Honoring the Memory
of Mrs. Watanabe Every Day
A talented Honolulu-based artist who’s known for creating large-scale outdoor murals was tapped to help PBS Hawai‘i honor a beloved donor, the late math teacher Karen Watanabe.
In retirement, Mrs. Watanabe enjoyed playing the stock market. We’re so grateful that she left our organization nearly $700,000.
Since we have open-concept offices, traditional wall space is scarce. We chose to pay our respects in a prominent, favorite route to our building’s second floor.
Right: Trained in portraiture, the artist uses a scaffold to get close to the wall.
The reaction of Kamea Hadar, Co-Lead Director of the nonprofit arts group POW! WOW! Worldwide: “No problem. Cool!” The artist, who painted a 15-story outdoor mural in the Pearl Harbor area, might also have meant literally cool, as this area is roofed and air-conditioned. He’s accustomed to dealing with hot sun and changing light.
Kamea, trained in traditional portraiture, learned to make buildings his canvas. He was raised in Israel and Hawai‘i and has painted in street venues all over the world.
Like us, he found the face of Mrs. Watanabe to be very kind and relatable.
“Because the work is seen from afar and also from very close, I wanted to treat her portrait and the portraits of others in the piece like an oil painting on canvas.”
Artist Kamea Hadar
“Because the work is seen from afar, but also very close, I wanted to treat her portrait and other ones in the piece like an oil painting on canvas,” he told me.
Staffers and visitors watched, fascinated, as he coaxed light and life into the mural over the course of almost three weeks.
“What I want them to feel is all the beautiful things that are done in this building, that come out of this building – educating children … and just the kind of energy that revolves around it,” Kamea said.
We thank him for his art, paying tribute to the teacher whose bequest continues her life’s work through educational nonprofit PBS Hawai‘i.
Have you considered including PBS Hawai‘i in your will or trust? I’d like to invite you to give me or our Advancement Department a call at 808.462.5000.