When Bruna Stude opened the doors to her galerie 103 on Kauai in 2009 Hawaii’s contemporary art scene was suddenly a lot more exciting, according to world acclaimed – and collected – artist Tom Lieber. Stude, a petite powerhouse whose work hangs in the permanent collections of the Honolulu Academy of Art and the Contemporary Museum of Art on Oahu, is the creative genius and curator of galerie 103’s museum-quality exhibition space.
With a keen eye for significant works of fine art from locations around the globe, including the work of island artists, and a passion for eliminating forever any lingering misconception that Hawaiian art is merely focused on the celebration of natural beauty, Stude brings together a broad cross-section of contemporary and modern artists in the gallery’s rotating exhibits.
The most recent show, a collection of work titled The Black Spring by Kauai-based artists Sally French, opened this weekend and runs through July 2.
“A longtime exhibitor in the islands and on the U.S. mainland, French is exhibiting her paintings for the first time at home on Kauai. With whimsy, humor and timeless imagery, her newest works continue to chronicle the events in our unsettling world,” Stude said. Viewers will have an opportunity to walk through the exhibit with French during an informal “talk story” session with the artist at 6 p.m. on June 16.
In the meantime, she says of the latest collection: “Whether it’s just me or the world is spinning into dark places, I don’t know, but it’s affecting my art. The two new large works on view, Black Rain and Black Spring, reflect my tendency to begin a new series with the onset of new seasons. Springtime’s blue sky, birds, and pink and yellow flowers influence the beginning of the collection, then the imagery skews into my personal vocabulary by dark catastrophic events, both global and at home.”
She adds that she has one request of those who view the show, “Be confident in your own response to the art, rather than trying to understand why the imagery is there. The most important thing for me is that there be nothing between the viewer’s emotional response and the artwork, no reasoning other than personal experiences.”
Galerie 103, situated in Poipu’s Kukui ‘ula Village, occupies a 2,400-square-foot space – 1,800 square feet is devoted to the art gallery and an additional 600-square-foot annex is dedicated to modern and contemporary works on paper, art objects, fiber art and art books.
Artists featured at the gallery over the past two years include: William T. Wiley, Peter Bodnar, Tom Lieber, Wayne Zebzda, Margaret Ezekiel, Kathleen Adair Brown and Rosa Silver among others, including Stude.
Galerie 103 is open Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and by appointment on Sundays. www.galerie103.com; (808) 742-0103.