Presented by: Harvard University Native American Program and the Harvard Art Museums
Admission: Free with museums admission. See website for museum admission.
Museum Hours: Open daily 10am–5pm
Mele Murals is a documentary about the transformative power of modern graffiti art and ancient Hawaiian culture for a new generation of Native Hawaiians. Two graffiti artists—Estria Miyashiro and John Hina (“Prime”)—tell how their street art has taken them on personal journeys to discover their history, identity, and responsibilities as Hawaiian people. Estria, who left Hawai’i to study art in San Francisco, made a name for himself as an internationally known graffiti artist before returning to reconnect with his Hawaiian roots. Prime, who grew up in the projects and became one of the first kings of the Honolulu graffiti scene, left a life of hustling and drugs after the birth of his first child and returned to the art when he realized it was a way to help youth.
Through the stories of these two graffiti artists and their joint quest to uphold Hawaiian culture through mural making, Mele Murals shows how public art rooted in underground graffiti unexpectedly but powerfully fuses with Native Hawaiian traditions and contemporary life to have a dramatic effect on the students, the town of Waimea, and most of all, the artists.
Support for this program is provided by the Richard L. Menschel Endowment Fund.