Hilo Art Museum

Hilo Art Museum

The Hilo Art Museum was chartered in 2007 by a group of Hawaii Island citizens desiring to share their love of art with others in their isolated island home. The Museum became an Hawaii non-profit corporation on April 16, 2007. The Hilo Art Museum permanent collection features works by Huc-Mazelet Luquiens, Pablo Picasso, Emily DuBois, Salvador Dali, Suzanne Dix and others. It is the island of Hawaii's only permanent general art collection.

The HAM is a member of the Western Museums Association and the Hawaii Museums Association. In 2007, the HAM Education Centers was opened to provide a program of studio art classes, workshops and special exhibits. It's main location was then closed in December 2007, and only a few classes in a donated space have happened in 2008.

Quick facts

Collections and holdings

The Hilo Art Museum permanent collection includes original works of art by Huc-Mazelet Luquiens, Pablo Picasso, Keith Haring, Stephen Freedman, Salvador Dali, Emily DuBois, Suzanne Dix, Jack Sudlow and many others. The Museum features a permanent exhibit, "Art of the Holocaust and Genocide" which contains a rare signed lithograph by Picasso, works by Chagall and other significant artists.

The Museum Teaching Collection also features a unique teaching collection of hand painted life sized reproductions of the masters. This collection was necessary to teach the island children about art in museums around the world. Isolation in the middle of the Pacific Ocean has kept most of the island inhabitants and their families from viewing the world's master art. Portions of the permanent collection are on display in the Keaau Fine Arts Center, 16-643 Kipimana Street, Keaau, HI.

Hours and admissions

The Hilo Art Museum exhibits a portion of their collection in the Keaau Fine Arts Center, 16-643 Kipimana Street, Keaau, open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. This is the only venue for the public to view the holdings of the Hilo Art Museum.


Docents are available to provide personalized guided tours through the collections. Tours for the hearing impaired are available during regular hours by appointment.


The Hilo Art Museum collection is on display in the Keaau Fine Art Center located at 16-643 Kipimana Street in the Shipman Industrial Park, Keaau, Hawaii. We are undergoing renovations and only a small portion of our permanent collection is on display.


Parking is free at the Keaau Fine Art Center with spaces in front, and along the sides of the building. Additional parking is also available on the street in front of the building.

Museum Shop

The HAM Museum shop is currently closed pending a new location.

Hilo Art Museum Research Library

The Hilo Art Museum maintains a library of books on art topics for research within the facility. There is no check out service. Items are available from the library by contacting the museum director. The library also has no public location yet.

Contact information

Hilo Art Museum, Mailing Address P.O. Box 636, Kurtistown, HI 96760 Phone Numbers: General Information: (808) 961-1426; Email: info@hiloartmuseum.org


In April 2007, artist and island resident, Ted Coombs, began to realize his dream of a general art museum in Hilo, Hawaii, the State's second largest city. He contacted several others he knew shared his dream, and formed the HAM Board of Trustees. A search began for a location, and for art to fill the permanent collection. Before finding a permanent home, the trustees decided it would be best to open the facility in the historic Hilo Iron Works building. This facility closed as of December 2007, with a new, smaller facility donated in January 2008, in the Keaau industrial park, HI.

The Hilo Iron Works building was home to the noted Art in the Iron Works gallery which maintained one of Hilo's premier art education resources. This program was generously donated to the Museum when the Museum took over the Art in the Iron Works facility in the Summer of 2007. Donations of art began arriving including an original Picasso drawing of the "Two Monkeys", original work by abstract expressionist, Willem de Kooning, social commentary artist, Suzanne Dix and Dale Chihuly.

The initial funding for the museum came from the trustees, Ted Coombs and family, Stephen Davey and through museum memberships.

In January 2008, the Hilo Art Museum began a program of opening small exhibit centers throughout the Island of Hawaii. The first and only center so far is the Keaau Fine Art Center which features portions of the permanent collection and rotating exhibits.

In September of 2008, Stephen Davey was named as the museum's Director.

Education Center

The primary mission of the Hilo Art Museum Education Center is to promote the study of and the advancement of education in art and aesthetics. Right now those goals are not being met because of a lack of funding and a viable location.

Current News

The Hilo Art Museum Education Center was closed in December 2007. No educational programs are currently scheduled. The Hilo Art Museum is no longer a member of the American Association of Museums, and never met the criteria for accrheditation by the AAM. The Hilo Art Museum web site is "on hold," and museum members are not receiving the monthly e-newsletter that was a part of membership.


Highly trained docents conduct a wide variety of tours for the public, school groups, and community organizations, which help facilitate interactions between our visitors and original works of art.


A training program to prepare volunteers to provide docent-guided tours of the Hilo Art Museum is held on an as-needed basis. For more information about becoming a docent Email docent@hiloartmuseum.org.

External links

* [http://www.hiloartmuseum.org www.hiloartmuseum.org]
* [http://www.stephendavey.com Stephen Davey's Home Page]
* [http://www.tedcoombs.com Ted Coombs' Home Page]

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