HILO – Toyota Hawaii and Big Island Toyota have furthered their commitment to supporting local artists by partnering with Temple Children to commission its first large-scale mural in Hilo painted by renowned Hilo-based artist Kristie Kosmides. The mural, overlooking the Hilo Farmer’s Market, tells a story of mobility and the role it plays in promoting sustainability and moving resources where it is needed.
“We are honored to provide artists a platform where they can share their gift in ways that enrich our community,” said Jackie De Luz, president of Big Island Toyota. “Telling larger than life stories in this way is a powerful tool to share our culture and help engage communities around important topics such as food sustainability.”
The mural is approximately 130 feet wide by 30 feet tall and is located on the side of the building owned by Reuben Villanueva and Hank Correa at the intersection of Mamo Street and Kamehameha Ave. Honoring Hilo’s agricultural history, the mural pays homage to the Big Island’s unique culture and spirit.
“This mural speaks to our vibrant, resilient community and was a long time in the making,” said Miya Tsukazaki of Temple Children. “It took the right team of people and support from local businesses – I am honored to help facilitate something that is both uplifting and hopeful for our keiki and greater Hilo community.”
The painting of the mural took place over several weeks in April. Kosmides drew inspiration from produce grown and sold at the farmer’s markets and the roads that it travels on to get there.
“I’m thankful for the opportunity to create a mural for my hometown of Hilo,” said artist Kristie Kosmides. “I’m touched and grateful for the support from Toyota Hawaii, Big Island Toyota, Temple Children and our community sponsors to make this project possible. As I paint this mural, I think of this challenging year we had, the loved ones we have lost and the uncertainties we face. I feel as a community we have worked together and supported one another, and those efforts make a difference. My inspiration for this piece was to create something that could be enjoyed by all ages from keiki to kupuna, that would put a smile on people’s faces and give the viewer a feeling of hope and happiness as they enter into downtown Hilo.”
Vibrant, floating fruits such as papaya, starfruit, dragonfruit, citrus, cacao, vanilla bean and coffee beans reference the vast array of crops cultivated on island. Images of kalo (taro), ‘uala (sweet potato), mai‘a (banana) niu (coconut), ko (sugarcane) and ‘ulu (breadfruit) patterned throughout the artwork commemorate the vital canoe plants of Hawai‘i and their cultural and ecological significance to Big Island sustainability, as the lifeblood of our island society. The half-cut fruit and vegetables are depicted like wheels or bubbles to show movement, joy, and whimsy.
Pops of the iconic and endemic ʻōhiʻa lehua flower celebrates its moʻolelo (stories) and the myriad of purposes and uses of the ʻōhiʻa trees in our ancient society. The orchid graphics, a quintessential image of East Hawai‘i, are a nod to the Big Island’s nickname as ‘The Orchid Isle’ and its notable history of orchid production and export. Views of Hilo Bay and windy sugar plantation roads in the backdrop remind us of our past, present and future as a sustainable and resilient island ‘ohana that will persevere through these difficult and unprecedented times, as we always have.
Kosmides’ Mobility for All mural sponsored by Toyota Hawaii and Big Island Toyota is the artist’s largest mural to date. Additional support for the mural was provided by HPM Hawaii, Takamine Construction, and Novo Painting.
About Toyota Hawaii
Toyota Hawaii is a subsidiary of Servco Pacific Inc. Hawaii’s largest privately held company founded in 1919. Toyota has been Hawaii’s top-selling automotive brand since 1997 with seven dealership locations statewide — Big Island Toyota (Hilo and Kona); Maui Toyota; Servco Toyota Kauai; Servco Toyota Honolulu, Servco Toyota Waipahu, and Servco Toyota Windward. For more information about Toyota Hawaii, visit www.toyotahawaii.com.
About Kristie Kosmides
Hilo-born artist, Kristie Fujiyama Kosmides, has been quietly painting away in her Hawaii studio since returning from Los Angeles in 2017. Some may be familiar with her oversized pieces and murals that grace the Honolulu International Airport, Straub Medical Center – Ward Village Clinic & Urgent Care, and the Sheraton Maui, Kaanapali, to name a few. A visual storyteller, Kristie is inspired by experiences, connections, and reflections of daily life. Collect
ors around the world connect to her art which captures energy both serene and powerful. For more information, visit www.kfk.art.
About Temple Children
Temple Children is an arts and sustainability group based in Hilo, Hawai‘i and was founded by Hilo-native Miya Tsukazaki in 2015. Temple Children’s mission is to strengthen the Hilo community and beyond by activating conversation, collaboration and positive change. Through its experimental projects fusing visual arts, sustainability, and community, Temple Children provides a new avenue to share Big Island stories and positively impact society and the planet. For more information, visit www.templechildren.com.