2017 SOKO Artists
1st row: Willa Marten, Jozef Hadley, Roz Marshall, Jan Bovard, Kathleen Carr, Second row: Catherine Wynne, Andrea Pro, Peter Underwood, Alysia Samaru, Linda Satchell, Joyce Monsky, Lynn Peavy, Third row: Pamela Colton Thomas, Ellen Crocker, Michele Iacobucci, Kim Thompson, Gigi Goochey, Back row: Mark Martel, Clive Salmon.
Not pictured Tara Cronin & Ina Koch.
ARTISTS ARE OPEN YEAR ROUND BY APPOINTMENT
In the summer of 2014, inspired by the amazing wealth of creativity that was largely unrecognized in South Kona, visionary artist Linda Purcell Satchel called local artists together to create a Collective Artists Studio Tour inspired by the idea that art is a living medium meant to be shared through communication and interaction. Linda along with founding members Kathleen Carr and Pamela Colton Thomas called forth artists from their farms, homes and studios scattered throughout the country side of South Kona to meet. In the beginning there were eight and Linda held the reins of the new forming collective as it grew from the seed of an idea into a tiny plant on the lush green slopes of Mauna Loa amongst the coffee, and mac nut farms, the mountain rain forests and the gentle bays that made up the unique terrain of South Kona on the Big Island.
SOKO’s first meetings were filled with excitement and joy as local artists came tother and shared ideas and rolled our sleeves up to create our first Art Studio Tour in 2015. In no time we had a name, SOKO , South Kona Artists Collective, A logo made by Francene Heart, a Face Book page(SOKO South Kona Artists Collective), and the beginning of our web site, sokoartists.com. Linda and Kathy, who had participated in successful art tours in California, brought that experience forward for SOKO to grow from. Other South Kona artists brought their own expertise doing our own publicity, posters, brochures, and articles in local news outlets. We painted bright yellow signs and flags to identify the studios hidden away in South Kona’s rural highways. We created colorful maps to follow and word spread.
After 7 months of preparation SOKO had grown into a sturdy plant producing its first flower. We had our Studio Tour on March 7-8, 2015, with 13 artists in 7 locations stretching from Kainaliu to Honaunau. It was a labor of love and proved to be a great success for both artists and patrons alike. Through our collective artists got to know one another and a sense of community started to form. It was a delight for each artists to be able to exhibit their work and talk about their passion and their process surrounded by the beauty of the neighborhoods of South Kona that so inspire us.
SOKO’s Second Annual Artists Tour took place on February 27, 28, 2016. SOKO expanded our beautiful website complete with downloadable maps, thanks to Ellen Crocker. We received grants from many sources thanks to Kathleen Carr. This allowed us to expand our publicity and artists and art lovers started to hear the buzz and excitedly joined in. We expanded to 16 artists in 9 locations from Holualoa to Honaunau. We experienced even larger numbers of people in our second year traveling from studio to studio over the weekend event.
This year in 2017, we are proud to say that we have grown to 22 artists in 11 locations stretching from Holualoa to Honaunau. We now have a steering committee of 7 people who help to organize our big event. Kathy Carr has taken over the reins and gently guides us forward as we continue to expand. We were interviewed by The West Hawaii Today, Honolulu Advertiser, and the Keola Magazine with large spreads in each publication in February. We had record numbers of people who came from all over the Big Island, both local art lovers as well as visitors from all over the map. Our Studio Art Tours have become a great success. We will continue to do our Annual Art Tour every year on the last weekend of February and we are ready to extend out into the community and do other exhibits as well.
The Big Island of Hawaii is known for its creative energy that brings to birth new land from our fiery volcanoes as well as the beautiful ocean that graces our lava covered shore line. The Artists of the Big Island are fed by the same creative energy and in South Kona that spirit is alive and continues to grow in wonderfully diverse ways. Check back with us for upcoming events throughout the Big Island.
Pamela Colton Thomas