Hawaiian Airlines has furthered its commitment to supporting local artists by commissioning the company’s first large-scale mural painted by renowned Hawai‘i street artist Kamea Hadar. The mural created during last month’s 2018 POW! WOW! festival in Long Beach – the latest Southern California city to enter Hawaiian’s route network – tells a story of sustainability and the importance of protecting natural resources.

“We are honored to build on our POW! WOW! partnership to provide artists an outlet where they can express their talents beyond Hawai‘i through larger-than-life murals,” said Avi Mannis, senior vice president of marketing at Hawaiian Airlines. “Visual storytelling is a powerful tool to share our culture and help engage communities globally around important topics such as sustainability.”

The mural is approximately 25 feet wide by 60 feet tall, and is located on the Jean Machine building at the intersection of Fourth Street and The Promenade North. When painting the piece at the weeklong art festival, Hadar drew inspiration from the flow of water and the role it plays in giving life. It features two female dancers and celebrates Hawai‘i’s ahupua‘a – an ancient land division extending from mountains to the sea – with its use of mossy-green to ocean-blue gradients, native vines and tropical flora such as the yellow hibiscus, Hawai‘i’s state flower.

Hadar’s POW! WOW! Long Beach mural sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines is the first artwork to be unveiled in a series of upcoming commissioned pieces called “Mālama ‘Āina” (to care for the land).

“When we started the discussions with Hawaiian Airlines to have sponsored murals at certain POW! WOW!s, we decided that the common thread (other than them being painted by a Hawai‘i artist) would be the themes of ‘Mālama’ and ‘Kōkua’,” shared Hadar. “The piece combines two figures that represent the balancing of ancient traditions and our contemporary urban society. They are both representations of the same person trying to find inner balance. One figure looks down and focuses on her hand and how it gently causes ripples through the dress and interacts and connects her to the background and thus water, while the other looks to the viewer with her hand over her mouth, calling for them to listen [to nature].”

Hawaiin Airlines
© Image Hawaiian Airlines

The Long Beach mural is the latest artwork developed between Hawaiian Airlines and Hadar. In 2016, the airline teamed up with Hadar and Tokyo-based husband and wife duo Kami and Sasu Hitotzuki to collaborate on a live painting of a Hawaiian airport service vehicle. Hadar also painted a similar service vehicle in support of the launch of 2014 POW! WOW! Hawaiʻi. In 2015, Hawaiian secured New Zealand artist duo BMD to paint images depicting some of the country’s landscapes and native animals on another service vehicle in celebration of the airline’s second anniversary of service between Auckland and Honolulu.

Hawaiian is the official airline sponsor of POW! WOW! Hawai‘i, the home state of the global art, culture and music organization. The airline’s corporate headquarters is also home to “Local Colors,” a rotating local art gallery curated by POW! WOW! directors Hadar and Jasper Wong.

In conjunction with the live painting, Team Kōkua, Hawaiian Airlines’ all-employee community service volunteer group, organized the adoption of Long Beach’s Alamitos Beach. More than 40 volunteers from Hawaiian, OluKai Footwear and POW! WOW! Long Beach gathered at the Alamitos shoreline on Saturday, June 30 to remove trash and marine debris. The cleanup was supported by the California Coastal Commission through the Parks, Recreation and Marine Department of the City of Long Beach. For more information about the City of Long Beach’s Adopt A Beach program, please call (562) 570-4876.