Art at the Capitol ~
A Celebration of the People's Art
Art at the Capitol began in 2008 as Senator Brian Taniguchi’s initiative to welcome the
public to view the variety of art that is displayed not just in the open areas of the State Capitol, but in the legislative offices as well. The idea developed during a conversation with a Hawai`i State Art Museum docent about having legislators open their doors to the public to view the art collection
the people’s art.
More than 900 pieces of artwork acquired by the “Art in Public Places” program of the
State Foundation on Culture and the Arts are on display at the State Capitol offices and open areas. In its inaugural year, the Senate opened its doors afterhours for the Art at the Capitol event -- which included participation by a number of the artists whose works are placed at the Capitol. With an overwhelming positive response, the House of Repre-sentatives joined Art at the Capitol the second year. In 2012, the Offices of the Gover-nor and Lieutenant Governor participated in the event, marking the first time that all six floors of the State Capitol were open afterhours for the Art at the Capitol celebra-tion of the people's art!
Hawai`i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts
Art in Public Places Program
In 1967, the Hawai`i State Legislature passed the Art
Buildings Law. Signed by Gover-nor John A. Burns, the law established the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, Art in Pub-lic Places Program. Hawai`i became the first state to set aside one percent of the cost of state buildings to acquire and commission works of visual art, which are then placed in or around state buildings to beautify and humanize the built environment. Advancing the concept of a statewide “museum without walls,” comprised of site
specific commission works of art and porta-ble relocatable works of art, the program places art in publicly accessible state buildings to ex-pand aesthetic opportunities as part of daily life. Relocatable works of art, which can be seen throughout the Capitol, are intended to be rotated throughout Hawai`i at different display sites in order for all people of the state to have access to view visual arts in various styles, techniques and media. The acquisition and display of works of art enables people of all communities on each island to enjoy art in public places. It stimulates broader interest in works by local artists and recognizes the professional achievements of visual artists. The Art in Public Places Pro-gram’s collection is recognized as one of the most significant collections of late twentieth and early twenty
first century art in Hawai`i. Selections from the collection can also be seen at the Hawai`i State Art Museum.
As a gathering place for the people of Hawai`i, the Capitol serves as one of the showcases for the
Art in Public Places Collection—the people’s art.