HONOLULU (KHON2) — Capitol Modern is a rebranded concept. It is meant to communicate Honolulu’s historic and vibrant relationship with art and artistic expression.

Under its former moniker, the Hawai‘i State Art Museum, Capitol Modern opened its doors in 2002 in the Spanish-Mission style concrete and stucco redesign of the original wooden Hawaiian Hotel which was built in 1872.

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“We can’t wait to connect more residents and visitors to creative art experiences that reflect modern day,” said Karen Ewald, Interim Executive Director. “Capitol Modern is a museum for the people of Hawai‘i today, the artists of Hawai‘i tomorrow and everyone interested in exploring diverse voices through art.”

This rebrand in no way changes the relationship with its fans and patrons. It continues to be Hawaiʻi’s premiere vibrant modern art experience people have come to love.

“Capitol Modern is eager for the public to experience this next chapter in their evolution as the people’s museum, and the opportunity to reach diverse audiences in all Hawai‘i communities,” added Ewald.  

The State of Hawai‘i owns an inspiring collection of contemporary art that is housed within Capitol Modern.

This was achieved through Hawaiʻi’s innovative law from 1967 known as the “Art in State Buildings Law”.

Known as an innovative leader in legislation, Hawaiʻi was the first state in the United States to create this law. It “sets aside one percent of state building construction costs for the commission and acquisition of visual artwork with the goal of beautifying and humanizing the environment and increasing public access to art.”

Following in 1989, Hawaiʻi expanded these provisions that will provide access to works of art in all state public places. It also allocates one percent of renovation costs of state capital improvement projects which is meant to fund art acquisition.

It is believed that these works of art lead to the enhancement of our physical environment, including state buildings, while also providing educational visual arts opportunities to the public through the Art in Public Places Program.

Capitol Modern has a robust calendar of events that are taking place.

For First Friday and in celebration of Honolulu’s Pride month, on October 6, Capitol Modern will be celebrating Honolulu Pride with featuring a Drag Show by Generation Next 2.0 that will feature DJ A.i.T in the Sculpture Garden along with a variety of food options.

A Launch Celebration for every second Friday is The Vibe at Capitol Modern taking place on Friday, Oct. 13.

Super Saturday will take place on Oct. 28 and begins at 11 a.m. It is a time for hands-on art activities for the whole family.

“Fear of the Unknown” is an Exhibit in the ‘Ewa gallery on the second floor.

The “Accession” Exhibit is taking place in the Lē‘ahi gallery which is also on the second floor.

“Creatures & Characters” will be happening in the ‘Ewa gallery on the second floor.

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It is good to be in a culture that values the place art plays in developing and nurturing a society that is ready to tackle the big issues that hit us. Through art, our keiki can develop a strong sense of self and the much-needed self-confidence they will need to embark on their futures.

So, take advantage of the free programs and exhibits that Capitol Modern provides.