TRADES A.i.R. an Artist in Residence program on O‘ahu

TRADES Artist in Residence program seeks to address the underrepresentation of contemporary art in the Hawaiian Islands by providing maximum community access and fostering arts appreciation locally.

At the core of our mission is a Visiting Artist in Residence Program. TRADES aims to fund travel, lodging and studio space for selected national and international visiting artists. Committed to outreach, we are partnered with the Honolulu Museum of Art and the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Hawai‘i Mānoa. TRADES is dedicated to featuring artists with diverse backgrounds and points of view.

Hawai‘i’s remoteness is both a benefit and a hinderance to the arts. Our relative isolation allows artists to develop clear personal voices and preserves the integrity of local culture, but it also prevents those artists from engaging in broader contexts and having their work appreciated by larger audiences. There are scores of young, vibrant contemporary artists here who are seeking more established outlets for their creativity. TRADES seeks to bridge that gap by providing resources and support to visiting artists and by introducing local talent to experts in the field.

Visiting artists will reside in a private home in historic Mānoa valley for 4 to 6 weeks, with access to studio space at the nearby UH Mānoa campus. While in residence, artists will develop a community based project suited to their practice—i.e. University level studio visits; interaction with K-12 students; and/or an exhibition, performance, lecture or workshop, open to the public.

TRADES operates on the principle of reciprocal exchange; when visiting artists connect with local students and communities, two opportunities are furthered by one mission: artists in residence will be exposed to Hawai‘i’s unique artists, culture and landscape, while introducing their ideas, expertise, experience and practices to our local students, artists and art enthusiasts.

Hawai‘i, with its distinct and complex histories, is an ideal site to offer visiting artists an experience not possible elsewhere. TRADES explores the idea of cultural syncretism — that multicultural influences contribute to a local culture that is greater than the sum of its parts. TRADES creates a round-trip circuit for contemporary art in the islands, with the introduction of offshore techniques and the exportation of local perspectives.

TRADES was founded by Don Felix Cervantes and Aaron Wong in January 2016. TRADES gratefully acknowledges the support of the Atherton Family Foundation. A sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, our intended reach is to all Hawaiian Islands and to visiting artists worldwide. Don Felix Cervantes brings his experience as a working artist for over 20 years; including 5 years at the Roski School of Fine Arts at USC, where he managed the Photography program. Aaron Wong holds an M.A. and M.Phil from Yale University in American Studies. A former Jacob K. Javits fellow, he has extensive teaching experience and has published in academic journals and national magazines.