How to Attend an Artist’s Reception

Artists Reception Refreshments WAG 2016

Artists Reception Refreshments

I used to think I wasn’t allowed to go to artists receptions without receiving a specific invitation in the mail.

I remember very clearly the first Artist’s reception I attended.  It was for my Dad’s solo show at Springville Museum of Art in the mid-nineties. Since my Dad was quadriplegic, he had stopped attending art openings long before I could recall due to his health, so he had only one artist’s reception that I remember.  Because it was one of his only events, and he was very ill, I think many people guessed correctly that it would be his last art show as well. Although it was announced in the newspaper, I really didn’t think about the logistics much.  I just knew the upper floor of the museum held quite a crowd. I’m not sure how many people were there, but I know it was an unusually large crowd.  I remember seeing family, classmates of his from high school, neighbors, friends.  Even some people he hadn’t seen in years attended. Many people were dressed up very nicely.  It felt more like a wedding than a gallery reception in many ways.

It was a lovely event, but somehow I concluded that art receptions were only for people who know the artist. I figured I wasn’t allowed to go to an artist’s reception if I wasn’t a personal friend. Now that I have attended many artists receptions (my own and others), I know that for most of the art receptions in Hawaii, my ideas were absolutely incorrect! I would like to encourage you to attend artists receptions, even if you don’t know any of the artists.  If it looks interesting, you should go. They are truly meant to be parties for the public. We want to see our existing friends/family AND meet new people. We love it when people take to time to see the show we worked hard to put together.

Artists Reception AHA 2016

Artists Reception AHA 2016: Most art shows have an approximately 10 minute presentation of awards and/or quick acknowledgement of the organizers and/or artist.

The real deal with art shows:

Unless there are specific invitations with specific instructions, this is the way artists receptions run:

1. Everyone is welcome.

Artists receptions are like a big, open house type party and really, crowds are a gift.  You can bring friends. You don’t have to know the artist.

2. Dress comfortably

You don’t have to dress nicely, but you can if you like.

3. Enjoy the refreshments

There are almost always light refreshments and drinks.  Yes, you can eat and drink them even if you don’t know the artist.  Go ahead – that’s why we have a refreshment table – for ALL our guests.

4. You are not obligated to buy art

You are not expected to buy something – you can certainly do so if you like, but it’s never an obligation.

5. Stay as long as you like

You can stay for part of the night, or the whole time.

6. Please don’t take it personally if your conversation with the artist is short or interrupted.

I am always trying to strike that perfect balance between visiting with everyone and swapping meaningful conversation for as long as possible.  I never manage to talk to everyone, and inevitably, at least a couple of conversations are cut short. I always wish I had more time.

7. Basic human decency is great.

As long as you don’t destroy the art, act in a rude fashion, or drink all the wine and get wasted, you’re going to fit in just fine!

8. You don’t have to be an art expert to attend.

If you don’t know much about art, you are not alone.  There are always plenty of people who come to support the artist in their life, and their attendance doesn’t center around the art.  Likewise, some people know a lot about art, but don’t know anyone. There are lots of reasons to go to a reception.  No one is expecting you to write an art review for the local paper in which you identify intriguing parallels to 15th century Italian art.

9. Just go.

If you see a show in the newspaper or on an online events calendar that you think would be fun to view, try to go on the artist’s reception night.  It will be full of energy and people.  Sometimes there is live music.  It really is like a wonderful party you didn’t have to plan.  Feel free to “crash” an art reception anytime.  And if you like the work, find the artist and say something nice.  Sign the guestbook, and enjoy the ambiance.

Peaceful Sanctuary

I have been getting ready for the art show at Punahou School.  It happens once a year and half the proceeds go to the school.  It’s a good way to help gifted students who need a scholarship to afford the rigorous top-notch education of this famous institution. I am placing three pieces in the show, the main piece is my newest oil painting, “Peaceful Sanctuary”.

Peaceful Sanctuary by Wendy Roberts

Peaceful Sanctuary

I wanted to use my art to make a place of refuge for our stressed-out society. Our collective minds are restless over the past few months as the world changes around us once again.  I had recently seen the Zen Show at Honolulu Museum of Art, and experienced firsthand its powerful effect on my ability to focus and recenter.  This isn’t a Zen painting.  It doesn’t follow the rules of limited palette and limited information. However, I wanted to make an image that would have a calming impact on the viewer.  It is meant to embrace and transport anyone who looks at it into a relaxing place, not just for this occasion, but for the inevitable challenges life send to us all.  Art can be a powerful aid in attaining a particular mood.  I want this painting to make you feel more peaceful, and provide a rest from your worries.  Like its subject, this place is designed to be a refuge to revitalize you.

