3rd Annual Youth Art Month Kalākaua Park Project

Program type: 
Monday, February 27, 2023 - 9:00am to Monday, April 3, 2023 - 9:00am

3rd Annual Youth Art Month Kalākaua Park Project

Presented by East Hawai‘i Cultural Center + Hawai‘i Science and Technology Museum

On view in Kalākaua Park Monday, February 27–Monday, April 3, 2023

The East Hawai‘i Cultural Center (EHCC) Youth Art Month community art installation is an annual project on view in Kalākaua Park each March. The collaborative art display celebrates the importance of arts education for keiki and teens. In addition, it highlights the value of art in the community as a vehicle for collaboration and connection.


Kalākaua Park is the venue for the project. Our aim is to bring visibility to the area, and activate an underutilized and historically significant part of Downtown Hilo.

For the second year in a row, EHCC has partnered with Hawai‘i Science and Technology Museum (HSTM). We’ve collaborated to create 5 chicken automata. These interactive sculptures demonstrate the interconnectedness of arts and sciences, and promote the importance of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) education.

The automata are inspired by the families of chickens that have inhabited the EHCC facility for the past several years. The subject matter aims to create a fun and whimsical environment in Kalākaua Park, in an effort to uplift the area.

Additional project partners include Hilo High School Art Club, Connections Public Charter School, Waiakea Intermediate School Art Club, and Hawai‘i Academy of Arts and Sciences. Each of the school groups has taken part in the project by decorating one of the five chicken automata. The students in each group have been given the creative freedom to design their chicken in a unique way that best represents their organization. 


This year’s project will also include a collaboration with various businesses in the downtown area. We’ll be celebrating the community installation alongside EHCC’s 35th annual Young At Art exhibition in partnership with the Downtown Hilo Museum Square. The Museum Square will host a family friendly event on the second Saturday of March, encouraging people to explore the neighborhood and support the local businesses in the area. 



Sponsored by:

Isemoto Contracting Co. Ltd. 

Yamada Furniture 

80/20 Physical Therapy and Wellness

Ho‘ola Farms

Ellen Kusano

Hawaiian Electric

HPM Building Supply



Automata design and construction:

Kalani Cook

Harvey Lyman

Rose Lyman

Christian Wong

Ray Kobayashi

Rick Kobayashi

Automata chicken painting:

Hilo High School Art Club students and Ellen Zanetos 

Waiakea Intermediate School Art Club students and Carrie Edgil

Hawai‘i Academy of Arts and Sciences students and Shelby Smith

Connections Public Charter School students, Kathy Booth, Pam Thatcher, and Fallon Legaspi

Artist statements:

Hilo High School Art Club

The Prideful Rooster is a student-painted wooden automaton,  graciously given to us by the Youth Arts Series (YAS). Our main inspiration and design for the Rooster was LGBTQIA+ identities, as the Art Club consists of many in the community and is an important part of many people’s lives. The Rooster features the colors of many flags, such as the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Pansexual, Aromantic and Asexual, to the official flag on the main base of the Rooster. As a club, we collaborated to create a beautiful piece of art with an impactful message to all that they are accepted, no matter who they are.

Connections Public Charter School Makery Students

Connections Makery class was honored to paint one of the chicken automatas, a mother hen with chicks.  After brainstorming and collaborating on possible whimsical themes and colors, students decided on "space."  Their inspiration stemmed from interest in the universe, galaxies, constellations, and even zodiacs.  Not all of the students considered themselves painters, but they welcomed the opportunity to expand their horizons by trying something new.  Students expressed gratitude to East Hawaii Cultural Center for the invitation to participate in this meaningful project for the community.

Waiakea Intermediate School Art Club

Our artwork, Chicken Kusama, is a wooden chicken automata. An automata is a creative mechanical device. It was collaboratively designed and painted by students in an after school art club at Waiakea Intermediate. Students brainstormed many design ideas and eventually we decided to focus on the art of Yayoi Kusama, a modern artist well-known for her love of polka-dots and her belief in the power of art making. We especially connected to her quote, “Every time I have had a problem, I have confronted it with the ax of art.” It reminded us of our intention of forming an art club and the many mental and emotional benefits of the arts. We use art as an outlet for expressing ourselves, as a way to find peace, and even as an escape from reality. We hope that our collaborative installation piece brings you joy.



Poster & Flyer: