The vibrant, new mural that graces the newly renovated HIC building was designed by Native Hawaiian artist Sara Saffery. Saffery, born and raised in Kailua, was inspired by her heritage and her family’s work on restoring Kawainui marsh. “Being from Kailua, I realized the kuleana of this mural and wanted to paint a picture that honors Kailua’s history and culture from the perspective of the Hawaiian community,” she explained. The majestic Ko‘olau Mountains, the Kawainui fishpond, native flora and fauna, a kalo lo‘i, the Mokulua islets, and a double-hulled voyaging canoe are among the mural’s symbolic depictions of life in the Windward community.
“Kailua is a beautiful town, but much of our Native Hawaiian presence is gone,” said Alani Apio, a noted Hawaiian playwright, artist, and community advocate who advised A&B on the project. “Bringing Kanaka ‘Ōiwi, Native Hawaiian, art to the local landscape is a wonderful opportunity to excite and interest people about our cultural legacy. Sara’s joyous mural is a wonderful example of visual storytelling; there’s a history many people will now discover as a result of this new artwork.”
Dana Harvey Gusman, A&B’s liaison for the mural, says it is one of the most meaningful projects she has been involved in and showcases A&B’s commitment to “walking the talk.” “The mural is the result of meetings with, and listening to, the Native Hawaiian descendants of this culturally significant place,” she explained. “As a company, A&B has forged a partnership with the descendent community and is committed to amplifying their voices and allowing them to tell their own beautiful stories through art. This project has been an absolute privilege to be a part of.”