In Hawai'i, local art hardly gets any chance to be showcased to large audiences. In fact, the art scene in Hawai'i is somewhat sparse to begin with. However, I've noticed a rising trend for small coffee shops to display local artists' works on their walls. In this article, I'll highlight two coffee shops: Glazer's Coffee and Coffee Gallery.
The laid back local culture of Hawai’i usually focuses on family time, eating, sports, and what we like to call “cruising”, which simply means to hang out. Common leisure activities mostly include things involving nature, like surfing or hiking, where us locals take advantage of our amazing weather and beaches. However, unlike the urban cityscape of busy metropolises, there tends to be a large void in Hawai’i’s art scene, even in our capitol, Honolulu.
Over the last year, I’ve noticed a rise in local artists and their ventures into the public’s eye. This is especially true in small, locally-owned coffee shops that I study in around town. Younger business owners are opening up coffee shops geared toward tending to young adults and teens in need of a comfortable yet urban space. Some examples that come to mind is Fresh Cafe, which hosts a First Thursdays slam poetry night every month, along with displaying a rotating cycle of local paintings. Another is Third Cup Cafe, which hosts Open Mic Nights every Tuesday.
While these cafes are both amazing, I’m focusing upon two different cafes today that are my absolute favorite cafes on the island.
Glazer’s Coffee in downtown Honolulu, around the area of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, is a favorite amongst college students. It’s got a super sleek vibe with dark wood walls and French music lightly playing from the speakers. The owner even has analogue cameras stacked up behind the coffee grinder! A whole wall is dedicated to posting up local paintings and photographs.
Coffee Gallery is set in the Haleiwa Marketplace, which is a fantastic collection of shops in the historic town of Haleiwa. The area is full of hippies it seems, who all love organic food and the amazing weather. This cafe has an impressive selection of coffees as well as amazing teas in various blends. The walls have a clutter of local pieces, which may be due to the amount of independent photographers and painters who set up shop in the North Shore, inspired by the sights.
Overall, it’s nice to see the rising level of available art that is shown around Honolulu, Hawaii. As an art lover myself, as well as a Lomographer at heart, I can’t help but wish more people were open to the magic of art. Maybe one day, the level of artistic goodness will rise even higher!