Graphic of the featured artists names: Ava Fedorov, Nanea Lum, Jenna Macy


April 13  – May 23, 2021
The Commons Gallery, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa Ava Fedorov: Tues April 13 – Sunday April 25th
Nanea Lum: Tues April 27th – Sunday May 9th
Jenna Macy: Tuesday May 11- Sunday May 23rd

Events + Programs (events are free and open to the public)

April 29 12:00-1:15 pm: Talk among UHM MFA candidates Ava Fedorov, Nanea Lum and Jenna Macy, on the occasion of their exhibitions in The Commons Gallery (Zoom link, Meeting ID: 641 863 5286; Passcode: Manoa2021).

The Commons Gallery, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa (UHM), is very proud to present three in-person exhibitions of new work in an exhibition series of current UHM MFA 2021 recipients:

Ava Fedorov addresses loss, extinction, and the climate crisis through her large-scale abstract paintings. Her work reflects an expanded definition of landscape. Utilizing pouring, dripping, and gestural brush work as well as techniques such as collage, drawing, and writing, the paintings evokes looming shadows, ghost formations, and cascading light. Torn paper cutouts placed backwards on the canvas invoke entities that are diachronically expressed as a remembered past and an experienced present-tangible while also being irretrievably lost. The work suggests disappearing wilderness, haunted geographies, and the implicit nexus that connects internal and external landscapes.

Ava Fedorov (BA in film, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY; MA in illustration, Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, NY; MFA in painting, the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI) is a two-time awardee of the John Young Scholar in the Arts. She teaches studio art at Hawai’i Pacific University and is the founder and president of CICADA (www.cicadaartists.org), an organization committed to amplifying the creative response to environmental justice and the climate crisis.

Writes artist Nanea Lum: “Eia Ke Kumu, 2021 is a ceremonial creation of artworks that honor the materiality and spirituality of the ‘āina of Mānoa. The components of the word ‘āi-na mean that which feeds. ‘Āina is all the living forces and features of the natural world which sustain life in the consumption and production of energy. ‘Āina is a concept of a relationship to the land which also includes thinking about identity and belonging.

“This work is my navigation of place, a methodology of making connections, and meaning as a Kanaka artist. Mānoa in its role as Kumu in the place setting of my education teaches a process of becoming centered spiritually, materially responsible, and navigating through ambiguity with a methodology. Eia Ke Kumu also translates to: here is the reason; the lesson, the beginning, the teacher, and the main stalk of a tree. The essential thesis question posed; He aha ke kumu i keia? What is the beginning, the lesson, the reason here?

“The Kumu of these compiled artworks begins in a place where I go to learn, in Mānoa, and takes me on a journey through transforming materials that have many layers of meaning and teaching about life. To produce the works included in Eia Ke Kumu, I conceptually navigated between kapa (a cloth made by beating the inner bark materials of the wauke tree [Broussonetia papyrifera] using wood carved hand tools) and Mānoa as the site for my specific creative processes in painting. Ephemera such as maps, videos, imprints, and paintings develop between these focused observations of site-specific interactivity. The chapters of Eia Ke Kumu are a virtual compendium of my epistemology, looking back at intense global change as well as my own self-preservation strategies while making the MFA exhibit at the University of Hawaii, Mānoa.”

Native Hawaiian artist Nanea Lum is based in Honolulu. Her research-based practice ranges from kapa (Hawaiian wauke beaten bark fiber materials) to large-scale oil paintings. She is a University of Hawai’i at Manoa Department of Art and Art History MFA ’21 and BFA ’14, Excellence in Painting Awarded Artist ’14, the ’13 Yoko Radke Award for Excellence in Figurative Work. POW! WOW! HAWAII! Artist, and Aupuni Space resident. Nanea Received the 2018 John Young Scholarship award and the Graduate Dean’s Scholarship in the Masters’ study of Painting. She is the current coordinator of the Creative Artist Network Hi with the Hawaii Arts Alliance, an advocate for artist’s networks to provide resources and opportunities to support artists who are permanent residents of the Hawaiian Islands. Her areas of specialization include Hawaiian traditional craft techniques and art pedagogy involving place-based learning and indigenous knowledge. Nanea works with community organizations in Hawai’i producing projects and building networks relating Hawaiian learning pathways with ‘āina (land resources).


Dry Spell is an exhibition of video performances and sculptural objects by Jenna Macy that engage with the perceived language of natural phenomena in the desert. Engaging in a performance-based research of the properties of sand and the survival mechanisms of desert chameleons, works challenge both a personal understanding of intimacy and a larger cultural dry spell-the historical and ongoing devaluation of intimacy in Western culture. Deepest Darkest Seacret II-Master of Disguise (2021) “communicates” a secret in the shifting sands using a soundwave tool fabricated from a recording of Macy whispering a secret. Learning to Not Drown (2021) is about “healing” a bruise by using the heat of the artist’s body to change the color of a sculpture treated with thermochromic paint. Both performances are edited to popular nature documentary soundtracks, in ways that open up the questions about human intimacy during this isolated time and place through an imagined lens of reverse anthropomorphism.

Jenna Macy‘s multimedia work often develops from sardonic observation, comparing human behavior to mating rituals as they might appear in a nature documentary. Born in Honolulu, Hawai’i, she completed her BFA at Maryland Institute College of Art (2016) and is the recipient of an MFA at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa (2021). Macy is the recipient of the Windgate Fellowship from the Center for Craft Creativity and Design in North Carolina (2017) and has exhibited at the Kerrie Lowe Gallery, Sydney, Australia.

University of Hawai’i at Mānoa’s Department of Art & Art History and College of Arts & HumanitiesHawai’i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, through appropriations from the Legislature of the State of Hawai’i and by the National Endowment for the Arts; Halekulani Hotel – Hospitality Sponsor for the Arts at UH Mānoa; and anonymous donors. Gallery hours + admission:
Sunday. – Thursday. 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Please note due to COVID-19 these exhibitions are viewable through the gallery windows only.

Free admission. Donations are appreciated.
Parking fees may apply during weekdays. Parking is free on Sundays