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M A R C H 2 0 1 9 · Vo l u m e 1 2 2 : I s s u e 3

Page 16 Meet the BYU–Hawaii Graphic Design professors

Page 20 Graphic design student Jack Soren creates street art


Page 46 Student Khoon An makes Hawaii vlogs on YouTube

MARCH 2019 • VOLUME 122 • ISSUE 3



LeeAnn Lambert

Brooklyn Redd



Mackenzie Beaver Tomson Cheang Geena De Maio Elijah Hadley Esther Insigne Will Krueger Noah Shoaf Haeley van der Werf Emi Wainwright J. Eston Dunn Alyssa Odom

Dani Castro Anuhea Chen Bruno Maynez


Chad Hsieh Ho Yin Li Teva Todd



Pr int Ser vices Editorial, photo submissions & distribution inquiries: k e a l a k a i @ by u h . e d u . To s u b s c r i b e t o t h e R S S F E E D or to view additional ar ticles,go to k e a l a k a i . by u h . e d u


Blake Ellertson Diandra Mongan Shannon Crowley ART & GRAPHICS

Anuhea Chen Michele Crowley McKenna Locken ART DIRECTOR


Emily Hancock


Email: Phone: (808) 675-3694 Fax: (808) 675-3491 Office: BYU–Hawaii Aloha Center 134 ON THE COVER: Jack Soren, midde, a senior majoring in graphic design from Laie, pauses for a photo with friends by a mural they painted in Honolulu. He said his art has transformed from graffiti to artwork people would want to hang in their homes. Photo courtesy of Jack Soren.


The Ke Alaka‘i began publishing the same year the university, then called Church College of Hawaii, opened. It has continued printing for more than 60 years. The name means “the leader” in Hawaiian. It began as a monthly newsletter, evolved into a weekly newspaper, then a weekly magazine, and is now a monthly news magazine with a website and a social media presence. Today a staff of about 25 students works to provide information for BYU–Hawaii’s campus ohana and Laie’s community.



P H OTO SU BMISSIO N Lina Wong, a sophomore from California majoring in general music said, “I used acrylics, some really old ceramic paints from the Give and Take, and a canvas board. I didn’t mean to, but this ended up looking a little like my grandfather.”

Share your photo with us and we may feature it in our next issue. E-mail us your high-resolution photo with a caption at



MAR CH 2019


Contents March 08

Ask the Professional with Jeff Merrill


‘The Pirates of Penzance’ wows BYUH audiences


5-minute mug recipes


Free handing tribal art with Josh Meyer


Meet the BYUH Graphic Design professors

Highlights Ask the professional

‘The Pirates of Penzance

Sharing his love of oil painting, art professor Jeff Merrill gives advice for aspiring artists

BYU–Hawaii Theatre Department brings classic musical to campus

On the cover Jack Soren Graphic design senior Jack Soren began his artistic journey with graffiti and has been evolving ever since



Just Bree





BYUH alumna Bree Poort creates ocean scapes with resin and acrylic

Xavi Herrera Aspiring music producer and BYUH student Xavi Herrera mixes music with passion

Campus Comment:


Creating street art with Jack Soren


Bree Poort’s resin art


Alumnus James Astle explores all kinds of art


Katie Baxter shares the Zentangle Method


Combining passion and personality with Mariana Rudyk


The Densleys and their love of theatre


Happiness found in the ukulele with Keanu Dellona


How to choose the perfect ukulele

38 41

Making beats with Xavi


Made by Kate makes bleach-dyed flannels


How theatre and music channel emotions

The art of martial arts


Khoon An makes it big on YouTube


The Rome Italy Temple is dedicated


Joseph F. Smith and the Laie Hawaii Temple

How do you inspire your creative side? By Eli Hadley

YU YA , a freshman from Japan

majoring in human resources, said, “I like to do magic tricks. When I want to get creative with my card tricks, I just try and practice as much as possible and think about what I’ve learned. I would watch magicians as a kid, and it really had an impact on me.”

CATHRINE SAGA , a graduate from

Malaysia who majored in TESOL, said, “I inspire my creative side by listening to music and watching Indian movies to get me in the mood for creativity.”

WIL FIFITA , a junior from Tonga

majoring in TESOL, said, “I am a dancer, and I feel dancing is a way of speaking with the body. The music talks to your body and your body obeys it, finding a special way to express itself through dance.”

NICOLE VILLEJO , a senior from

Honolulu, Hawaii majoring in music, said, “I’m a singer, and every time we learn a new song in class, the teacher will have us listen to it first so we can put our own personality into it. We can recognize the melody and get more personally connected with the song.”

MAR CH 2019


Letter from the Art Director I really have to thank my family for supporting my love for art. My siblings would gladly have me help them with their school art projects. My parents would buy me art supplies all the time. My family would proudly hang my art on the fridge for all to see. I’m really grateful for that support because now I love to support other artists as well. I am grateful to be in this position as the art director for Ke Alaka‘i. Being the art director means I oversee the graphics, photos, and videos that are created for the Ke Alaka‘i. I love seeing what people can create and how they choose to express themselves. The other unique thing about art is people express it differently. Each person has his or her own inspiration and style they put out into the world. There is no limit to what you can do. For this month’s theme, we are focusing on art. I feel lucky to have attended a school not only diverse in people from around the world, but also in talent as well. Students express art through photography, painting, dance, song and writing. In this issue, we have features that capture those individuals who have found their own way to create amazing art. Be sure to check out Jack Soren (page 20) and alumna Bree Poort (page 24) to peek into their creative process for their work. We also asked Xavi Herrea (page 38) and Keanu “Key” Dellona (page 36) about their passion for music. You can also learn how to choose a ukulele (page 37) and the Densleys express how acting as another form of art on (page 34). This issue is full of students who are making strides with their art, making it possible for others to enjoy it as well. However, one common thing among these artists is they really love what they do. They love creating art. It sets them free and allows them to connect. That is what art is supposed to do, and I hope this issue can be an inspiration to those who want to create. You don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to restrict yourself to one hobby or interest. Try it all. You’ll never know what hidden talents you have until you make it happen. •

- Art Director



Campus Life MAR CH 2019



Jeff Merrill, associate professor of art, works on an oil painting. Photos by Teva Todd



WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO PAINT? “I love to teach figure drawing. I love figure painting. Basically, anything to do to draw people, I really like. Those would probably be my favorites. “It’s just a general satisfaction that you can make it look like something. Painting a landscape, you can make it look like trees, but trees can look a million different ways. For me, there's a real satisfaction in capturing the essence of the person you're painting, creating that representation of the individual. That’s what motivates me.” WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEDIUM TO PAINT WITH? “Oil paint is my favorite. It’s the most versatile.You can paint anything with it.You can paint it like watercolor.You can layer it.You can glaze it, which means you can use a medium like this gel, make it thin so it becomes very translucent. It’s just has a lot of options. It’s very versatile.” IS THERE ANY MEDIUM YOU DON’T LIKE TO PAINT WITH? “I’m not in love with acrylic. I started out painting in acrylic paint, but ever since junior high, I've quit using it. I have used acrylic for illustration. If I’m doing a fine art piece, I'm not going to use acrylic. I'm going to use oil. Oil paint has a prestige associated with it. A BMW is just a car, but it’s a nicer car than

most cars. That’s kind of like oil paint. It’s just paint, but it has a little bit of a prestigious quality associated with it.” WHAT TECHNIQUES DO YOU USE WHEN YOU PAINT? “Your technique is something you develop on your own when you learn from other people. My general technique is I start with thin paint and then I add thicker paint on top. That’s pretty standard procedure for most oil painting. That’s kind of what I adhere to, is thin paint and then thicker paint on top.” WHAT SHOULD PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT THE ART DEPARTMENT AT BYU–HAWAII? “I think the program is changing. People need to know it’s changing. I think we have an opportunity to grow it a little bit and to expand the depth of it. That’s kind of in the works. I don’t know how much it will be expanded, but there’s a potential it will do that.” ARE THERE ANY ARTISTS YOU LOOK UP TO? “I like John Singer Sargent. I like a guy named Frank Brangwyn. There’s a lot. I have a handful of different artists. Mostly they're realistic painters who have an expressive quality to their work. It’s not hyper realism or photo realism.You can still see the brush strokes and the texture and all the abstract elements of the paint. That’s really what I try to do in my work

"Your technique is something you develop on your own when you learn from other people." and what’s appealing to me, is that sort of quality in the paint connected to a representation of something. So it has a duality. It’s a person, but also it’s really interesting to look at.” WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO PEOPLE WHO AREN’T SURE IF THEY SHOULD PURSUE ART? “I would tell them you have to realize that you're going to compete against all the professionals the moment you graduate. Sort of a sobriety test, like, this is the reality of this. In other words, you have to be really good to do this. If you're not really good, you're probably not going to make a living out of it. It will either become a hobby or some other things. “I would give them sort of a reality check on what it involves and how hard you have to work at it, and how competitive it is. The top people get the job. If after that, they’re still like, ‘Yeah, I’m going to do it,’ you just encourage them to develop their skills.” •

MAR CH 2019


The pirate king leads his band in song during the musical. Photos by Chad Hsieh

A living art

Reactions to ‘The Pirates of Penzance’ note the show's unconventional humor and call for greater appreciation of the art By Noah Shoaf With comedic flare, the BYU–Hawaii Theatre Program presented “The Pirates of Penzance” from March 7-9 and March 14-16 in the McKay Auditorium. The show is a musical, and the cast and audience members said the role of the Major General and the emphasis on engaging the audience broke traditional boundaries for a musical. Kristl Densley, an assistant professor of theatre and the director of the show, said before the closing night of “The Pirates of Penzance,” the audience brought an energy that helped support the actors onstage. “As you may or may not know, theatre is a living art and only happens when you are in the seats. If you weren’t in the seats, it would just be a rehearsal.” Noelle Oldham, a senior from Florida majoring in theatre. Oldham, who was 10


one of the Major General’s daughters in the production, said, “When people think of musicals, they think cheesy and a lot of songs.” She added a goal she had for the musical, “Every time we do a show, I want someone to leave the auditorium respecting and appreciating theatre more because I think we need that support.” She said due to the comedic and interactive nature of the production, the audience leaves with a greater appreciation of their art. “We had full houses, and so many people are coming every night. I was shocked many came the second week.” Oldham said the support from audience members is the reason the crew worked to develop the show. "It is the most rewarding feeling knowing the audience is enjoying our work. I love

being on stage and showcasing what we made. Seeing how people loved our work makes me want to keep performing every night.”

