Mural depicts Salt Pond’s origin
Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island
Artists Bethany Coma and Holly Ka‘iakapu work on a mural on the wall of the Salt Pond Beach Park main pavilion Tuesday in Hanapepe.
By Sabrina Bodon The Garden Island | Wednesday, December 30, 2020, 12:05 a.m.
For over two weeks, artists have converged on the pavilion at Salt Pond Beach Park to tell the origin story of the Hanapepe salt beds and an imagined underwater seascape from the shores of the beach.
Holly Ka‘iakapu and Bethany Coma were adding details to the marine life Tuesday, there from the early hours of the morning to sundown.
Over the course of the painting, Ka‘iakapu said it’s been surreal to watch the project come to life.
Ka‘iakapu said members of the Salt Pond Beach Park homeless camp got involved, some sitting for pictures to inspire the portraits, including one boy who was celebrating his fourth birthday who is now painted playing in the sand. Others brought the crew of painters fish they’d caught for dinner.
The story goes that a young woman had caught too many fish one day and began to cry at the idea of waste, when Pele took pity on her. Pele offered that if she were to rub white crystals from shallow pools onto the fish, they would be preserved. This preservation is pa‘akai, a Hawaiian word for salt making, which means “to solidify the sea.”
Through the county’s Rise to Work program, six local muralists were hired by the Rice Street Business Association for the past three months using federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funds.
For the past few months, murals have been popping up around the county, through partnerships with the county’s Department of Parks and Recreation, the Mayor’s Office, the Office of Economic Development and community members.
“We want to honor our past by sharing their stories so that our local families can embrace their connection to these spaces,” RSBA President Dr. Addision Bulosan said. “How we connect to these beautiful places is an important process of calling Kaua’i home and these murals will help make sure these stories are told for years to come.”
Additional artists featured were Kayti Lathrop, Shianne Schorr, Lucas Murillo and Kaplan Bunce, who were all part of the inaugural mural festival held earlier this year.
Murals can also be found at Hale Opio Kaua‘i, Kaua‘i Beer Company and other locations in Lihu‘e, and at ‘Anini Beach Park.