The artist of this painting is : Leohone.
The title of this painting is : "Paddler"
At the first year anniversary celebration of "Hope For A New Beginning Shelter" Leohone dedicated a full size original painting to WCO because of the symbolism of the painting to our efforts of helping families on their journey. This full size original now resides in the foyer and greets all whom enter the shelter.
First, there is a single person in the canoe, one that appears to be in distress and despair. This person is tired, uncertain, and lost. His paddle lies across his lap, showing signs of “giving-up”. The water (waves) around him is rough and choppy. The “ama” (outrigger) on the right side, is a sign of chaos in his life.
Second, there are 2 spirits (Kumu-teachers):
Behind is the past:
All that we know, the values, and beliefs given to us by our ancestors, 'Ohana (family), and by those around us.
In front is the future:
All that we want, the acceptance to change and build a better life for our keiki (children), 'Ohana (family), and those around us (our village).
Third, there are many things in this canoe that signify the world we have today. The plastic bottle with water (life) tangled in the net indicates life’s confusion and entrapment. The goggle is the eyes of which we are to see, rather than merely look. The three arrowed spear facing behind all signifies the Holy Trinity, reminding us of His love, mercy, and presence.
In spite of the many burdens that face this paddler, the Na Kumu (Teachers) of the past and future navigates the canoe so that it continues to move rather than sit and sink. The Na Kumu gives strength and hope at the same time demanding responsibility to join in and to move the canoe evenly over the waters of which will eventually become calm.
Now take just a moment to relate this portrait to our own lives... this portrait asks that we come to remember where we were with the values, beliefs, and expectations of our past, know that we are tired, unclear, and confused of what is now expected, and understand what we want to be and go with all that we have and learned.
This portrait is now forever known in this Hale as 'Voyage of Life with Hope for a New Beginning.'