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Pasifika Narratives: INS[PI]RED Residency Artists

January 13 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

This month’s Pasifika Narratives will feature our first two INS[PI]RED Residency Artists: Lehuauakea and Roldy Aguero Ablao!

Lehuauakea is a māhū mixed-Native Hawaiian interdisciplinary artist and kapa maker from Pāpaʻikou on Moku O Keawe, the Big Island of Hawaiʻi. Lehua’s Kānaka Maoli family descends from several lineages connected to Maui, Kauaʻi, Kohala, and Hāmākua where their family resides to this day.

Through a range of craft-based media, their art serves as a means of exploring cultural and biological ecologies, spectrums of Indigeneity, and what it means to live within the context of contemporary environmental degradation. With a particular focus on the labor-intensive making of ʻohe kāpala (carved bamboo printing tools), kapa (bark cloth), and natural pigments, Lehua is able to breathe new life into patterns and traditions practiced for generations. Through these acts of resilience that help forge deeper relationships with ʻāina, this mode of Indigenous storytelling is carried well into the future.

They have participated in several solo and group shows around the Pacific Ocean, and recently opened their first curatorial research project, DISplace, at the Five Oaks Museum in Portland, Oregon. The artist is currently based between the Pacific Northwest and Pāpaʻikou after earning their Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting with a minor in Art + Ecology at Pacific Northwest College of Art.

Roldy Aguero Ablao is a queer mixed CHamoru artist and cultural practitioner from the island of Guåhan. They are inspired by the stories and myths of Oceania, weaving in themes of memory and renewal as an underlying foundation for his practice.  

Currently, Roldy (pronounced like ‘rowdy) is freelancing, exploring the idea of reciprocity through fashion, ritual, performance and drag. They have performed and exhibited with various places and people, like the Guam Museum in FESTPAC 2016, Legendary Children at the Seattle Art Museum, and the Honolulu Biennale as a part of the SaVage K’lub in 2018. They have also participated twice in the Miss UTOPIA International, a drag pageant put on by UTOPIA Washington. They were a lovely last place at both pageants but were just excited to be there. 🙂 

Recently they began a queer CHamoru Art collective called Guma’ Gela’ with other queer CHamoru artists, inspired by other Pacific Art collectives like the Pacific Sisters, FAFSWAG and the SaVage K’lub in Aotearoa. Guma’ Gela’ means House of Difference, a place where anyone can come and just be. Within a year, we were able to showcase two fashion shows. The first was at London Pacific Fashion Week in 2018, where we showcased 14 looks both traditional and modern, and the second being the grand reopening of the Seattle Asian Art Museum in 2019, where our collection spoke of remembrance and resurgence of endangered birds of the islands. Our guma’s (house) most recent project is a digital zine, featuring 20 Queer and Trans CHamoru artists from the islands and the diaspora, out now in digital and in print. Our motto: “Part land, part sea, all ancestry.”  

Tune in to our Facebook Live to catch the premiere and stick around for a little chat with the artists themselves.


January 13
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm