Fishing for Hope: Massive Kauai mural aims to spread mental health awareness

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LIHUE, Hawaii (KHON2) – A group of local artists are painting a Kauai town with hope. They’re shedding light on a serious topic through a meaningful masterpiece.

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Kalena Street in Lihue is now home to an eye-catching mural on the M. Tanaka Hardware store.

The art itself is breathtaking, but the message behind the piece is much deeper.

“One person is texting to the number that we’ve written very bold up on the side,” said Seth Womble, a Kauai artist. “They’re up on the side of the building and it says 741741, text the word Aloha. So we’ve got two people up there on the wall that we’ve painted, texting each other asking for help.”

It’s called the Fishing for Hope mural.

The Kauai Resiliency Project thought of the idea and a team of two artists brought it to life.

“We reached out to them and said, ‘Hey, what do you think about doing two murals on the theme of mental health and stigma reduction and suicide prevention,” said Alice Luck, President and CEO of Kauai Planning and Action Alliance.

The mural is first of its kind on the Garden Isle.

Artists Seth Womble and Trysen Kaneshige worked on the piece for a week straight.

For one part of the artist duo, the mural hits much closer to home.

“I feel really good that I’ve been able to be a part of this mural, because personally, I went through some stuff this past year that helped me get my mind better as well,” said Trysen Kaneshige, a Kauai-based artist.

The artists are currently working on two additional murals with the Kauai Resiliency Project on the east and west sides of the island.

“For me as an artist, to have an opportunity to dive into something meaningful like that in a large scale for on a public format is priceless,” said Womble.

To learn more about the Kauai Resiliency Project, click here.

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