Wailea Beach Resort – Marriott, Maui lies nestled between two shimmering white sand beaches, just steps away from Wailea’s shoreline. Featuring stunning panoramic views of Kaho’olawe, Molokini, and Lana’i islands, the sights (and sounds) of whales are a regular feature in winter.
Farmboy Fine Arts (FBFA) collaborated with EDG Design on the newly redesigned Wailea Beach Resort to create a trio of custom-feature murals inspired by the enduring and evolving spirit of Maui. At FBFA, our creative partners are the artists and galleries with whom we collaborate on any given project. The expertise they offer allows us to execute any creative vision. We began this process by casting a wide net in our search for a local Hawaiian artist, supporting the property’s connection to the local art and culture scene.
Our call-out garnered an overwhelming response throughout the Hawaiian archipelago. From the wealth of qualified applicants, we began the strategic selection process of reviewing the submitted materials to ensure that the artists in question met our requirements of artistic excellence and creativity. We also needed to ensure that they had the technical competence and experience working on large-scale murals or could adequately demonstrate the ability to adapt studio work to the medium proposed.
Collaborating with a Local Legend
We awarded the commission to Native O’ahu artist, illustrator, and visionary Solomon Enos, whose proposed large-scale murals, projected onto walls and hand drawn with acrylic paint for both the KAPA Bar & Grill and the Whale’s Tale Beach Bar, spoke to the property and to the rich culture of the islands.
“We love our koholā, our whales; they represent deep knowledge in Hawaiian culture and are ever-present on Maui,” Enos explained, highlighting the significance behind the Whale’s Tale Beach Bar.
Speaking to the intention behind the KAPA Bar & Grill murals, Enos says, “If you are ‘kumu’ or a teacher, it means you know how to apply old knowledge in new ways. Mastery of knowledge and traditions allows for experimentation and new interpretation. For Hawaiians today, our kumu are leading the way in applying old and new ‘ike’ (ways of knowing).” The bold lines and edgy composition show Enos’ development into a contemporary ‘kumu’.
The ‘Whale’s Tale’ Beach Bar mural enlivens the venue into a casual, authentic, and relaxing atmosphere where guests can eat early-morning breakfast or catch sunset cocktails. Inspiration came directly from the “punny” name and the restorative power of the sea, resulting in a whimsical, vibrant mural with fluid lines mirroring the surrounding surf.
The two murals on the KAPA Bar & Grill walls—the exterior perch wall and the interior banquette wall—are influenced by the graphic artwork seen in Hawaiian tribal tattoos—kakau— and on traditional Kapa prints, resulting in strong graphic compositions with dynamic movement. The perch acts as a wayfinding element around the property, leading guests up to the restaurant level from the beach.
Working with Enos and his project team made for a smooth process from start to finish. The artwork elevates the Wailea Beach Resort to an international caliber, stimulating dialogue and interaction between a diverse range of individuals and offering innumerable social, cultural, and economic benefits to everyone involved.