The paths of artists Allison LaValley, Michelle Schwengel-Regala and Kun Lian Xu have intersected through the proximity of their lives and workspaces in Kaka‘ako. In 2016, Michelle was working out of a studio at Aupuni Space (formerly 729 Studios) and met Kun who was working in adjacent Heavy Metal Inc. Around the same time, Allison and Michelle met through the local fiber group “Aloha Knitters.” Their three paths finally converged when Allison joined Aupuni Space in 2019.
As studio neighbors and co-exhibitors in previous group exhibitions at fishcake and BoxJelly, the artists have recognized certain points of intersection in their work. The effects of light through layers feature in each of their approaches to making art. Whether reflected off the base material or a surface treatment, this quality can be traced through all their pieces here utilizing paper, wood, fiber, and metal.
Though this exhibition was postponed due to the pandemic, these artists are now feeling hope that this dark time is shifting, brightening, and that there is indeed light to be seen at the end of the tunnel.
Michelle Schwengel-Regala Bio: Michelle is a scientist-turned-artist whose art career began during her undergraduate degree programs in Wildlife Ecology and Entomology. For fifteen years she worked as a science illustrator, communicating science by collaborating with researchers and museums around the USA and abroad. After moving to Hawai‘i in 2005 she shifted from 2D works on paper to 3D fiber sculpture and then to metal, now used both as a sculptural and a drawing medium. Natural history and field work remain at the core of her conceptual approaches, often featuring species endemic to Hawai‘i or Antarctica.