SuperCity: Bringing Kakaako to Chinatown

Feb. 26, 2014 | 0 Comments


BY CHRISTA WITTMIER / Special to the Star-Advertiser

As my post-event depression after POW! WOW! Hawaii continues, I’m happy to see there is no shortage of artistic events happening in Honolulu.

Creative renaissance space Lana Lane Studios, a Kakaako warehouse that houses some of our city’s brightest in film, photography, art, design and music, will present a showcase of their many talents this week at the ARTS at Marks Garage, 1159 Nuuanu Ave., that will run through March 29. An opening reception is planned from 7 to 9:30 p.m. March 13; the exhibition will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Lana Lane Studios will showcase its residents through March at The Arts at Mark's (Image by Greg Aguinas)

Lana Lane Studios will showcase its resident artists at the ARTS at Marks Garage. (Courtesy Greg Aguinas)

Watching this warehouse come to life over the last year and a half has been awe-inspiring, to say the least. It is a 5,000-square-foot living and breathing example of what can be accomplished when you combine dreams with a solid work ethic — and hard labor.

Lana Lane co-founder and manager Jeffrey Gress exemplifies this to a T. A former Navy man who spends his summers on Alaskan fishing boats and has a knack for construction, he has literally built much of space with his bare hands to include a music studio, outdoor stage and other improvements. He has screen printing equipment and will soon have a photo lab. Oh, and he’s also an amazing graphics designer, illustrator, painter, calligraphist and muralist.

The shared warehouse is home to many notables in the art community, including artists Ekundayo and Matt and Roxy Ortiz. It’s also home to filmmaking trio The Rising Sons, Banzai Media, musicians Nick Kaleikini and Anton Glamb, and Miso & Ale food mastermind Gavin Murai.

The space has hosted many creative community events, including “Sip & Sketch,” a 48-hour film competition, a few album launch parties, and the Pow Wow Hawaii School of Music, of course!

The exhibition at the ARTS at Marks Garage will showcase work by 19 of Lana Lane’s 24 resident artists; an opening reception will feature music by residents Nick Kaleikini and Anton Glamb with the “Ambassador of Aloha,” Danny Kaleikini, and futuristic hip-hop producer Rooks Royal.

Mardi Gras revelers in Chinatown during last year's block party. (Star-Advertiser File)

Mardi Gras revelers in Chinatown during last year’s block party. (Star-Advertiser File)

TUESDAY IS the big Mardi Gras block party in Chinatown, which will breathe life into the neighborhood on a Tuesday night for the 14th year in a row. The free event will feature food vendors, Samba parades, six floats, face and body painting, and of course, BEADS!

Three outdoor stages will all feature live Samba music – some of the most fun music to wiggle to – and an afterparty will offer eight different clubs for people to scramble into when the streets open back up to traffic.
Christa Wittmier has chronicled Honolulu nightlife since 2004. She is senior marketing director at Young’s Market Co. of Hawaii and executive director of music for POW! WOW! Hawaii, and also helps promote the popular “Bacardi Pool Party” on Oahu. Contact her via e-mail or follow her on Twitter.

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