Oʻahu’s Art Scene
Honolulu is a bustling cosmopolitan capital city, and its multi-cultural O’ahu art scene offers a variety of experiences. Whether you’re looking for hip urban O’ahu art galleries, scenic sculpture gardens, or famous whale murals, you will not be disappointed by the state of the arts on Oʻahu.
Honolulu Museum of Art
Honolulu Museum offers a wide variety of exhibits, art classes for all levels, and several private-estates-turned-museums to tour. It’s a true home for the arts in Honolulu, encompassing five different locations. Tour the splendid sculpture gardens at Spalding House, taking in the hillside views of Honolulu. Take a trip to the Muslim art world on the slopes of Diamond Head when you tour Shangri La, former home of Doris Duke. Take a workshop in a favored arts form at the Honolulu Museum of Art School in downtown Honolulu. It’s an O’ahu art lover’s paradise!
Honolulu’s historic Chinatown district is a hub of the O’ahu art scene in downtown, with many small galleries tucked in amongst the lei shops, late-night bars, and Chinese stores of every kind. The Arts at Mark’s Garage is at the center of this scene, serving as a performance space and collaborative gallery for the community. On the first Friday of every month, Chinatown is bustling with art lovers strolling from Oahu art gallery to gallery during First Friday Honolulu Art Walk. Businesses stay open late with special events and showings, while music clubs keep the party going into the wee hours of the morning. Chinatown also has tons of great restaurants.
If you make the trip out to the North Shore, you’ll find that the surf town of Haleʻiwa has a seriously artsy side. Haleʻiwa Art Gallery has been showcasing locally-made art in a wide variety of media for over 20 years. Once a month, head out there for a Saturday evening of live music, free refreshments, and mingling with the artists. Nearby you’ll find Wyland Gallery Haleʻiwa, famous for Wyland’s popular paintings of whales, dolphins, and undersea life. Oʻahu also has several “Wyland Walls” to keep an eye out for, as part of the 100 worldwide whale murals the artist painted. Look for them at Sea Life Park, the Polynesian Cultural Center, and just as you’re heading into Honolulu from the airport.
Your O’ahu art explorations can take you all over the island! Are you ready to plan your cultural adventure?