The Major General

One of the ushers for the show, Taylor Spencer, a sophomore from Arizona majoring in elementary education, said the steady audience attendance might be influenced by the character, the Major General. “His dances get the audience going, and a lot of his lines are very humorous, so he is very easy to like.” She particularly enjoyed when every night the crowd went crazy when the Major General appeared. “It is my favorite part of the show when he comes out in the first act. I love how the actors onstage and the audience react to his rap.”

Main characters Frederick and Mabel take a bow at the end of the performance.

Colin Carlson, a junior majoring in film from Laie, played the Major General. He said his character is not necessarily relatable, but everyone knows people like him because he is old, fun and silly. Carlson noted he does not take the credit for how the audience reacted to his character. “I portray the character the way I portray the character, but all the words I say help me build the character, so I can’t give myself all the credit for it. It is all because of the writers.” Although putting on the facial hair and costume to become the Major General takes over an hour, Carlson stated he was pleased he made others laugh because this is his favorite musical. “I have always wanted to be in this musical. I am glad I am portraying the character enough to connect with the audience.”

The Major General surprised audiences with his performance and raps.

Support from the audience

One actor who played as a pirate, Eli Harris, a senior from Missouri majoring in English, said some audience members come back and re-watch the show so they can fully understand the comedy. “The audience has been progressively bigger because repeaters come each night. I think some of the humor is a little bit hard to get the first time. The plot is straightforward, but if you are not paying attention, you will not get the jokes.” Harris echoed Densley’s words and said the show is not complete without an engaged audience. “It has been nice to see the audience more involved each show so our humor can be funny. I think it brings more energy to my character when we get the audience response.” He added, “This is the eighth production I have done with the Densleys. I have only been an ensemble member with them, and this has been fun because the costumes and the cast we work with is great. We all take the best from each other to get the result we want. At the same time, we are all shining equally.” •

The police squad performs its comical song and dance number.

MAR CH 2019


Five-minute mug recipes By Shannon Crowley

Pizza Mug

•4 tbsp. all purpose flour •1/8 tsp. baking powder •1/16 tsp. baking soda •1/8 tsp. salt •3 tbsp. milk •1 tbsp. olive oil •1 tbsp. marinara sauce •1 tbsp. shredded mozzarella cheese •Pepperoni •1/2 tsp. dried Italian herbs (oregano or any of your choice) Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, milk and oil inside the mug. Spread the marinara sauce over the batter before sprinkling cheese and adding pepperoni and herbs. Microwave for 1 min. 20 sec. or until batter has risen and cheese is bubbling in mug. Sprinkle on Parmesan cheese and red pepper and enjoy.

Cinnamon Roll Mug

For roll: •1/4 cup all purpose flour, or pancake mix •1/4 tsp. baking powder •2 tbsp. unsweetened vanilla almond milk or other milk (1-2 tablespoons more, as needed) •1 tbsp. maple syrup •1/4 tsp. vanilla extract •1 tsp. coconut oil For swirl: •1 tbsp. brown sugar •1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon For icing (optional): •1/2 tbsp. unsalted butter •1 tbsp. cream cheese •2 tbsp. powdered sugar Coat inside of mug with non-stick cooking spray. Mix together flour (or pancake mix) baking powder, maple syrup, milk, vanilla, and coconut oil in your mug. Add the 1 to 2 extra tbsp. of milk if mix seems dry.



On the side, mix together brown sugar and cinnamon before sprinkling into mug. With a knife, slightly stir in the sugar so the flavor reaches further into the roll. Microwave for 1 min. 25 sec. Slide cinnamon roll out of mug onto plate or eat straight out of the mug. For the icing, prepare the ingredients in a medium sized microwaveable bowl and microwave for around 10 seconds, until the mixture is slightly warm. Whisk contents well before transferring to a piping bag. This makes a lot of icing, which you can save for later or enjoy all at once with roommates.

Art MAR CH 2019


Designing passion through tribal art Joshua Meyer says family, culture, and his upbringing inspired him to create and become an artist By Jemesa Snuka



Joshua Alakai‘i Meyer, a sophomore studying fine art from Mililani, said he creates tribal masterpieces on almost anything that is presented to him. Meyer has put his art onto hydro-flasks, shoes, mopeds and even one time a bull’s skull. Art is something Meyer said he wants to keep doing both as a past time but also expand it into a side hustle. He said he is constantly looking for new projects around him and is always up for an exciting, artful challenge. What sets Meyer aside from artists who draw tribal art as a hobby or profession is not only is he self-taught, but also he does not use tools in his process. This creates opportunities for him to design on anything anywhere. All he needs is a Sharpie, and he is good to go. Danielle Sheridan a freshman from Virginia studying fine art, said of Meyer’s artwork, “I’ve been seriously studying art since middle school, and it is rare to come across talent like his. What makes him unique is he does his art all free hand, no rulers, no reference picture. It is completely and totally his own masterpiece.” As a young high school student, Meyer said, “I was challenged to draw something new everyday as part of an art class.” It was in those moments Meyer said he realized his artistic talent, as well as what he thought he could do for other people with his talent. He said he worked hard in his art classes and increased his skills so others could be inspired. “I want people to understand my art is about being creative,” Meyer said. “People can learn and can experience for themselves important things about who they are when they are creative too.” Meyer said his family members are his biggest supporters in anything he decides to do. “I lived in a family centered town, and my family helps me through everything.” Drawing tribal art is not just a hobby for Meyer. He said with his art, he can express where he comes from and the family who raised him. Each item he draws is unique and completely customized to what the person wants as well as Meyer’s own imagination. This means everything he has done from tattoos or hats are all 100 percent one of a kind. Sheridan continued, “Josh is an amazing artist. Period. Josh designed a bike for me, and within an hour, the tribal he had created on my bike had me blown away. It doesn’t take long to notice the passion and the drive he has for art

Left: Meyer is pictured with his sketchbook of designs. Top and bottom: Meyer's art on Hydroflasks, notebooks, and hats.. Photos by Emily Hancock

"What makes him unique is he does his art all free hand, no rulers, no reference picture. It is completely and totally his own masterpiece." as well as all things creative. His work ethic comes through as masterpieces.” Joshua Gatewood, a freshman from Laie, said Meyer’s art is more than something nice to look at. “It is art that can be purchased and shown off to others. His art is very clean and the tribal design tells a story when you see him draw it as well as the finished product." Meyer said he hopes his side business of drawing will be able to give him other opportunities, like designing for different businesses or creating new avenues for tribal art on different clothing lines. He eventually hopes to expand his art into galleries and have people wear his designs on clothing or hang his art in their homes. For others who are pursuing anything creatively in either art or life goals, Meyer said, “You have to do what makes you happy. Don’t be discouraged with what other people do or say. Go from the heart and go for your passion. Continue to have the passion for it whatever it is, and continue to use what inspiration you already have or find.” • MAR CH 2019


Design experts say creating art is hard work but rewarding BYU–Hawaii graphic design professors share stories about their life and artwork BY HAELEY VAN DER WERF

Rob McConnell “For grad school, I did a lot of screen printing, type design and letterpress. Those are the three main areas I really like. Now most of my research and work is type design and lettering.”

"I think I always knew I wanted to do something in art because I liked the visual side of things. I liked that kind of freedom, and there not being one right answer and one wrong answer." Rob McConnell grades his graphic design students' typography project. Photo by Teva Todd.

How did you discover your passion for art? “In high school I was taking art classes and in middle school too.When I went from high school to college, I knew I wanted to do something with art. I was trying to find somewhere to do applied art. I started out doing industrial design. I did that for a little bit, and then I went into the education side of things. I did graduate work in graphic design. “It’s very rarely you think,‘Oh, I’m going to do this,’ and that’s what you do. I went through different areas until I figured out what really works and what I was drawn towards. I think I always knew I wanted to do something in art because I liked the visual side of things. I liked that kind of 16


freedom, and there not being one right answer and one wrong answer.There’s a lot of different options and possibilities and ways you can get there. I like that with art. That’s what drew me towards it and then I found my area.”

multimedia design for high school.That was my undergrad. I taught for a little bit at a high school and then I went back to grad school for my master’s. I got an MFA in graphic design.That’s what I teach now.”

