Laura Makali'i Kistner Mellow
Always interested in art, Laura grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii. She studied art at Punahou, Washington University, the American Institute for Foreign Study in Venice and Florence, Italy and Pilchuck Glass School.
Trained as a figurative artist, Laura has grown to doing abstract work. She uses both the computer and traditional art methods which results in her unique art.
She is known for her use of color, shape and form in mixed media. She has won several awards and is in private collections in Hawaii, Los Angeles, California and cities across the mainland. She is currently working on a piece for consideration for inclusion in Luciano Benettons’ Imago Mundi Collection in Italy. The theme is Contemporary Art of Hawaii.
Many of her current themes have been inspired by water. The amazing 2016 Eddie Aikau Surf Contest inspired her theme of huge waves.‘Fourty footer, Eddie’s On’ was exhibited in the Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce 38th Annual Exhibition at the Honolulu Museum of Art School.
She has made several appearances on the hit television show “Hawaii Five-0” as Nalani Lukela, wife of Sgt. Duke Lukela. Duke is played by her real life significant other, actor Dennis Chun. Her favorite is called Ho’a Inea (Misery Needs Company).
One of the works Laura is proudest of is “Honouliuli”. A Hawaii Five-0 episode (Ho’onani Makuakane #410) began research into the WWII Honouliuli Japanese Internment Camp and then creating a series of artworks. One was presented to the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii in honor of the designation of Honouliuli as a National Historic Monument. This artwork, inspired by the the stories of the internees, seeks to show while people can be interned, their hearts & spirits cannot be stopped from believing & dreaming.
As one who fought epilepsy she is honored that her work has exhibited in the Hidden Truths art show in Costa Mesa, California. This show benefits research efforts for addressing the challenge of epilepsy. She has served on the Hawaii Epilepsy Board and been interviewed by several publications on the use of art in addressing epilepsy.
Laura believes art and artists have a unique opportunity and responsibility to challenge, inspire and better our world. She is extremely grateful for the opportunity to create and share her art.