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THE CANOPY@HOPWOOD Gallery welcomed students and faculty back to school with an exhibit by visiting Big Island artist Kamran Samimi. Curated by High School Visual/ Digital Arts Program Head Jill Johnson, the exhibit was designed to encourage socialization and was staged to prompt inquiry and discussion. Questions regarding identity, existentialism, and process were placed on the walls in lieu of traditional art-show nameplates to start conversations. A media table with elements used in Mr. Samimi’s sculpture provided a hands-on opportunity for students to create their own art.

“The intention and purpose of this space is for people to meet around meaningful ideas, and learn how to be social again,” says Ms. Johnson. Abbey Day, Art Specialist in the elementary school notes that the 5th grade students “drew parallels between the work being a form of meditation and our class practices of meditation and mindful drawing. Mr. Samini’s message that it’s okay to continue figuring out who you are, even if you’re never entirely clear, is a message our 5th grade will continue to explore throughout the school year, and hopefully internalize as a life-long lesson and joyful pursuit.”

Mid-Pacific Kindergarteners visit the Kamran Samimi exhibit and engage in the creative process with the exhibit materials.

Ms. Johnson measured the success of the show, not in terms of attendance, but in terms of impact. “The kindergarteners actually borrowed the materials used for the interactive display and are continuing to explore their important take-aways from their visit in the classroom. That, along with observations from our teachers like Abbey Day, is why I feel the show was successful.”

The gallery has exhibits planned throughout the rest of the year – photos submitted from students, faculty and alumni, art from elementary and middle school classes as well as the IB Visual Arts and Certificate students’ exhibits. Look for a listing of upcoming shows at on the Visual Arts page.