Where did you go to school? What did you study? “I did my undergrad in Provo at BYU. I got my master’s in fine arts at MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art) in Baltimore. My undergrad at Provo was called technology and engineering education. Basically, it’s an education program for high school focused towards the design and engineering side of a classroom. I taught

How did you end up at BYU–Hawaii? “I graduated with my master’s and I started working at a marketing firm in Baltimore. I was their designer, working on a bunch of different projects. I knew I always wanted to teach sometime, so I kept looking into postings for different schools. One showed up for here, so I applied.This is my fourth year.”

"I wanted to do something to bring me joy and something I could get fulfillment out of."

Left: Rob McConnell with his screenprint from his MFA. Right: McConnell goes through design work from previous years. Photos by Teva Todd.

What advice would you give those who aren’t sure about pursuing art? “There are two different types of people worried about art. One type is they want to do it, but they’re afraid they don’t have the skills to do it. Those people just need to spend time working on it. People are good at art because they practice, like any other talent or skill you work on. “If you're afraid, you think,‘I really want to do it but I’m a bad drawer,’ that’s why you take the figure drawing class to get better at it. Don’t be afraid of something if you're not good at it.That's why you practice and get better at it. “There’s another category of people who don’t think art will do them any good or they can’t get a

job in art. I think there’s a lot of skills you learn that can apply to a lot of different fields. It just depends on how you can apply it, or the work you put into it. Especially when I’ve looked at jobs, I’ve learned that if someone is willing to pay you for it it’s not easy. All jobs require some kind of work. “When I went into art, it was something I enjoyed more than other things. I wanted to do something to bring me joy and something I could get fulfillment out of. It doesn’t come easy to me. It doesn’t come easy to other people.You need to work for it. It’s a lot of effort. I think that’s true for a lot of majors. No one is good at math unless you work on it or spend a lot of time doing it.”

Do you have any pieces you're especially proud of or learned a lot from? “A lot of things. I think it’s really satisfying to do a project from the beginning and have no idea where it’s going and come out with an end result. It’s a tangible piece of work. A lot of stuff from my thesis project. Some of the other work I’ve done for people. Any time you invest time in a project, you're like,‘Oh, I’m proud of that work.’ If you're not proud of that work, then it’s like,‘Why?’ “The pieces I'm not proud of I have probably learned more from.When you do a project you’re not proud of, you go,‘Why did that not work? What went wrong?’” • MAR CH 2019


Jihae Kwon "I do lithography, which is where you draw on limestone, put the ink on it, and print it.We just purchased a small lithography press. I’m planning to start teaching it next year. Other than book art, I could do [lithography] for the rest of my life. It’s very calming, almost meditative.”

"...then I realized, ‘Why am I stuck behind a computer when I could actually learn to do graphic design and do some stuff?’ I wasn’t really doing things. I went back to school and started doing graphic design." Jihae Kwon holds her book, "Homeless Chickens.” Photo by Anuhea Chen.

How did you discover your passion for art? “I always liked doing some kind of drawing when I was little. I never really wanted to be an artist. Never say never. I always said I would never teach, and here I am. It was kind of pushed on me by my mom. She said,‘You're good at art.You should go into art.’ “I said,‘No, mom. I want to be an archaeologist.’ She pushed me into it. She made me go to art school when I was in junior high.Then I stopped doing it because I really, really didn’t want to do it. I didn’t feel like I was good at it at all.Then, in high school my mom made me do it again. “When I was in high school, I think I enjoyed it more. I got better at it. Ever since, I’ve stuck with it.” Where did you go to school? What did you study? “I went to the University of Utah for my undergrad. For my master’s I went to Corcoran College of Art and Design. At the U, I studied illustration and graphic design. At Corcoran, I studied book arts. What made you decide that’s what you wanted to study? “I actually wanted to study painting and drawing first. I saw some beautifully illustrated children’s books in the library and decided to major in illustration. At the University of Utah, for illustration and graphic design you have to 18


take the same classes sophomore year. During that time, I was exposed to graphic design. “I finished my illustration major, graduated, worked for a few years, and then I realized, ‘Why am I stuck behind a computer when I could actually learn to do graphic design and do some stuff?’ I wasn’t really doing things. I went back to school and started doing graphic design. I worked as a graphic designer for 12 years before deciding to go back to school.” Do you have any pieces you're especially proud of or have learned from? “Probably my thesis work at grad school I learned a lot. It was all lithography. I had a lot of problems, but I was able to overcome them really quickly. I tell my students this all time:‘I pray before I do anything.’ Any design work, any book art. I prayed a lot when I was doing my thesis because I had limited time. If something was really wrong, and I cannot solve it, everything gets backed up. Everything had to work exactly how I planned it and when I planned to finish it. “All my professors were so surprised when my work turned out exactly how I said I would do it. That was probably one I’m really proud of so far. It’s partially about my family.” How did you end up at BYU-Hawaii? “I was a TA doing part-time work as a designer. I was one day contemplating what was happening

during that time of my life. It just started from really unrelated thoughts to an epiphany that I should teach. It totally shocked me. It came out of nowhere. I think when you're ready, Heavenly Father puts thoughts in your heart and your mind to change your mind. “Around the time I got that epiphany, I got on the computer and started looking for a teaching position.This position at BYU–Hawaii was the first one I found.The second one was at the University of Utah teaching book art. I was conflicted. I applied to both positions, but I got it here.The other one was not what I thought it was going to be. I have been here since November 2015.” What kind of book art have you done? “The most recent one I’ve done is called ‘Homeless Chickens.’ It’s about homeless chickens. The things I do with book art is inspired by ordinary things: Conversations I have with my family and friends, or things I see around me. I took pictures of homeless chickens around Oahu.” “My thesis project: In English, it is ‘You Are With Me.’ It’s about the genocide that happened in Korea before and during the war. Two of my grandmother’s brothers were killed during that time. People were accused of being communist, and they were taken out into the fields and into the mountains and just killed. They were shot, without any trial. If a neighbor

accused them of being communist, they could be shot in the street or right on the spot.”

Sometimes I see students with lots of talent who don’t work hard enough. That’s why I pray hard.”

What is difficult about your job? “Although we try to be very objective, there is some subjective perspective embedded in there a little bit. When students do not trust their teachers and their suggestions and guidance, there’s not much I can do. I try not to force my ideas or my own likings on students. I just let them go. There is a limitation to how much I can do. Even with math, there is only so much math teachers can do. My math teachers couldn’t figure out how to help me do math at all. “The limitation is when I see myself not being able to help my students see what I see. Also when I cannot help them see what I see in them. I see great potential in them, but they don’t trust that. They don’t trust in themselves.

What is rewarding about being an art professor? “When I see my students surpass me. That's the most rewarding thing. When I see my students doing something I couldn’t do, my work is done. I cannot take any credit for what they accomplish. I'm just nudging them. ‘Okay come here. Go this way. Don’t go that way.’ That’s all I do. It’s all them doing it. I just give them my suggestions. It’s all them figuring it out, struggling, trying it, getting it right. Maybe getting it not right and trying again. “When I see my students surpass me and doing something really awesome that I couldn’t even do myself, I’m like, ‘Wow, that’s amazing.’ It’s not me at all. I’m not even the shepherd. I'm the sheepdog.”

"When I see my students doing something I couldn’t do, my work is done. I cannot take any credit for what they accomplish. I'm just nudging them."

What advice would you give to people who aren’t sure if they should pursue art? “Never say never. I wanted to do archaeology. I didn’t do that. Sometimes, people are good at it and think they don’t want to do it because it’s not practical. If it’s something you're passionate about, you should pursue it. At the same time, liking art doesn’t make you good at it. No matter what, you have to work hard at it. “As a teacher I can see when students are working hard enough and not enough. Being in school, it’s a fight with yourself. After you graduate it’s a fight with other people, your coworkers. Here, it is a battle within yourself. It’s up to you how much you grow as a person and an artist or not. It’s up to you how much you learn or not. For anyone who is interested in studying art, just do it. Don’t worry about the job opportunities or anything like that. As long as you keep the commandments and pay full tithing, Heavenly Father will feed you. Don’t worry about that. Pursue your passion.” •

Left: Jihae Kwon in her office with books and packaging she has collected. Right: Kwon holds one of her lithograph prints where she drew on limestone, inks it, and then prints it. Photos by Anuhea Chen. MAR CH 2019


Jack Soren stands in his art studio with a recent project. Photo by Chad Hsieh

Love: a chemical

reaction An exploration into chemicals of love, and whether we know as much about love as we think BY HAELEY VAN DER WERF

Forming big waves with spray paint Graphic design student Jack Soren shares his art on the streets and in homes BY ESTHER INSIGNE




oving from graffiti and street art to painting on canvas and wood, Jack Soren, a senior from Hawaii studying graphic design, said he found his art style after years of struggling to figure out a style he resonated with. “For most of my life, growing up painting graffiti in the streets or the gutter, that’s kind of a harsh style,” Soren said. “I wanted people to be able to relate to my artwork ... I wanted them to see it because a lot of bigger graffiti is in the mountains and retaining walls and under bridges, and only a few people who do graffiti or end up down under a bridge would see it.” According to Soren, after getting married, he wanted to find a way to make a living through art. He said, “I tried to design a style that would work, still have a lot of elements of graffiti and street art but would be easy to live with. People would hang it in their homes and be able to relate to a little bit more.” THE START OF HIS ART PASSION Soren said his parents and grandparents were painters, carvers, and designers of jewelry. He said, “They may not have necessarily taught me how to paint, but they encouraged me through space [such as] the walls in my garage to spray paint and keep it at home rather on the streets.” He said he and his two cousins would draw in church when they were kids. According to Soren, they would draw little action figures with triangle heads as if they were all in a competition of who could draw the coolest army man or robot. “From there, those same cousins progressed and got involved with graffiti, and we would draw on postage stickers. We’d make little stickers for ourselves and put it all over on our books and whatnot, and that’s kind of what got me into the style of graffiti and street art.” Soren said he decided to pursue graphic design as a career. “Graphic design to me is today’s art. There’s so much opportunity when it comes to graphic design to have a job. Graphic design was a way for me to do art and realize that you can make a living on top off of digital work because there’s always a need for digital artwork.”

