By Pam Woolway - The Garden Island, September 4th 2009
More art, more often — contemporary gallery opens on South Shore
Galerie 103 mascot, Brolie, leans into director Bruna Stude before ‘Monkey Pod Thinking’ by Anahola artist, Mac James. Stude is sitting on a bench she made of the Monkey Pod tree.
Last week Galerie 103 opened with a handful of other venues in Kukui’ula Village. This contemporary gallery brimming with Kaua‘i artists also boasts a world-class off-island presence and a variety of clever gifts from around the world.
Known primarily as a photographer who “paints with her camera,” Bruna Stude decided to open a gallery after TimeSpace Gallery in Hanapepe closed in January. The loss created a vacuum that Stude (at first) reluctantly filled.
“I was not one of those people who ever wanted a gallery,” she confessed.
Her reticence diminished as she quickly fell into stride gathering works to showcase. With Kaua‘i artists like Tom Lieber, Sally French, Wayne Zebzda and Mainland talent like Tom Emerson and William Wiley, Stude is confident in the gallery’s future.
Everyday new works arrive from around the world. Just this week hand-made books by Heather Wilcoxon of California were added to the growing collection.
“It’s not like you walk in once and have seen it,” Stude said. “There will always be something new.”
With barely two weeks under her belt, Stude already has her second opening scheduled. On Sept. 12 an exhibit by Wayne Zebzda will launch in a space adjacent to Galerie 103 with the installation of “Road Trip” arriving from Maui Art Center. Kukui‘ula offered Stude the adjacent space for Zebzda’s exhibit.
“Kukui‘ula Village wants art and artists to be an important part of this village,” she said.
The gallery’s official grand opening October 10 is titled, “Generations,” and will feature Tom Lieber, who has work in the Guggenheim and the Metropolitan Museums. Joining Lieber will be the work of his 10 year-old son Leaf and Lieber’s 81 year-old teacher, Peter Bodnar of Chicago, Ill.
In November the gallery will host a book fair with original art and a book signing with a number of Kaua‘i author/artists and in December is “A-HA,” an acronym for “Art by Hawai‘i Artists.”
“Hawai‘i artists are considered regional,” Stude said. “Like we don’t create work past pretty landscapes. But we do conceptual work here. There’s great contemporary art from all these islands.”
Stude defines Galerie 103 as possessing both contemporary and conceptual art. On the walls hang a variety of medium ranging from thumb-size recycled dolls akin to miniature Kachinas to the grander scale of a multimedia canvas by Anahola artist, Mac James; or sculpted metal boxes beside Stude’s own ocean photography.
The inaugural group exhibit includes: Carol Bennett, A.Kimberlin Blackburn, Peter Bodnar, Liedeke Bulder, Tom Emerson, Margaret Ezekiel, Sally French, Karen Gally, Mac James, Leaf Lieber, Lila Roo Lieber, Tom Lieber, Bruna Stude, Mark Van Wagner and Wayne Zebzda.
The versatile nature of the collection is just one of the attributes defining Galerie 103 as unique according to Stude.
Last week when a visitor was admiring a painting by Tom Lieber she told them, “Oh you want to meet the artist? He’s the guy in there hanging my cabinets.”
Although Galerie 103 is not a co-op, it is artist run.
“To have this caliber of artist — who are accomplished and experienced — to have them here to tell you about their own work, that is a gift,” she said.
Local artists stream in and out of the space daily either helping Stude adjust lights, hang work or sit as consultants for the day.
“They help me by donating their time,” she said. “There is a big force behind me.”
Stude’s vision is to create a community space with classes for children and adults.
“Galleries should be interactive places where artists come and go and exchange ideas,” she said. “Then we share them with the rest of the world.”