Local artist spreads joy via free public murals in Lahaina

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At difficult times, one Lahaina street is beginning to flourish.

Experienced artists Cynthia Monteleone of Lahaina and Zoe Liroy of Kahana donate time and materials to create public murals on the outer walls of the house on Lahainaluna Road.

It began with an octopus in October and soon thrived into a local flora and fauna garden, spear fishermen and Urua, Hawaiian cultural exhibits, and now a carp pond. I have already requested 5 murals.

“Pleasure is contagious to others,” said Monteleone. “That’s why I’m doing this. It’s not for me, and definitely not for money — it’s for the community.”

Residents become brighter when they see colorful works. Last week, a passerby rang a horn and shouted, “Thank you, Cynthia!” “Keep doing a good job!”

Lahaina’s skilled artist Cynthia Monteleone describes the process of mural painting. PC: Kehaulani Cerizo
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Leroy said that every time a painter works on a mural, he gets a reaction from the general public. An artist who went to the University of California, Los Angeles and worked there in the SPARC mural lab said positive feedback was very rewarding.

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“They will literally park and park their cars, thank us and say how grateful this is for what’s happening in the community,” Leroy said.

“They stop and say, can you build my wall next? It’s very cool,” she added with a laugh.

Maui County Councilor Tamara Partin, who holds a resident seat in West Maui, took the children to school when he noticed various paintings emerging. Now she is hoping to find them and want to know what will be created next.

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“When I drive past, and seeing art in these difficult times makes me happy, we need all the happiness we can find,” Partin said. rice field. “Of course, I am very grateful to the artists and homeowners.”

This work, called the Lahaina Mural Arts project, is not federal, state, or county-funded. This is a grassroots initiative initiated by Monte Leone, who has a mural background.

The artist chose Lahainaluna Road because it is a busy residential area. She said she knocked on the door for permission to paint, or people approached her and asked for a mural.

Volunteers are made up of everyone, from children of Monteleone to professional artists such as Leroy. Some people approach the villagers from the street and ask them to join. A class of 13 people from Lahainaluna High School came to help. One volunteer, a student with autism, was in Monteleone from the beginning. She teaches her to be a mural painter.

“She is very talented,” said Monteleone. “It’s full of my heart to be able to share what I know with young people, especially those who want to do this for their career.”

Monteleone, owner of Business Metabolic Analytics Maui, known for his running and coaching achievements, has just recently returned to his mural work.

She moved to Maui from Wilmington, North Carolina about 10 years ago. There were more than 35 public murals, including one at the airport and three at the university. The artist owned a gallery there and was asked to work along the east coast.

Monteleone studied art and art history at university before becoming an assistant director of the Los Angeles Arts Association in West Hollywood. She returned to North Carolina in 2001 and began painting murals in 2003.

Currently, her public murals total about 50.

“Beauty comes from nothing,” she said. “In a chaotic era, you can create something positive without taking anything.”

A spear fisherman is hunting in the middle of Lahainaluna Road. PC: Kehaulani Cerizo

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