Top and bottom: Some of Soren’s art projects. Photos by Chad Hsieh

MEDIUMS OF CHOICE As a full-time student, Soren said he would start a project by doing the first few base layers and then work on it again after two weeks. “Unless there was a project I had a due date on, then I would try to hustle that out and maybe not sleep for a couple of hours to get it done and be able to finish it. “It just varies. I guess a painting would take anywhere to like a week if I really put my mind to it, and a mural, for my most recent one, my ‘POW! WOW!’ mural took maybe five days when we worked on it.” POW! WOW! Hawaii is an ultra-creative street art and music festival held in the Kaka'ako area of Honolulu, says It is hosted by “top local talent and well attended by global artists,” the site continues. The two-week-long festival is held annually during February. MAR CH 2019


Top: Soren's mural for POW! WOW! Hawaii in 2017. Below: Working with friends on a mural. Photo courtesy of Soren

Soren's wife, Mikayla Soren, remarked how dedicated her husband is with his art. “Whenever he gets an idea, he pulls out a piece of paper and starts jotting it down. He constantly has ideas on his mind, and he’s always drawing.” Jack Soren said spray paint is one of his favorite mediums. “You can go so big with it and that’s where it all started – with spray paint. As I moved to canvases, I used a lot of acrylics and spray paint, both mixed mediums, as well as pastels. For bigger pieces, I’ll even use just latex house paints. I do a lot of other things like digital media and different mixed media.” After noticing he felt unsatisfied with his finished products, he said he started paying attention to the process rather than the results. “The process was where I found a lot of the enjoyment. Just today, sweeping out the studio was really peaceful for me. “To just clean up, move my paints around, [to] the whole process of sketching it out, designing it and putting the paint on, the process was what I enjoyed doing art the most, not necessarily the result.” BRANDS AND COLLABORATIONS Jack Soren said he has collaborated with Thread Wallets, POW! WOW! and My Neighbor Hayao. Participating in POW! WOW! was always a goal of Jack Soren’s, as the event started in Hawaii and is now held in different parts of the world. “For this year, I submitted my portfolio to the POW! WOW! festival, and they contacted 22


me and said, ‘Yes, we want you to be a part of it and paint it.’” For the “My Neighbor Hayao” show, he said the final product was better than what he anticipated. He explained, “Japanese or anime style of drawing isn’t what I normally do, but I was invited to the show to submit a piece, and I had to find a way to relate it to Hawaii or my style. I put him on a surfboard with a little wave and had my friend help with the Japanese, and I entered it.” Jared Wilcox, a friend of Jack Soren’s, helped with the Japanese text on his piece for the "My Neighbor Hayao" show. Wilcox said,

“It’s so cool seeing him shoot for his dreams, slowly unfolding and things are happening for him. We’re really proud of him and really grateful. He’s a really great example for me. Just going off for what you love and taking that step, it’s kind of scary, him pursuing his dreams and taking the risk.” Jack Soren also collaborated with The Little Acai Cart. A close friend of Jack Soren’s, Caleb Bishop from Mililani, said he was approached by Colby Hollingsworth, the founder of The Little Acai Cart, to help with the project. When they were talking about the logo and artwork for the cart, Bishop shared,

Soren takes a break from painting. Photo courtesy of Soren

“Knowing Jack and his talent, we both knew he would be able to get the look Colby was going for.” The founder of Thread Wallets, Mackenzie Bauer, is a former student of BYUH and Jack Soren said they had classes together before he went on his mission. She reached out to him for a collaboration and he accepted the offer. LIFE IN HAWAII AND THE FUTURE When they first met on the beach a few years ago, Mikayla Soren noticed how genuine her husband was. “[He is] always thinking about other people, and I feel like it definitely shows. It was the first thing I noticed, how genuine and kind he was – anything he did, he just put his whole heart and mind into it." Regarding Jack Soren’s personality, Wilcox said, “He’s a great human being all around.You can just tell what type of person he is like right when you meet him, and you can tell that he’s not just trying to put on a face. He’s very nice and shows the effort to care for other people.” Jack Soren said he hopes to one day be able to work with the brands he grew up admiring in the surf and skate industry such as RVCA and Hurley. He said he would like to work with Nike or Adidas too. “I want to be able to take it and share different stories that have to do with our lifestyle and my culture. Living here in Hawaii, the different sides of it, whether it’s the fun surfing side or the hard street side that I’ve been in and out of when it comes to the art, I want to be able to take it and share it with different people and places and foreign areas and have my art travel,” he said. •

Soren with a mural he created for the Hyatt Centric Waikiki. Photo courtesy of Soren

Soren works on his mural for POW! WOW! 2019. Photo courtesy of Soren

MAR CH 2019


After nearly two years of petitioning, student moms may be getting a new nursing room in Aloha Center BY HAELEY VAN DER WERF



Alumna shares how her creative approach to painting led to successes and new paths



nspired by a drone photo she took with a friend, Bree Poort, a BYU–Hawaii alumna, said she wanted to create a painting from what she saw. Combining that idea with experimenting with resin, she said she chose to express herself in a very nontraditional way, despite pressures to stay away from art. “You have to be completely in love with what you have to do. If you love it and stand by it, it can go far. I would also say to not rely on your art to make your money. I did small things in the beginning to earn an income so my art did not have stress, and so I could enjoy my art without needing it to supplement my income.” EXPERIMENTING WITH RESIN “If you were to say I was a painter, you think of someone with a paintbrush sitting with an easel, painting vertically. I paint horizontally, and I use mostly liquid. My apparatus is not a paintbrush; it is a stick or my fingers with gloves on. I use a medium called resin, which is used to make surfboard and table coatings. Then, mix in my acrylic and color tints.” Poort said she started experiencing with creating art from resin when she was at BYUH. She had a production company with her friend, and they would take drone footage for companies, and when she saw the drone’s perspective, she said she had to express it in art. “I had my drone photo that I really wanted to paint. I bought a bunch of oils, and I knew it was not going to move as a wanted too. I was visualizing a more fluid approach.” Poort said she did research and found people can make oil fluid by adding acrylic and water. This research inspired Poort to experiment with resin. BYUH alumna Mona Hannemann, was Poort's neighbor in TVA. She said she would come into MAR CH 2019


Previous page: Poort applies resin to an art piece. Above: Poort in her studio. Right: An art piece Poort is working on. Bottom right: Poort uses a blow torch to manipulate the resin. Photos by Chad Hsieh

Poort’s apartment and the floor would be covered in plastic with her experiments “all happening.” “Resin art was a concept I hadn’t seen a lot. But from knowing her, it has been so intriguing and fascinating to see the process from the humble beginnings on her living room floor to where it is now. There really is so much depth to process and it’s quite unique. It’s a blend of what she loves: Art, the ocean, surfing, nature, colors, textures, creativity, and freedom.”

She said her Instagram gained attention because she was at the start of the trend of sharing art online. According to Poort, not everyone has the opportunity to be creative, so people come to her page to gain more ideas on creativity and ways to feel relaxed in their life. Hannemann said she was not surprised when Poort’s art gained attention. She added, “She has this confidence about her that brings good positive energy. It propels her to her successes.”

INSTAGRAM’S INFLUENCE After experimenting for a couple of months, Poort said Hannemann told her she needed to share her art. “I was reluctant at first [to share], but resin is one of the most expensive art mediums, so I had to start selling to pay for more resin.” Poort began posting her pieces and artistic process on Instagram and said it led to opportunities to attend galleries, travel to different countries, and share her love of art. Now with 30,000 followers on Instagram, art has become Poort’s full-time job.

ART OVER BFA After graduating from BYUH in 2016, Poort said she wanted to earn a bachelor’s in fine arts (BFA) because it would help her resume and a future career. She said she went to her art professors at BYUH and asked if her resin art could count towards her BFA. They told her that her art would only count if she put a figure in each of her paintings. Poort decided not to get her BFA, and she said it was the right decision because, with or without the degree, she was able to get exponential growth from her Instagram.



FAMILY ACCEPTANCE Poort said she had some struggles with her family accepting her choice to pursue art at BYUH. “I was a business major my first year because I have a very entrepreneurial mind. I did not enjoy it. I changed my major to art. For a full year, I did not tell my parents because I knew my dad would be against it.” Finally, one Christmas her family found out she changed her major to art, and Poort noted, she had to overcome stereotypes before her family would accept her decision. “Telling my parents I was an art major was not well received because I think the stereotype for the baby boomer generation, my parents, was that only 1 percent of people could make it in art. Maybe that is true, but I think with social media and having your portfolio out for the world to see is helpful. I think anyone can make it in whatever they do.” While at BYUH, Poort said she had to prove to her parents she could make a career out of art. “I did every project with 110 percent or even more because I would absorb the class material as I was going to go into that career.”

