Accomplished Maui watercolor artist and teacher Carmen Gardner selected awards for us.


So many worthy pieces.  I hope I did you folks proud and humbly offer my choices.

When I am asked to choose a show or, in this case, awards for the work selected in a show, I look for many things.  Along with the myriad intangible factors: originality, use/mastery of medium, the artist’s individual style; color knowledge and use, and whether a piece engages my interest as a viewer are just a few.  When I taught a survey course of the humanities at UH Maui College, we learned from our textbook that art MUST engage the viewer.  It CAN BE an artifact, a social/political commentary, and/or therapeutic.  But it must engage the viewer and, I believe, elicit some kind of emotion.  It can make us smile, cry, or even get angry.  But it must make us FEEL something.  

It was difficult selecting from so many worthy pieces and my congratulations to each artist who submitted.  A huge mahalo to the folks who allowed me to play a small role in this show, and a resounding bravo to each artist putting forth the time and effort to grow and share their work with us all.  

Carmen Gardner

Artist Carmen Gardner, HWS

Carmen Gardner’s artistic celebration of Maui is a luminous tribute to the people, special moments and natural beauty that, together, make Maui “no ka oi.”

“When folks ask me why I paint, I’ve wondered myself at the answer . . . what should I say? Because it brings me joy? Because I want to share that joy with others? The answer comes to me every time I pick up a brush. Every time I mix a color or watch pigment mingle on the canvas . . . I realize then, it is about the process. For me, the deeper meaning in what I paint, lies in my passion to share the Maui we treasure: The greens are greener here, the ocean bluer, the skies full of drama and light . . . Maui is teaching me to see. I hope to continue
learning to view Maui not only through the eyes of an artist, but through the eyes of her beautiful people, and that I may one day come close to adequately saying with color and shapes that for which I have no words.

Carmen’s award-winning art has been featured in several juried exhibitions, including:
• Hui No’eau Juried Exhibition, 2004
• ano ano gallery’s Postcards from Paradise, juried exhibition, 2004
• Avalene Gallery’s “Waianue’nue,” juried exhibition, May, 2005
• Maui Art Gallery’s Wailuku Paintout, juried exhibition, 2005
• Hui No’eau Juried Exhibition, 2005 where she received the esteemed
Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts Recognition Award
• Art Maui, annual juried exhibition, 2006 , 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
• Hui No’eau Juried Members Exhibition 2006 and she won the prestigious
Hawaii State Foundation Culture and the Arts Acquisition Award
• Invited Artist Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center’s Art Affair 2007-2020
• Watercolor Artist Magazine Watermedia Showcase 2007
• War and Peace National Touring Exhibition, 2007
• Lahaina Arts Society Juried Exhibition 2007
• Art Maui, 2008: Selected Featured Artist/Art Maui PR Image, Art Maui 2009
• Hawaii Watercolor Society Juried Exhibition, Honolulu, 2008
• Invited Artist Viewpoints Gallery’s “Celebration of Hawaii 2009-2020
• Hui No’eau “Primarily Red” Juried Exhibition, 2009
• Malama Wao Akua Juried Exhibition 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019
• Hui No’eau “Infinite Blue” Juried Exhibition, 2012
• Honorable Mention Watercolor Artist Magazine juried competition 2013
• Hui No’eau “Mixed Plate” Juried Exhibition 2014
•. Hui No’eau Juried Members Exhibition 2015
•. Signature Member Hawaii Watercolor Society

Carmen Gardner Studio
Haiku, Maui Hawaii
(808) 357-1237

Carmen teaches various watercolor classes on county, state and international levels. She has been featured in American Artist Studios, and Watercolor Artist magazines, and her work may also be seen at Viewpoints Gallery, Makawao; and at the Hana Coast Gallery, Hana Maui.