Art Exhibition

50th State Fair

Demonstrating the provincialism still evident in much of the Islands’ art thinking was the decision to divide this year’s Fair art display into a “realist” and “abstract” division. The ostensible reason for this was to avoid the “controversy” following Honolulu’s last large juried show, the Easter Art Festival at Ala Moana Shopping Center this spring. Stiff jurying had whittled down the Festival to approximately 250 works. Result: it was one of the best shows ever put on in the Wands.

Several disgruntled artists, however, tired of repeated rejects, attempted to mount their own “reject” show, comparing it to the more famous and vastly different “Salon de Refuses.” The plan fell through, but delicate feelings were not forgotten.

Apparently it was an easy matter to convince the Fair’s organizer, the J.C.s (Junior Chamber of Commerce of Honolulu) to have two art exhibitions instead of one. Artists had to mark their entry blanks “realist” or “abstract.” As a result, both categories were mediocre and many first-rate Isle artists didn’t bother entering.

Joanna Shaw Eagle