Poort’s husband and BYUH alumnus, Bobby Poort, said he tries to let his wife “do her thing.” “We are both very strong-willed ... but as far as her artwork, I try to keep my opinion to myself. I let her truly express herself and the way she wants to go.” He added he would like to see his wife collaborating with artists and brands that are meaningful to her. “Of course someone who is close with an artist wants them to be recognized and be successful. As far as being in bigger galleries, I just want it to be organic and natural.” THE BIG PICTURE Poort said she wants people to understand her art stands for something beyond what the eye sees. “Even though there is an appreciation to having a piece of the ocean on your wall, I think to take it even further is to spread the awareness of ocean sustainability. My art can tell humans to protect our oceans and be aware of what we use and throw away because it all leads back to the ocean. Preserve that piece of nature so our children’s children can enjoy it.” • MAR CH 2019



Making art for the world BYUH alumnus and an instructor on campus says he expresses art through creating videos, clothes and graphic design BY MACKENZIE BEAVER A teacher and student of the art, James Astle, said he was influenced by his family, friends, and the Los Angeles culture in discovering his passion for art in all of its forms. He said he believes art is how people interact with the world. His wife, Princess Donato, said, “Throw him anything and he’ll make something beautiful about it.”

The value of art

Astle said, “I honestly could not live without art. It gives me purpose and a sense of fulfillment. I am a creator and nothing brings me more peace, joy, purpose, and meaning than being a creator of art. It makes life even better and it gives people a chance to express your life.” He said he genuinely wishes people would value art more, especially in schools when children are young. If more art was taught at a young age, he said there would be more art produced in the world. “I wish everyone was more serious about art. Every form of art is an expression of your mind. Art is how you give and take from the world around you,” said Astle.

Making a profession out of passion

Astle said his talents in videography and graphic design have given him the opportunity to travel to several places. Some of these places include Guatemala, London, Costa Rica, Mexico,Tonga, the Philippines and throughout South America. Donato, a BYUH alumna, said she has gone with Astle on his travels. She said, “James is the type of person who sees art in everything. The other day, we were driving by this big dumpster and he said, ‘I wish I could spend some time in the trash.’ “I was confused because he said he wanted to spend time in the trash and then he was trying to tell me you can create anything anywhere, even in trash.”



Astle said, “I love traveling for companies and making documentaries for them because when you are making a film, you have this idea in your head and then when you edit the piece, other things that you did not expect stick out to you. With videography, you are telling a story and you never know what you are going to run into.” “I’m actually going to be in Cambodia and the Philippines next month creating a documentary video for the company I’m involved in, Rice-Up,” said Astle. Rice-Up is a non-profit that Astle is a partner in, which began in 2016. The purpose of Rice-Up is to help farmers in the Philippines better understand entrepreneurship. Astle said he will be making a documentary on the farmers in the Philippines and showing the face of the farmers and what their lives are like. Astle said he started off doing wedding videography for a couple of years but decided to move away from doing it. “I felt I wasn’t progressing and all of the videos I made were the same. I’m more into telling stories and creating content for companies. Sarah Hardy, a senior from the Philippines double majoring in business management and hospitality and tourism, and her husband, Elliot Hardy, said they were clients of Astle when he was still creating wedding videos. James Astle said he developed his own method for shoe design to make them quickly.. Shoe Design by James Astle

Elliot Hardy added, “James is very good at what he does and it is both impressive and inspiring.”

Clothing design

Along with teaching a video marketing class and doing freelance work across all art mediums, Astle said he also has a passion for designing clothing. He currently designs shoes and jeans. For his shoes, Astle said he designs athletic and casual shoe wear. He began by starting with baby shoes, then he said had the inspiration to make shoes for himself. He began by looking in downtown Los Angeles for fabric and creating a pattern for his own feet. It took about four-tofive pairs of shoes to finally get the construction and designing right. After figuring this out, Astle said he developed his own method for shoe design and learned how to make them fairly quick. Astle got his own method of designing shoes down within a matter of weeks. “I have always been inspired by indigenous cultures ever since I was a kid,” he said. “I try and pull from what I feel and see in indigenous art from different cultures to get inspired to create my own style. I have always wanted to feature an indigenous culture’s art form or tradition and then somehow give back to them to provide means of preservation of their culture or art through profits of the shoes sold.”

Astle also designs jeans and uses his passion for heart and clothing design to piece together what he thinks works best and looks best. Astle said, “I would describe the jeans as super comfortable, light weight raw denim with stretch. One of the great things about having raw denim is that the movement of your legs tell their own story over time and the way the jeans move creates distress and fade in ways that are entirely original. The jeans are also designed in the likeness and to be worn like board shorts to maximize comfort. “ Astle said, “Clothing design is always fun. I wish Hawaii had more access to better machines to make it easier for me to design clothes, but either way, it is still possible.”

A part of his life

Astle works in the BYUH Business Department teaching a class twice a week on video marketing and he has been teaching for almost a year. Along with teaching, Astle does freelance work in videography, graphic design and video marketing for both large and small companies. Astle said he also creates and designs his own shoes in his free time. Some of the companies he has made videos for include DoTerra, Doritos, Better Business Bureau, Crayola, and several other smaller companies and brands. Astle said he remembers art always being a part of his life. His grandfather was a sculptor and even now in his late 90s, his grandfather continues to sculpt. Astle said his mother is also artistic and his older brother is an industrial designer. Astle said his true passion is art and spent his free time in his youth doing art. He said, “My friends and I would create stickers and plaster them in Chinatown in L.A. We would graffiti and paint and create art for fun. In high school, I also took classes at a community college and took fashion and screen printing.” When Astle arrived at BYUH, he was originally studying business but then decided to switch to graphic design because he said he would rather study something he is passionate about and enjoys.

What do you do in your video marketing class?

Astle said his video marketing class focuses on how individuals can use videos and images in

James Astle teaches a video marketing class at BYU-Hawaii, with a focus on creating content and understanding emotions of people. Photo by Ho Yin Li

marketing tactics. He said in class, he uses a stepby-step guide that helps people gain the skills to create videos. “The class is basically a blend of making a video look good but also figuring out how to market the video in a way that will make companies want to hire you. It is not just a videography class and it is not just a marketing class, but rather a hybrid of the two,” said Astle. Having been in Astle’s video marketing class, Sarah Hardy said, “When you watch James’ videos, you can really tell his passion is reflected in the art he is creating.” The video marketing course taught by Astle focuses on creating content and involves understanding the emotions of people, he said, and it differs from the digital marketing course offered at BYUH.

have every project he does have its own creative direction and he said he wants clients to be excited about his work. He wants to show clients his work and his ideas he said rather than having it be the opposite and being told what to do and what to create. “I want to show people the importance of art whether it be writing, photography, videography, graphics, or whatever you choose to be artistic about,” said Astle. •

What are your ultimate goals?

Astle said, “I want to make my artistic talents go towards a business - maybe a video production firm or a marketing firm. I know I love media and I definitely want to help market in all types of media. I am currently making an animation series for a company so I want to do both graphic design as well as video production.” He said his ultimate career goal is to always create unique and creative content. He wants to

James Astle creates art in multiple mediums, including graphic design, video, painting, graffiti. Artwork by James Astle

MAR CH 2019


Katie Baxter with one of her finished Zentangles. Photo by Cameron Gardner

Expressing creativity and taming the mind

Student says the Zentangle Method is an art form that encourages creative self-expression and provides stress relief BY EMI WAINWRIGHT Katie Baxter, a sophomore from Missouri majoring in TESOL, said she has been Zentangling since she was in high school and said this method helps her de-stress and unwind after a long day. The Zentangle Method is a combination of artistic skill and enthusiasm for meditation. It is an art method created in the early 2000s by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas, a couple from Massachusetts. By drawing simple, repetitive patterns that consist of lines, dots, and curves, or “tangles,” people can create intricate designs and find peace of mind. Baxter said, “It’s very calming for me because it doesn’t take much thought. I don’t ever look online or in Zentangle books [for patterns] because I have too many good ideas in my own head.” She said she likes to look for patterns around her to incorporate into cool designs for her Zentangles. “They can take 30


me between 10 and 25 hours each [to finish,] depending on how colorful, how detailed, and how small I make the designs.” Baxter said she was first introduced to Zentangle in high school by a teacher. “I really enjoyed it. Now she has me hooked. It makes me feel stress free. Some people do adult coloring books, but I’d rather draw my own. I feel very relaxed and creative … and I like to give them as gifts to my friends. “Sometimes I just start drawing with one color, or sometimes I’ll see a color combination that looks good, or sometimes I just do all different colors. Usually I just put the pen down and let my hand be free.” Baxter said in high school her Zentangle art won several awards in different art shows. She said she never thought her art was amazing, but winning awards helped her realize she was had talent. “People look at them and they say,

‘Oh, I could never do that.’ But I think anyone can do it because it’s literally just lines, circles, and dots … leaves or flowers. It’s not anything super hard. I definitely think anyone can Zentangle.” Baxter’s former roommate and good friend Hannah Hahn, a sophomore from Maryland majoring in applied mathematics, said of Baxter’s Zentangles, “They’re awesome. I told her she should sell them because they’re so good. They’re really intricate, and I don’t know how she does it. They [definitely help destress] her because she’s good at them. It’s personalized for her.” Baxter said she has no interest in keeping or selling her art. “I would rather give them as gifts to people who will appreciate them more than me. It’s not like I’m going to hang it up on my wall, like, ‘Cool I drew that!’ I’d just rather give it to someone as a gift to make them happy.

