About Gallery ‘Iolani

Gallery ‘Iolani was established in 1985 in the basement of Hale ‘Iolani by

devoted art faculty and students with no resources to coordinate a gallery program.

In 1991, a permanent gallery curator was hired for the humanities department.

Gallery ‘Iolani now celebrates 30 years of exhibitions at Windward Community

College and is recognized as one of the finest exhibition sites in the state of

Hawai‘i, showing work from local, national and international venues. Although the

majority of exhibits show local artists, in spring 2014, the gallery hosted an exhibit

from Valdez Museum in Alaska, as well as two separate exhibitions from New

Zealand. Other past exhibits have shown contemporary artists from Paris, Kyoto,

and Korea. Every two years the gallery exhibits over 150 student art works from

WCC studio art programs. The popular, annual Christmas Fantasy fundraiser brings

thousands of patrons to the gallery, producing a huge outreach to the community

and funds for the gallery’s UH Foundation account.

Gallery ‘Iolani also serves as a teaching facility for students studying in the Gallery

Design and Management class to prepare them for employment in Gallery ‘Iolani, as

well as other galleries and museums. Coordinating with members of the gallery

advisory board and UH Mānoa museum studies program, the gallery occasionally hosts

exhibits to mentor emerging young artists in the community.

Gallery attendance brings 5,000 to 6,000 visitors each year and gallery events are

coordinated with large theatre productions, the Palikū Arts Festival and WCC

Ho’olaule‘a, which functions as a marketing tool for the college, as gallery events

lead people to seek information about classes and other WCC offerings. Giving

local residents opportunities for cultural and educational programs further

enhances the role of the community college.

Gallery exhibitions also supplement art courses by showing real art in addition to

lectures, textbooks or video and other presentations about art. Instructors from

many disciplines also often utilize an exhibit to supplement courses. Producing a

variety of exhibits with diverse appeal welcomes all groups of people, cultures, and

ages, which is important to the community since many art galleries often serve

only a small elite segment of the population without regard for the interests of the

whole community. Thus, Gallery ‘Iolani offers a spectrum of enticing events,

designed to make the gallery a gathering place as a pocket of culture and

education within the community and campus.