Monday, May 26, 2014

Dale Zarrella - Maui Sculptor, Painter, Artist

One day last March as we were walking down to Charley Young Beach for a snorkel and some afternoon sun, we glanced to the north and spotted what appeared to be a huge wooden statue, so we decided to go closer and see what it was. 

We were immediately in awe as we drank in the most spectacular wooden sculpture of a mermaid, obviously a work in progress, surrounded by coral, turtles and other sea life. The mermaid was looking up with abandon towards the sky, while her long hair flowed carelessly behind her.  The detail in the unfinished carving was simply amazing so we can't wait to see it in all its glory after completion.

The artist was nowhere around, so when I got home I did a google search and found out his name is Dale Zarrella and that he creates his masterpieces from an inspiring location on his Maui oceanfront property, just north of Charley Young Beach in Kihei.
I read that there are collections of his works at the Grand Wailea Resort, the Makena Golf and Beach Resort and at the Frank Lloyd Wright designed King Kamehameha Golf Club.  One of his famous pieces is a bronze statue of Father Damien, which was completed in 2012 and blessed by Pope Benedict XVl at the Vatican.  He apparently began this sculpture with a plaster study, and a bronze cast made from the study is now at the Vatican museum in Rome.  The life sized sculpture fashioned out of Koa wood will eventually end up in the Honolulu Damien museum.  I watched a very interesting video, of Dale Zarrella speaking about all the research he did before starting the sculpture.  He puts his whole heart and soul into every piece he creates and finds out all he can about his subject before he begins to work. For example he visited the leper colony of Kalaupapa on Molokai, several times before he started that project.
I also learned that he gives a guided tour of four of his major works at the Makena Golf and Beach Resort each Wednesday evening.   The free tour lasts around an hour and you have the choice of staying on for a private dinner with the artist for a fee. Phone the resort for more details on this. Our friends went and thoroughly enjoyed it.  They said he was a terrific speaker, very genuine, and exceptionally humble even in light of all his great accomplishments.
His most recent piece, and the one we saw, was started in April of 2013 from a 5000 lb. old Monkey Pod tree stump.  

Dale Zarrella  brings his18 years of experience working as caretaker of a turtle sanctuary on the Big Isle, to Maui, and this apparently is what inspired him to paint and carve the sea life of Hawaii.  His paintings can be found in many galleries and private collections around the world.
What a treat to find out about this extremely talented and diverse artist, who works with bronze, wood, stone and paint.  Unfortunately before we left Maui we didn't get a chance to meet him so when we get back we are going to make a point of going to all his galleries and attend his Wednesday night tour.
For more information visit the Dale Zarrella website. Here you will find photos of many of his works and links to his videos. 

If you need a place to stay for your Maui vacation, our Maui Garden House is only a few minutes by car to Charley Young Beach.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Kihei Garden Estates for Maui Vacation Rentals

Kihei Garden Estates is the best kept secret in Kihei, when it comes to a place to stay on Maui that has everything going for it. The location is off the main drag, so quiet and peaceful, and it is just steps to Waiohuli Beach for walking, sunbathing, kayaking, stand up paddling and best of all for watching spectacular sunsets each evening.

Waiohuli Beach

The complex itself has beautiful tropical grounds with many varieties of palms, flowering trees, and mango trees. Most of the units face inward with views of the pool and grounds.  Those on the west side also have great views looking up country to Kula and Haleakala. The units on the south end face out and have ocean views.

Another plus for Kihei Garden Estates is that it is located directly behind a Times Market, and is flanked on the north side by Azeka Makai.  Your pool key will take you into these two areas so it is very convenient for getting groceries and supplies in, especially when you first arrive.  Azeka Makai, has a few restaurants, craft stores, dollar store, coffee shop and post office.



Across the road in Azeka Makua there are many more restaurants, coffee shops, Fitness Centres, eastititions.  Across the road from Azeka Makua is the Longs Centre with many more shops and restaurants.  Longs drug store has a pharmacy and sells everything from wine, to fresh produce, cosmetics, housewares, macadamia nuts, frozen foods, clothing, souvenirs and much more. It even has a pretty decent Farmer's Market every Saturday morning.  Most days there are also farmers markets as you head south down South Kihei road.  It is right on a corner beside the Aloha Craft market.

There are quite a few owners who rent out their places but you have to book early, especially for high season because it is such a popular spot.  Find some great vacation rentals in Kihei Garden Estates.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Pacific Whale Foundation's 36th Annual Charity Walk May 10

Donate $45 to the Pacific Whale Foundation's Charity Walk happening on May 10th, 2014 and receive a free T-shirt.  All profits support Marine research, education and conservation programs.
Click on the poster for more information.