Island Expressions

We’ve rounded up some of the hottest ways to check out the arts and culture scene in Hawai‘i

Sure, you can find top-rated beaches in Hawai‘i. Stunning waterfalls and colorful reefs? Absolutely. But in addition to its natural splendors, you’ll find that Hawai‘i has a dazzling arts and culture scene. Here are a few ways to experience creativity, island-style.

HiSAM, the Hawai‘i State Art Museum, offers four galleries, as well as events like film screenings, art lunches, and jazz nights—and admission is free. ARTafterDark is a hopping monthly art party at the Honolulu Museum of Art. The event is held on the last Friday of each month, January through October. Another fun monthly event, Art + Flea hosts artists, designers, up-and-coming bands, and food trucks. Check it out the last Thursday of the month. By day, don’t miss the Bishop Museum and ‘Iolani Palace.

Maui’s creative community comes together for Maui Friday Town Parties, held the first Friday of the month in Wailuku, the second Friday in Lahaina, the third in Makawao, and the fourth in Kīhei. Browse the galleries, interact with artisans, and enjoy music under the stars. Speaking of stars and music, you’ll find both at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. It has exhibits from Hawai‘i’s visual artists, as well as big-name musical performances.

Hawai‘i Island
Also known as the Big Island, Hawai‘i Island is home to the world’s most prestigious hula event, the Merrie Monarch Festival, held in Hilo each April. The nonprofit Volcano Art Center has a gallery featuring the works of 300 local artists.

Friday night is Art Night in Kaua‘i’s arts capital, Hanapēpē. It’s the perfect time to stroll through the town’s many galleries and studios, and meet local craftspeople. Also visit the Kaua‘i Museum in Līhuʻe for Hawaiian cultural artifacts, concerts, hula performances, and craft demonstrations.