Though the island of Maui is typically associated with the sand, surf, and sea, and sightings of whales and dolphins, the towns on the island are also brimming with something else wonderful to visitors. Visiting the towns can be a great addition to the Utopian natural surroundings of the island, and a walk around them gives you more a deeper appreciation the culture, tradition, and lifestyle of the island.
One of the well-known destinations in Maui is Lahaina, the biggest CDP (census-designated place) on the island. Located in the western part of Maui, it’s only a few minutes away from the other popular beach resorts of Kapalua and Kaanapli.
While the town is in no way comparable to popular urban American tourist destinations like New York or San Francisco, its rich in history is evident in its museums and the massive banyan tree growths. The streets of Lahaina are a creative hub and host a wide variety of art galleries.
For any inexperienced or first-time Lanai traveler, the Lahaina Arts Society is always a good start. It has two galleries within the area: Old Jail Gallery and Banyan Tree Gallery. The pieces displayed in these galleries—usually paintings and postcards—are the creations of its more than 180 members, who regularly put on shows that are open to the public.
The markets of Maui normally sell typical island gifts, including local or native jewelry, but for a more refined shopping experience, one can proceed to Sargent’s, which also features art created by its 60 regular contributing artists. Aside from the painting, they also feature and sell jewelry pieces that speak of authentic Hawaii culture. The gallery can also lead you to the Front Street and to the open sea wall.
Having opened in 1970, Village Gallery is one of the oldest, if not the first, galleries to appear in Maui. Like the rest of the galleries, it has its own set of local and international artists, but the rich history its accumulated through its longevity make it one of the must-visit galleries on the island.
The Martin Laurence Galleries is famous for its modern art, including pop art and kinetic sculptures. In addition, the gallery also organizes auctions of some of fine Hawaiian art pieces.
The Maui Hands is a celebration of the island’s artistry and ingenuity. This four-location gallery carries the work of more than 300 artists, and all items inside are Maui made. It displays a wide range of art products, including pots, sculptures, paintings, postcards, woodwork, and jewelry pieces. Travelers can also buy souvenirs for their home such as bath accessories, baskets, lamps, and kitchen supplies.
For all of the galleries above, you can check their schedules to see if they’re holding any special shows or exhibitions while you’re visiting the island. In addition, you won’t want to miss the art night in Lahaina, which happens every Friday, from 7:00 p.m. all the way to 10:00 p.m. During art night most of the galleries, especially the ones in Front Street, open their doors to the public, and everyone enjoys a few hours of chit-chat, music, food, and celebration of the arts.
Lori Hughes is the founder and owner of Island Trader, a unique online destination that features many tropical art prints and paintings. She travels the world in search of turquoise water and island breezes, an island inspried lifestyle and tropical drinks.