Maile Meyer, owner of Na Mea Hawai’i , has been described as a “force of nature.” An advocate for creatives in her home state of Hawaii, she tirelessly promotes and celebrates the Hawaiian culture.
Na Mea is co-sponsoring the upcoming Arts Business Institute Workshop in Oahu, Hawaii. We caught up with her recently to talk about her passion for the work she is doing to benefit artists.
ABI: How do you share information about the culture, language and traditions of Hawaii?
MM: We are experiential people. We like to share by doing, so making things and teaching people how to make things comes naturally. At Native Books/Na Mea Hawaii people gather daily to learn from each other, share materials, stories, food. There’s lots of exchange that happens, especially when things are culturally grounded. We are natural sharers.
ABI: What is your primary work with visual artists on Hawaii?
MM: I work with lots of creative people who work in all kinds of mediums. My role is to support their ability to continue to do their art. We have wall space, gallery space, selling support, POP UP exhibitions, and classes. Whatever we can do to be helpful, that’s what we want to do.
ABI: What are the major challenges you see artists struggling with? How are they overcoming them?
MM: Time to focus on their passion, funds to survive the process of exploration and mistake making. You need time and resources to be able to get yourself through your own exploration. By working collaboratively, especially as artists and cultural people, sharing resources and working together is how these obstacles can be overcome. It’s the right model, working together.
Don’t miss the September Arts Business Institute Workshop in Honolulu – where arts leaders, business experts and artists will gather in an intensive learning environment, focused on opportunities for artists to go from selling local to the national marketplace.