The painting centers around the comforting, spiritual colors of blue and purple, with a myriad of greens, from softened viridian, and distant mint-greys, to refreshing yellow-greens in the foreground.  I focused on creating a sense of distance with these colors to draw you into the painting’s setting and give it a sense of atmosphere. My hope is that you enjoy it and that it brings you a moment of peace every time you look at it.  Imagine yourself at the side of the lake, listening to distant birds, hearing the rustle of leaves in a delicate breeze. Please accept the renewed hope and energy it offers to you, anytime you need it. Everything is going to be okay.

Windward Artists Guild 57th Annual Member Show Photos

The 57th Annual Member Show for the Windward Artists Guild is now at Hoomaluhia Gallery.  I have a couple of photos of the gallery to share.  This is not remotely comprehensive, just a quick overview. You’ll want to see a lot of the work close up and in person.  This show has a lot of pieces that don’t photograph well: collage with beautiful foils and transparent, hand dyed papers; encaustic work that always has a lot of glare in photos but is luminous and vivid in person; and work protected behind glass, its brilliance obscured in photos by inevitable glare.  These works can only be appreciated fully in person.  See the show before October 28, 2016 at Hoomaluhia Botanical Gardens in Kaneohe, and while you’re at it, pack a picnic.  The garden is breathtaking!

Windward Artists Guild 57th Annual Member Show 2016 at Hoomaluhia

Entry Wall of the show

Windward Artists Guild 57th Annual Member Show 2016 at Hoomaluhia Panorama

Panorama from the center of the room

Windward Artists Guild 57th Annual Member Show 2016 at Hoomaluhia Wendy Roberts

Wendy with “Understory” and “Waterlilies”

Meanwhile in the garden just outside, nature is proving that even the cloudy days are gorgeous at Hoomaluhia!

Hoomaluhia Visitor Center

Hoomaluhia Visitor Center

Near the Hoomaluhia Gallery

Trail adjacent to the Hoomaluhia Gallery

Hoomaluhia Heliconia 2016

My favorite plant blooming right now: These yellow heliconia blooming near the gallery are around 3 feet long and fuzzy! The whole plant with its beautiful leaves stretches at least 12 feet, (probably more like 15 feet) tall!

The reception for the show is coming up this weekend on Saturday, October 8, 2016 at from 5 – 7 pm.  We hope to see you there!

September/October Shows

I am participating in two shows for October/November.

Honolulu Hale (City Hall)

Honolulu Hale (City Hall)

Asia-Pacific Arts Consortium’s Pamana Show will take place at Honolulu Hale from September 27 – October 13, 2016.  The reception is on October 6, 2016 from 4 – 6 pm. I will be there , but I will by necessity arrive late by at least a half hour. Three of my works have been juried in for display, “Fiery Sunset”, “Honu Laule’a” and “Sea Lions”.

WAG 57th Annual Member Show

WAG 57th Annual Member Show

Windward Artists Guild is holding its 57th annual Member’s show at the Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden Gallery October 2 – 28, 2016. Please join us at our reception Saturday, October 8 from 5:00 – 7pm. I plan to attend the entire reception. Two of my works will be on display, “Understory”, and “Waterlilies”.


WAG Summer Show Best in Show

As my Paradise Painters Show is drawing to close, I realize I never posted the results of the prior show, the Windward Artists Guild Summer Show.  I am pleased to announce that my triptych, “New Day at Kawainui” took best in show at the Windward Artists Guild Summer Show.  The Juror for the show was Richard Duggan, whose credentials astound me. The show looked great, with many artists presenting beautiful work. Here are a couple of photos of the show.

Windward Artists Guild Summer Show

Two of the walls in the show  held at Hawaii State Library

Windward Artists Guild Summer Show

“New Day at Kawainui” won Best in Show


Paradise Painters Show

Annual Paradise Painters Show featuring work by Kelley Fitzgerald, Cris Meier, Jaime Mendame, and Wendy Roberts

Paradise Painters Show
Ho’omaluhia Botanical Gardens Gallery
45-680 Luluku Road, Kaneohe
August 2 – 28, 2016

The Paradise Painters Show at Ho’omaluhia Botanical Gardens Gallery is an annual show that has been running for several years now.  I have been part of it since 2014. This year, the artists in the show are:  Kelley Fitzgerald, Cris Meier, Jaime Mendame, and me.

Gallery Panorama Overview

Gallery Panorama Overview

The show is up until the end of the month and also features floral arrangements from the talented Ho’omaluhia staff and floral arrangement students. As usual, I added one bouquet from my yard featuring torch ginger and orange heliconia psittacorum nestled in laua’e ferns which is pictured here with my triptych “New Day at Kawanui”.

HoomaluhiaGallery-Overview5 HoomaluhiaGallery-Overview2 HoomaluhiaGallery-Overview3

Every week the show is slightly different. The art changes as it is sold, and the staff has made the floral aspect of the show gorgeous and interesting. They refresh the flowers every Wednesday. So far, between the changes in the art and the flowers, the show has been significantly rearranged three times already!

