In memoriam Kay Yokoyama

Kay Yokoyama
1925 – 2014
EHCC Emeritus Board Member

Kay Yokoyama, artist, psychiatric social worker, wife, mother, book editor, supporter of the arts, member of the East Hawaii Cultural Council Board of Directors – the list goes on for this very accomplished woman. Although she passed away in April of this year at the age of 88, the work that she accomplished during her life will live on and the people who were fortunate to know her will never forget her quiet strength, her wisdom, and her loving heart.

Here at the Hawaii Museum of Contemporary Art she will be remembered by so many people who worked alongside her on the “Aloha Aina: Big Island Memories” compilation of local story histories by the families that have lived, worked and become part of the fabric of our island community. Kay spearheaded the book and was the catalyst to bring all of the community together in its creation the proceeds from the sale of the book going to the East Hawaii Cultural Council. Kay was overseeing the second volume of “Aloha Aina: Big Island Memories” when she was taken ill. The book, edited by Gloria Kobayashi, is dedicated to Kay’s memory and was published in December 2014. Kay also co-edited “Poets Behind Barbed Wire”, focusing on the poetry written by Japanese-American internees during World War II.
Kay was a consummate watercolor artist whose work is in the collection of the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts which exhibits works of art in public places and state offices. She studied with Richard Nelson, Kalei Lyman, Richard Crawford, Gerald Murai, John Thomas and Jerry Livingston among others. Kay said that she was interested in light in all of its aspects and that is what she wanted to convey in her paintings. “It’s all about light,” she said about her technique.
In recognition of her service to the community and to East Hawaii Cultural Council the Board of Directors conferred on her the title of Emeritus in 2014.