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5 Local Hawai’i Artists on my 2021 Christmas Wishlist

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

My top five favorite local Hawaiian artists include Nick Kuchar, Tanglman.art, Nataliearth, Adam JK, and Glen Gruenhagen. All of them are amazing artists who’s works I’d love to see under my Christmas tree this year. So, here’s a summary for each artist as to why they are on my Christmas wishlist.

Nick Kuchar

I am in love with Nick Kuchar’s artistic takes on the Hawaiian islands. I received this print as a birthday gift this past October, and I couldn’t have been more ecstatic. I love the intricacies within his works, the little details that only people who have travelled the island would recognize. The fish seen off the East side representing the popular snorkeling spots, “Chinaman’s Hat” off of the West coast, the surfboard at Diamond Head, and the huge wave at North shores pipeline. I hope one day to collect all of the island prints and proudly hang them in my room.

Tanglman Art

I managed to find this beaut at a local bookstore in Chinatown (BAS Bookstore). What drew me to this was the colors and simplicity of it. Although Landan (tanglman.art) has slightly changed his art-style into a more complex variety as of late, the silliness and playfulness shines through with these tangled people frolicking about in this tangled world he created.

Nataliearth Photography

Natalie Nishimoto (nataliearth) was born and raised in Hawai’i and has spent most of her life exploring the secret spots scattered throughout Kaua’i and the neighboring islands. She has a true passion for nature, capturing these beautiful moments in photos so you can travel to these hidden gems with her. To the heart-dropping elevations of over 5,000 feet atop the tallest mountains of Kaua’i, to the depth of the oceans alongside our sea friends. Her prints come in a range of prices and sizes, but are all of the highest quality – not to mention her business just launched earlier this year, woman owned and independent!

Adam J. Kurtz

This is another artist I stumbled upon while I was in BAS Bookshop. What drew me to this piece was the beautiful yellow background and the message itself: “Good things happen. Love is real. We will be okay.” I read this every morning to remind myself that the world is not as scary as it may seem. Stress, pain, worry – these are temporary feelings that will pass in due time. We just have to uphold the strength to see through. His works are mainly inspirational messages that’ll make you stop and think, bring good vibes, and maybe look at things with a different perspective.

Glen Gruenhagen

Glen Gruenhagen is very difficult to find online, and at most, his works are found on Etsy and vintage art websites. He specializes in oil paintings around Kaua’i, ‘Oahu, and Maui. These works look like real photographs when hung on a wall and are detailed down to the last blade of grass or droplet of water. He began painting at the young age of 8, and it’s truly amazing to see what he could create during the time he was selling his works. I am unsure if he is still around painting today, most of his works are dated in the 90’s. With how rare his original works seems to be, I am grateful to have so many pieces hanging around my apartment.

Whether you’re looking for gifts for a special someone or for yourself, and whether or not you’re from Hawai’i, definitely checking out these artists to grab a unique piece for the holidays is a good way to start checking things off one’s holiday shopping list. I know I am!

Kristen is studying towards a Bachelors Degree in Korean and Second Language Studies/Linguistics at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa. In her free time she enjoys yoga, hiking, playing tennis, reading at local parks, cooking and tending to her ever-expanding houseplant collection.
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