Artist Jaime Mendame's work

Artist Jaime Mendame paints on a wide range of supports including surf boards and plates

Kelley Fitzgerald Wendy Roberts Art

Kelley Fitzgerald and Wendy Roberts work is intermingled in a largely ocean-themed corner.

Cris Meier Artist

The talented Cris Meier with her intricate, detailed art. The “He’e” porthole and “Jacarandas in Upcountry Maui” (pictured in the center of this photo) sold to a buyer who could not wait the duration of the show to pick up the work, so the exhibit has been reconfigured and now you can see different works from Cris.

Jaime Mendame Hawaiian Artist

Jaime Mendame with his dreamy Hawaiian artwork. He will be on site sporadically to demonstrate his painting technique.  It is fun to watch him paint!

There’s nothing quite like going to see the art in person.  The photos don’t capture the colors and textures fully. If you have time, you should stop by to see the show in person. While you’re at it, pack a picnic or plan a walk through the glorious gardens! This is one of the most beautiful gardens I have ever seen thanks to the towering Koolaus and exotic plants from around the world. I never tire of the scenery, even after countless visits.

I plan to go paint on-site at the gallery at least once during the show, so if you are interested in knowing when I will be there, contact me and I will include you in an email alert that I will send out a day or two in advance.

Photos from AHA 90th Anniversary Show

AHA 90th Anniversary Show Awards

This summer has been happening so fast!  I will play catch up and post a few photos from the Association of Hawaii Artists 90th Anniversary Show at the Honolulu Country Club.  It was quite an elegant night, marking AHA’s longevity in style.   AHA is suspected to be the oldest art organization west of the Mississippi, as stated in the Awards Ceremony, but I haven’t verified it personally with research.  If not the oldest, it is certainly a contender.

We also came together as artists to celebrate the life of Candace Fenander who recently passed from cancer. A segment of the night was spent recalling happy memories of her amazing talent and vibrant life. She was definitely a good role model for a life well-lived!

Candace Fenander's Last Show

The evening included wonderful friends, live harp music, and a beautiful cake.

Association of Hawaii Artists cake

I was awarded Best in Show for my painting “/*Internet Series*/ function Distract (User)”. As part of my prize, I was given an original watercolor of a European scene painted by Candace Fenander!  What an amazing and generous gift!

Wendy Roberts at the AHA 90th Anniversary Show


Invitation to Windward Artists Guild’s Summer Show 2016

WAG Summer Show 2016Invitation2

You are invited to come enjoy refreshments and see the Windward Artist’s Guild Summer Show at the State Library at our reception on Thursday, July 7, 2016. If you are unable to come that evening, the show will be up during the month of July on the main floor in the relaxing reading room of the beautiful State Library on 478 King Street in Honolulu.  If you are driving, there is metered parking around the entire area, and underground municipal parking a short walk from the library, with entrances on Alapai or Punchbowl between Beretania and King Streets. It’s the same parking you would use for Honolulu Hale. Or there is also paid (meter) parking at Iolani Palace, but Honolulu Hale tends to be less crowded.

The show features 16 artists and approximately 40 works in various media from watercolor and oil paint to fine jewelry and blown glass.

Displaying at Jewel or Juice

Wendy Roberts at Jewel or JuiceIt’s been a busy month between Spring Break and a new office design to create, but amongst all the activity, I installed a show at Jewel or Juice in Kailua.  The display also features a few pieces from Kelley Fitzgerald, and runs until early June 2016.  The best part is that unlike my other shows, you can grab an amazing smoothie or acai bowl (their acai bowl was judged best throughout Oahu by InsideOut magazine, Metromix, and Around Hawaii), and sit for a while. There is a trend in Kailua of restaurants and artwork sharing space. I think it is a wonderful combination, both practical and completely symbiotic (especially with the limited real estate of Hawaii). It adds so much wall space to an art scene that truly needs more opportunities to display, and for the restaurants, it makes the walls into a beautiful gallery!  Several Kailua restaurants now feature rotating art displays from accomplished local artists. I don’t know who started this trend, but I think it’s brilliant.

I really love Jewel or Juice.  It’s a classy local juice bar with a gallery-quality lighting system that really shows off the art on the wall.  The atmosphere is cozy.  They always have wonderful art on the wall (rotation of work on a roughly quarterly basis), and offer healthy options and unique local flavors (lychee, dragonfruit, hibiscus, lilikoi, ginger, etc…). Jewel or Juice is definitely a great place to go relax. If you have a little time on a lunch break or a weekend, you should stop in.


Jewel or Juice
305 Uluniu Street, Suite 102, Kailua Hawaii, 96734
Phone number (808) 262-1900
Closed M, T-Sat 8:30 – 5:30, Sun 9:30 – 4

Wendy Roberts at Jewel or Juice