“My name is Sony. I am 8 years old and in second grade. I live with my mom and dad, my older brother my older sister and her baby. I have moved three times this year in search of cheaper housing. I have been a part of the Ulu Pono Program for two or three years now. With Ulu Pono we make art, do homework, skateboard and go to the beach. My favorite is skate club because it is fun and scary and I do it with all my friends. This weekend was the Art Show. There was a big tent set up a few days before the show and I loved playing in it and pretending I was in the circus. We like to play at STN even when there is no Ulu Pono. My favorite game is tag but I don’t like it when people throw rocks. At the Art Show I got one “special hour” where I got to be partner with an Ulu Pono staff. We walked around and looked at all the famous art and surf boards and got shave ice. My favorite artist was Paul Forney because his art was funny looking with silly cartoon men with big beards.
In the room with all the cool surf boards was an old man. I walked over to talk to him with Katie. On the table in front of him were old pictures of a man surfing on very big waves. I asked the man what his name was and he said Fred Hemmings and asked me what my name was. I found out that all the pictures on the table were of him when he was young! I also found out he was a former senator, which must be important but I don’t understand what that is?! He was so nice to me and encouraged me to keep chasing my dreams and chasing big waves. One day I want to surf waves as big as he did.
Ulu Pono Kids had their own special section at the Art Show. In that section there was a picture of each kid and staff. There was also lots of pictures and stories of all the fun we had this year and all the different things we did. But my favorite part was the art wall where all of our art was hung up. This year we studied famous artists and copied their art. My favorite piece was “Starry Night” by Vincent Van Gogh. I also liked the abstract piece we did where we splattered paint all over the page, and the Great Wave. I was kind of bummed that my parents did not come to the show. But I was standing and looking at all of our art and talking to Katie when an old man came over and began to talk to me. He asked me which art pieces were mine and I showed him. He really liked my work and I asked him what his name was and his answer shocked me. Paul Forney. “I love your art it is so funny!” I told him! He was excited that I liked his art too. He said he wanted to buy a piece of my art for $10 and I was stoked! He asked which one and I said “both” embarrassing Katie a little. But Paul laughed and said he liked my enthusiasm. He bought both my paintings. I was so excited I could not believe he wanted my art! Every time my friends came by I showed them that Paul Forney had bought my art! With the money from my art Katie can buy art supplies for next year so we can continue to do art!”
The above story is written by Katie, but everything that happened is true. I just tried to put myself in Sony’s shoes and describe the feelings that he portrayed to me. The Art Show is an amazing event where the kids of the Ulu Pono Program get to feel special and worthy of praise. It is amazing to see the speechless when someone invests in them by purchasing or admiring their art. I am so proud and honored to get to put on this event.
Sony and Senator Fred Hemmings.
Kiana and Katie at the Art Show