Blessing Held for New Wailuku Mural at Victim Witness Building
A new mural by Maui artist Kirk Kurokawa, entitled “Ho’omau,” was blessed as part of the County of Maui’s “Small Town, Big Art” project in Wailuku Town. The mural is located at the Victim Witness Building at 2103 Wells Street.
“I wanted a title that could embody the entire process as well as the work that is being done in the building itself,” said Kurokawa. Ho’omau means persistence, perseverance, and renewal – to continue, to perpetuate and never give up.
During the blessing Kurokawa expressed his hope that the artwork conveys a message of ho’omau to keiki entering the building and to the community supporting them.
The mural unveiling was scheduled to highlight April as Child Abuse Prevention month.
Girl Scout Troop 162 from St. Anthony Church supported the effort by placing Pinwheels for Prevention around the site. Mayor Michael Victorino addressed the issue by saying “Child abuse is something to take very seriously; especially right now. Families are stressed and children have limited contact with teachers and others who might be able help identify the signs of abuse. Kirk’s talent and local-style way of watching, listening and learning has produced this inspiring piece that symbolizes there is always hope, even during crisis.”
Kurokawa’s mural design includes the critically endangered Kiwikiu (Maui Parrotbill) and ‘Ōhi’a plant as key symbols, sharing that “Many of our Native Hawaiian species need our help, compassion and support to continue to thrive. My intent is for this imagery to portray a feeling of nurturing for keiki and others in need of assistance.”
Earlier in the week Duane Sparkman and ‘Ua Lindsey of the Kipuka Olowalu project in West Maui planted ‘uki’uki, ‘ilima, ‘ekaha and ‘awapuhi at the base of the mural, representing plants in the native ecosystem that support the ‘ohia.
County Prosecutor, Andrew Martin spoke about the courageous victims who are served currently at the Victim Witness Building, and will continue to be served as the building transforms into the new Children’s Peace Center. The center will be the first of its kind in the State of Hawaiʻi and will offer a convenient array of services to benefit victims.
“Kirk’s mural will be very important to the center, because it’s the first thing victims will see when they come to the center. Kirk has created a powerful image that evokes hope, freedom and empowerment — all things we want young victims to feel when they come to our safe space,” said Martin.
In the spirit of Child Abuse Awareness Month, the County of Maui would like victims and witnesses of abuse to know there is community support for them through the Sexual Assault Hotline 873-8624 and Domestic Violence Hotline 579-9581.