation to the college,
contact Ray Tsuchiyama at 984-3471, or email ray.tsuchiyama@uhfoundation.org.
(Hi-rez photos of the sculpture carving, transfer to campus, and student participation available at:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/uhmaui/sets/72157648091015643/ )