“I think it’s more fulfilling for me to give them away than sell them.” She said she’s thought about drawing patterns for other people to color, like making her own adult coloring book. Arilla Utley, a senior from Oregon majoring in psychology, is also Baxter’s friend. She said she thinks it is impressive Baxter doesn’t look at designs beforehand. “It’s not something you plan. It just comes directly from your mind and I think that’s really cool.” Utley said she thinks Zentangle is good from a psychological standpoint. “A lot of therapy can be done without words. Art can show what’s going on in the mind of a person… You can learn something about them from the pictures they draw. And it can be a stress reliever because it’s something you sit down and focus on and can get a sense of accomplishment from, even if it’s something as simple as a little drawing. “If people who do Zentangle, if it helps them, I think that’s great. And it’s pretty. It’s beautiful artwork. It definitely takes a lot of self-discipline to not judge your drawings and yourself … especially in the world we live in today. I definitely admire [Katie] and people who [use the Zentangle Method] because they don’t judge their art.” On the Zentangle website it says, “Zentangle art is non-representational and unplanned so you can focus on each stroke and not worry about the result. There is no up or down to Zentangle art … You don't need to know what a tangle is going to look like to draw it.You just need to know the steps. The result is a delightful surprise. As you use the Zentangle Method to create beautiful images, you likely will enjoy increased focus, creativity, self-confidence and an increased sense of wellbeing… “For this reason, we deliberately do not include an eraser in our Zentangle Kit or use it as part of a Zentangle practice. We have no eraser in life, so why in a Zentangle Kit? … Even if those pen marks aren't initially what

you might have intended, we never call them ‘mistakes’ in the Zentangle Method ... Instead of looking at them as mistakes, we reframe them as ‘opportunities.’" The Zentangle Method, according to the website, involves eight steps: 1. GRATITUDE AND APPRECIATION “Get comfortable, take a few deep breaths and feel gratitude and appreciation – for this beautiful paper, for these wonderful tools, for this opportunity to create something beautiful.” 2. CORNER DOTS “Place a light pencil dot in each corner, about a pen's width from the edges. Now it’s no longer a blank piece of paper.” 3. BORDER “Connect those dots with a light pencil line, straight or curvy, to create a square. This is your border.” 4. STRING “Inside the border, draw a light pencil line or lines to make what we call a ‘string.’ The string separates your tile into sections, in which you draw your tangles. A string can be any shape. It may be a curvy line that touches the edge of the border now and then, or series of straight lines that go from one side of the border to the next.”

5. TANGLE “A tangle is a … sequence of simple strokes that make up a pattern. Draw your tangles in pen inside the pencil strings and borders … Draw your tangles with deliberate strokes. Don't worry about what it's going to look like. Just focus on each stroke of the pen as you make it. Trust that you'll know what to do next when the time to do it comes. "There is no up or down to Zentangle art so feel free to rotate your tile in any direction that is most comfortable for your hand as you draw.” 6. SHADE The website continues, “Add shades of gray with a graphite pencil to bring contrast and dimension to your tile. The black and white twodimensional tangles transform through shading and appear three-dimensional.” 7. INITIAL AND SIGN “This is art you created.You should sign it. Put your initials on the front … On the back, place your name, date, comments and observations.” 8. APPRECIATE “Hold your tile at arm’s length. Turn it this way and that. Appreciate what you just created.”

Baxter works on a Zentangle. Photo by Cameron Gardner

MAR CH 2019


Exploring all her artistic passions

Mariana Rudyk says she has brought her love of painting to her clothing. Photo by Cameron Gardner



Mariana Rudyk says taking every opportunity gives her the best life experiences BY HAELEY VAN DER WERF

Art, fashion, and humanitarian work are all passions of Mariana Rudyk, a junior from Ukraine majoring in communications. She said she chooses not to limit herself to only one passion. Instead, she said she has spent her life exploring different parts of her personality and engaging in all her different passions. Some of her biggest passions, Rudyk said, are fashion and art. “I’m just starting to do art, so I like to paint. Recently I started to paint on my furniture, and I want to start painting clothes. I want to be a stylist. I feel like, for me, it’s a combination of fashion and art, as well as photography. Those things depend on each other.” Rather than focus on one type of art, she said, “I just follow my inner-artistic drive. I get an idea and I think, ‘Oh, that would be cool to do.’ I don’t plan. I was just staring at my lamp thinking, ‘Oh, it looks so boring. I want to make it more interesting.’ Then I looked at my mirror and thought, ‘That looks boring as well. I just want to paint it.’” Her fun personality is one of the reasons Lexi Jimenez, a junior from California majoring in psychology, said she admires Rudyk. Jimenez has known Rudyk for two years. She explained, “I first met Mariana when I interviewed her for a job she was applying for on my team. I loved her right away and hired her on the spot. Qualities of hers I admire is that she can light up a room. She is so creative, fun, helpful, and is crazy supportive.” Rudyk’s affinity for all types of art comes from being surrounded by it growing up. “My parents sent me to art school. That school was really nice. Everywhere we were surrounded by art. We had really nice paintings hanging on the walls. We had pianos in the hallway. We were taken to concerts. “We also studied art history. I’m a big fan of art history as well. From my childhood, I was

always surrounded by it, even in my house. My mother is a big fan of art ... We have a lot of big paintings everywhere.” As the only Ukrainian at BYU–Hawaii, Rudyk said she struggled to fit in at first. “At first, I felt like I didn’t fit into society, but then I found a way to embrace my uniqueness. Accepting, ‘Yes, I’m different. My mentality is different. My country is different. And it’s okay. I don’t have to [change] myself to be like other people who study here. I am myself, I love the way I was raised and everything that’s important to me.’ “I feel like after I started to accept myself the way I am, I became more open with people. I started to let more people come into my life.” This unique mentality is what helped her decide to pursue her different passions, she said. “I want to do many things. On one side of my personality, I want to do fashion and art. On the other side, I want to do more charity work and things like going to Africa and helping people there. I worked for the United Nations agenda helping refugees. I feel like there is a way to combine art, fashion, charity work, and humanitarian help. “At this point, I am confused with what I want to do because I feel like I want to do so many things. My personality has so many different sides I can’t actually accomplish all of that. At this point, it’s just hard. Life gives us opportunities and chances, and we just have to go with them and do our best to get the best experience we can and have the best influence on society and the world.” If someone isn’t sure which passion they should pursue, she advised, “I would say do both. I feel like humans have a great potential that hasn’t been yet discovered, so it’s up to you to discover your potential. We have such a short time on earth, and it’s crucial for us to live in every moment and make the best of it. If you don’t know exactly what you want to do, do both, and you will find a way to work it out.” She said after she graduates, “I would love to work for a fashion magazine, but not like Cosmopolitan, or even Vogue. For me, those are too stereotypical. There are different magazines like IDEA magazine or Esquire. They focus on fashion and art, but more on the contemporary side of it. Things that are experimental, that represent you. I really like that because I feel like as a person, I get bored with things easily.

Graphic by Lynne Hardy

‘Yes, I'm different. My mentality is different. My country is different. And it’s okay. I don’t have to [change] myself to be like other people who study here. I am myself, I love the way I was raised and everything that’s important to me.’ “I am naturally more intent to experiment and try something new. That’s why I want to go into a media field that also experiments with contemporary art. I feel like it’s important to have an idea of the standard canons of beauty, fashion, and art. Using those canons, you can create something new, and that’s what you experiment.” These canons, Rudyk explained, are something you would learn in an introductory art class. They are, “Basic knowledge of color combination, structural or perspective dynamic, among others … It’s crucial to know the basics, so you can apply them in your own creative way.” Rudyk originally came to BYUH as a political science major, but said she realized the true power to influence society comes from the media. “I want to influence society,

but I want to direct them in the direction of kindness, mercy, empathy, helping and loving one another. “I feel politics in itself is a lot of trickiness and lies. With media, you can direct people to do the right things. I know doing right is very broad, but to me, right is to be helpful and loving and forgiving and actually caring - not just pretending you care.” •

MAR CH 2019


Kristl Densley was tasked in her first year of teaching at BYUH with reopening the theatre minor. Aaron Densley is an instructor on campus and has acted in movies and television. Photo by Ho Yin Li

Acting their part, focusing on ‘the one’ The Densleys share their passion for theatre and desire to transform lives of students By Elijah Hadley Two years ago, the husband-wife pairing of Kristl and Aaron Densley brought their skills to the Theatre Department at BYU–Hawaii. They shared how they sought to give it new life and how the performing arts program offers opportunities for students to learn empathy and follow their dreams. Kristl Densley, an assistant professor of Theatre, said, “The philosophy I try to bring into all of the classes I teach is that I’m about the one. I might have a class full of students, but I hope at the end of the semester they each think they’re my favorite. “I firmly believe in Christlike empathy. One of the most important lessons I have gathered from the Savior’s life is His love for the one.” Aaron Densley is the special instructor in the Theatre Department. He shared what President John Tanner’s vision for the Theatre on campus was. “[President Tanner] said, ‘I want the audience and the stage to look like our campus.’ And that’s what Kristl and I have tried to do since we’ve been here.”

Kristl Densley originally taught at Indiana University and then at Penn State as a special instructor before accepting a position as an assistant professor at BYUH. Her husband, Aaron Densley, taught at Penn State as part of his graduate work. During this period, Kristl Densley directed productions at Central Washington University. Aaron Densley has acted in various movies and TV shows, including “Hawaii Five-0” and “Magnum, P.I.” He has also had roles in commercials and this year’s “Godzilla: King of the Monsters.” He joked that he is often cast as “police or military guys.” Speaking of their journey here to BYUH, he said, “When we were dating, all of our important life decisions happened at the Pizza Hut lunch buffet. I joked with her that I’d like to teach at a church school part-time and also be an actor. It was such a pipe dream at the time, but years later, here I am.” He said he was formerly a student at BYUH. There was a lot of uncertainty about the future of the arts programs at the time, and

he had to leave in order to continue his studies elsewhere. “I was heartbroken,” he said. “I was in the airport and normally, I don’t receive actual words from Heavenly Father when I pray, but I was praying not to leave Hawaii. “I had this distinct impression that has stuck with me my whole life. I had this voice in my head say, ‘You have to leave so that you can come back,’ and I would wonder what it even meant. So I left, went to CWU where she (Kristl) was getting her master’s, and met her. I did some auditions in New York for Broadway, and got my master’s from Penn State.” During one of his last classes, he said his stage combat instructor told him about a position that had opened up at BYUH. Intrigued, both Kristl and Aaron applied, with Kristl ending up with the job.

Approach to theatre

“This is one of the most, if not the most diverse campus in the world. We really wanted to take advantage of that in the stories that we were telling,” Aaron Densley said.

“When we got here in 2016,” Kristl Densley began, “The certainty of the program wasn’t always certain. The former assistant professor had worked through administrations where that was the case. When I arrived, there was no theatre minor. The position I took was actually in the English Department, but they hired me with the intention of revitalizing the theatre program. “Within the first year, [the administration] had tasked me with opening the minor back up. President Tanner was adamant that the arts continue. He had done his master’s thesis on pioneers crossing the plains using Shakespeare. Both he and John Bell [vice president of Academics], who’s a published playwright, were big proponents of the theatre. “I coach the Empower Your Dreams competition and the Great Ideas one as well, and I’m using the theatre to support our business school. So the business students, who may not think much about theatre, are actually benefiting from it. I always say that you have a math and science part of your brain and an artistic part.You need to exercise both parts of your brain and you will be unstoppable.”

Student response

In a few short years, the theatre minor had “taken off,” in the words of Kristl Densley. “We have had several students who were placed in theatre-related jobs and the exciting thing about that is they’re all from our target area. We have one student from Samoa named Honey, and she got two job offers to teach theatre in Samoa.” She explained how the job offer Honey received was almost unheard of in Samoa at the time. “Here she is using the skill set she learned

here at BYUH. We have another student, and his whole plan is to take theatre to Tonga as soon as he graduates because it just doesn’t exist there. He wants to use theatre to preserve some of the native stories of Tonga through plays.” Aaron Densley also spoke of a student from Korea who had left a semester early to work at a South Korean film production company using skills he learned in theatre. “I’ll never forget when this kid named Lehi Falepapalangi came up to me and said, ‘I’ve never told anyone this before, but I binge watch videos, and I want to be an actor so bad.’ “And I told him to go for it. I set him up with connections, and now he’s a Screen Actors’ Guild (SAG) actor. He’s auditioning constantly, and already got roles on a bunch of TV shows.”

The big picture

Theatre is the connection between performer and audience, according to Kristl Densley. “Even with those exact same people in the same room, you’re still never going to have the same experience. It’ll be new, and when it’s gone, it lives in our hearts and imaginations, changing the way we view the world.We carry that little bit with us as we go on.” Aaron Densley said he and his wife had noticed so many people were auditioning for the shows on campus. There could be so many who auditioned that there were people who went through their whole experience without getting a chance to perform in front of an audience. Simply because there were not enough roles for everybody. He explained he and his wife took it upon themselves to revitalize the Little Theater and use it more as a theatre space.

“The recent musical, ‘Familiar Strangers’ was just a few students who wanted to put on a show. One kid from a playwriting class got together with a music student and produced the musical. Now we’ve added two shows a year, but even then it’s hard to cast everyone who wants to be a part of it. “I remember when I was still in school, and Ty Burrell, my classmate who’s now been in ‘Modern Family’ and a few popular movies, told me how now is the best time where for people to create their own art.You can literally make your own movie in the palm of your hand and not have to wait for producers to tell you no. “The biggest goal we have is to help people have empathy. To see others as human beings. In college, theatre is one of the few courses where you can really experience true empathy. Students need to get inside the head of a character others might see as just a villain, and really look for the humanity inside of him or her.” Lehi Falepapalangi, an alumnus and actor in the film industry from Tonga, said he is indebted to the Densleys for how they helped him excel in the theatre. “They gave me an opportunity to explore something I never thought I could thoroughly enjoy as I do now. Because of that opportunity they gave me, I have now been able to ignite the passion they gave me and carried on into the film industry,” he said. Since receiving his SAG membership, Falepapalangi has been in TV productions from studios such as Netflix, Hulu,The Travel Channel, CBS, and ABC. For Kristl Densley, she said, “It all harkens back to the Savior, who cared about the one and had empathy for all. I think the changes in the Theatre Department have helped students find their voice and learn what it means to be in someone else’s shoes.” •

“This is one of the most, if not the most diverse campus in the world. We really wanted to take advantage of that in the stories that we were telling” Graphic by Lynne Hardy

"Music conveys what language cannot."

Key Dellona Ukulele inspires Dellona through his challenges and to help others BY WILL KRUEGER

Dellona is always seen with his ukulele. Photo by Cameron Gardner

Keanu “Key” Dellona, a sophomore from California studying psychology and music, is often seen around campus with an ukulele or heard playing it. Dellona, a TVA baby whose parents met at BYU– Hawaii, said the ukulele is more than just an instrument. “When I play ukulele it doesn’t only help others, but it has helped me. Music has been a way for me to convey how I feel and get my feelings out. It’s very therapeutic for me.” Dellona shared, “I play because music heals. It also brings people together. That’s one of my favorite things about the ukulele is being able to connect with other people.” Why he began playing ukulele, Dellona said, “The reason why I started was because I like music and I like to sing. Filipinos love to sing. Nothing stuck with me like the ukulele did. And it might have been for a girl too.” Dellona shared what made him passionate about the ukulele. “Initially I went to a Scout camp with my ukulele and I couldn’t play well. I knew one song. But while we were waiting around one time, I started jamming some chords. Then another person started jamming, one person started freestyling, another beatboxing… and it was just a really cool experience because it brought people together.”



Playing the ukulele to help others

Dellona described how sharing music with the ukulele helped a friend that then inspired him to continue and help others by playing. “There was one time where I saw one of my classmates looking kind of upset. I didn’t know what it was, but I knew I wanted to help out. One of the only things I knew what to do was to sing and play on my ukulele. So I sang her a song, ‘Count on Me,’ by Bruno Mars, and I saw her become happier. As we left, she thanked me and told me how much that helped her. It shook me that I was able to help her and see the power of music.” This experience, Dellona says, helped him realize how powerful music could be. He said, “In high school, I went through hard times, including depression. I felt a lot of things and had negative thoughts. Music was one of the only things that kept me going through that time.” “It’s more than music”, Dellona said. “There’s a quote I heard… music conveys what language cannot. No matter where you are from or what language you speak, music speaks to you. And people get it. It’s a way we are all able to relate together. It pierces our hearts.”

Playing around campus

There is almost never a time Dellona is seen on campus without his instrument. Dellona said, “I play the ukulele so much around campus for several reasons. One, it’s a way for my friends to recognize where I am. Two, when I play, it’s able to bring a smile on someone’s face.” Heard often playing around campus and for other people, Dellona says “I know about 50 songs. I’ve never had a lesson. I actually learned everything from YouTube. Usually I can play for hours per day.” He continued, “I’ve gotten so used to playing so much that when people ask me to play, I’m always ready on the spot.” Dellona, who also owns six ukuleles, and works at The Ukulele Experience at the Polynesian Cultural Center, said he’s surprised there isn’t an ukulele club. Ultimately, Dellona said his passion for playing and helping others are the reasons why he plays so much around campus, “The reason why I keep my ukulele with me is I don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to play and possibly cheer someone up.” •

Connecting with the perfect uke From beginner lessons to expert advice, interviewees share tips on purchasing an ukulele BY PATSY BRERETON Kaʻonohi Hew Len, a BYU–Hawaii senior from California majoring in music, said, “When choosing an ukulele (oo-koo-leh-leh), it’s more than just finding something to play. It’s a connection you are hoping to build. “When you hold an ukulele, you ask: ‘Can I see myself playing this for the next two, five or 10 years? Does this ukulele produce the sound I want? Do I feel right with this ukulele?’” In a Facebook poll, 67 percent of members of the I Love BYU–Hawaii and PCC Facebook groups, said they owned an ukulele, and 8 percent said they would like one. On any day the sound of an ukulele can be heard throughout the BYUH campus. Olivia Griffith, a BYUH freshman from Utah majoring in psychology, said she bought her first ukulele last summer on a trip to the Big Island.



Start with a price range. An article posted on beginnerukuleles. com says, “Most ukes in the $50 to $100 range are reasonably well-made instruments that sound good and are comfortable to play. You can certainly spend more, but it’s not necessary to get a great ukulele.” If you’re thinking about getting a cheap ukulele,, advised against it saying, “It’s tempting to save a few bucks and buy an ukulele for $25 or $30 online–especially when it may not look different from expensive models. "Ukes in this price range are more prone to construction issues that can affect tone and make them difficult to play. In our opinion, cheap ukuleles barely qualify as instruments. The cheaper, the more of a chance you’ll run into trouble.”

Griffith said, “It was really cool because they gave me a beginner lesson.” She said playing the ukulele helps her feel the Aloha spirit of happiness and love because of the instrument’s connection to Hawaii. Griffith said, “It’s fun to have an instrument that is easier to learn than the guitar, but is still a challenge.” According to experts from, shopping for the first ukulele can be confusing if people do not know where to start. There are factors to take into consideration. People want their first ukulele to be something they enjoy playing. How a ukulele feels, looks and sounds, as well as the cost of the instrument should be taken into consideration when purchasing one. Everything about the ukulele–its size, lightweight frame and easily pressed down


strings–makes it one of the easiest instruments to play, according to Len's advice for choosing an ukulele, “You create a bond with your instrument you never want to let go.You no longer think about how you can produce the sound, you then begin to see what sound you can make together.” Len went on to say, “When I chose my first ukulele, I picked it up and started to play and just felt it was the right one for me. Like when you pick up any instrument and play it for the first time, you know it’s the one, like a beckoning call. When you strum an ukulele, you will know it’s the right one by the sound it produces and how it makes you feel.” There are websites giving people advice on how to choose their first ukulele. Whether they want to follow the advice of friends or research using the Web, most agree on a few steps:


Next, decide what size is most comfortable for you to hold and make chord shapes on. Another site, theukulelereview. com says the most common ukuleles come in three sizes. The smallest one, also referred to as the standard size, is the soprano. This one is little and many times big sounding, but usually the soprano is cramping for medium to large hands, especially as you get to more advanced chords. The concert is medium size with a longer neck and more room between the frets, making it a easier to handle. It has, like the soprano, the classic ukulele sound and is louder. It is a popular size, and the second most requested after the next size up, the tenor, which is the size used most often by professionals and guitar players.



Finally, do you like how the ukulele sounds? Tone is entirely subjective, and there is no “wrong” tone. According to, “As a general rule, a bigger body means a bigger tone. Concert and tenor size ukuleles tend to be warmer, richer and more resonant than soprano ukes. The larger body sizes also produce more bass and volume. Sopranos are typically quieter and have more of a “tinkly” sound that is treble-heavy.”

MAR CH 2019 The ukulele store at the Polynesian Cultural Center. Photo by Hector Perequin


AMBITIOUS AND UP-AND-COMING MUSIC PRODUCER Xavi Herrera, a junior studying biology from Tennessee, is known in the music industry as Xavi. He is a music producer who started off making music by himself and just two years later, he is working with big names such as Riff Raff and WCnoBeat in Latin America. BY WILL KRUEGER



Xavi doing an opening deejay set for the Grammy Award winning group SOBxRBE, in Honolulu. Photo courtesy of Xavi Herrera.

Herrera recalled, “My freshman year I went to a Tyler, the Creator concert. I remember the mosh pit and everyone was going crazy and having a good time. I want to make music that people can get crazy to. It’s a great stress relief. Music also really helps define friendships, great way to connect with others. It’s just a lot of fun.” Herrera explained his drive to develop and meet his potential. “At first, I just wanted to get better. Now I know my value. My main drive for me is to be the best. I know where I’ve been and what I can do now. It’s not a prideful best. It’s just something that I love and know I can be better at. “Rojas, music producer, producer of XXXTentacion’s hit song ‘Look at Me!’ helped me a lot, but I don’t want to be under his umbrella anymore. He knows how far I’ve come. Now I’m working with other artists that aren’t big, and I’m trying to help lift others up. I’m trying to take up others with me too.” WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO GET INTO MUSIC PRODUCTION? “Where I served [my mission] in Brazil, music was huge. Music was always playing in the streets. Music was how I learned Portuguese so well. When I got back, I had a lot of free time. I didn’t go to school right away, so I wondered what I could do with my free time. “Me and my dad were at the music store, and I thought, ‘I’m just gonna go for it. I’ll just try it out, as a hobby.’ Then I got addicted. I thought, ‘I cannot stop.’ There were several weeks where I was pulling all-nighters non-stop. Staying up all night, just figuring things out on my own because I had nobody teaching me. I taught myself. It was an interest and then fell in love with it. My first EP that I made was inspired from my time in Brazil. “I just wanted to get better. I wasn’t content until I had stuff sounding the way it should sound. I would stay up late looking at YouTube videos on sound [and]

drums. I was looking up different 808s and try to make things sound as good as they possibly could. I had to figure it out.” WHY ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT MUSIC? “It’s helped me to be more focused. It’s helped me with time management and to do things as best and efficiently as I can. Music has taught me to take love and care of what you are putting out in everything. “If you have actual talent and you know you have it, don’t be afraid. Hard work beats talent. If you work hard, you’ll make it. Perfect your craft and don't be afraid. Just keep going. Persistence has always won. “My wife is super supportive. She’s my anchor. I feel like she’s the reason my music started taking off for me. After we committed to getting married, everything just started falling into place.” WORDS FROM XAVI’S WIFE Xavi’s wife, Hannah Herrera, spoke of her husband’s passion for music, saying, “Xavi’s passion, dedication and humility in regards to music is hugely inspiring. I’ve never seen someone so tirelessly go after something they want. But most importantly he is humble and patient and attributes every blessing and opportunity back to Heavenly Father. He is such an example to me in so many ways.” Herrera continued, “I may not be super into all of the music he listens to, but I do love the beats he creates and sometimes he’ll ask my opinion. I’ve even made a few beats with him. “I try to show support by making his life easier in other ways so that he has the time and creative space to make music. I try to support him in moments of discouragement and remind him of how far he has come. We’re excited to see what the future holds. “Like for example I’m studying peacebuilding and my career may not be as conventional as a 9-5, Monday through Friday jobs. It may require some sacrificing and travel. But my husband is always so supportive of me and my goals so I want to be the same for him. “I honestly love that we are both pursuing creative paths in life, not necessarily what are traditional careers.” Herrera said while there are stereotypes Photo by Emily Hancock MAR CH 2019


WHAT ARE YOUR MUSICAL INTERESTS? “My favorite musical genre is Bossa Nova, which is Brazilian Jazz. When I was younger I listened to a lot of rock: Switchfoot, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin. I also mingled with Spanish music. In high school, I got really into hip-hop and R&B: Chief Keef, MadeinTYO, A$AP Rocky. “I mostly make rap, trap [a style of Hip Hop] and R&B. I’m also collaborating with some producers from Brazil. I’m planning a trip in April to go down to Rio de Janeiro to work with a big hip-hop producer down there. It’s Brazilian rap. I make a lot of Latin trap.” around the music industry and uncertainties about their future, she said it is important to pursue passions and make a career out of what you love. HOW DID YOU FIND YOUR WAY IN MUSIC PRODUCTION AND GET WITH ARTISTS? “The internet is one of the most amazing things. It opens so many doors. I went from zero to 100 in a month. I was just making beats; I couldn’t get placements with anybody. Nobody on the island. Last year Rojas came to the island and I messaged him on Instagram. I had everyone on my Instagram message him. I told him I wanted to play some music for him” Xavi said he didn’t care if Rojas told him his music was bad. “I just wanted to hear what he thought because I never worked with any other producers. I ended up meeting with him and played beats for him and he said my beats were hard. He invited me to join him on his label and help me get exposure. “From that experience, which was in May, I got some exposure, and I’ve been working with new artists almost every week. I had a placement with Riff Raff, and some well-known guys down in Latin America. It’s really helpful to have someone on the inside.



“I know the Lord was like, ‘Here you go. You’ve worked hard.’ I don’t think the Lord really cares about rap. But I’m sure he cares about his children doing what they love. If you’re doing everything you’re supposed to be doing, to be worthy of blessings, Heavenly Father will help you out. You need to do what he wants you to do.” HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PLAYING MUSIC? “I started playing guitar when I was 9 years old after watching the ‘School of Rock.’ A few years later I started playing piano, and I played both throughout my childhood up until now. “I started producing music as soon as I got back from my mission. I just started out with a laptop and a musicmaking program, GarageBand. I saved up money while I was working to buy better programs. I been sticking at it for twoand-a-half years now. Xavi said during the school year he tries to make five beats per day. “That’s like two-to-three hours per day," he explained. "When I’m off school, I can go all day. I’ve done more than 15 hours a day in the studio some days.”

WHO HAS INSPIRED YOU MUSICALLY? “When I was little, OutKast, The Neptunes, Pharrell. That stuff is just beautiful. I’ve always been in love with music. “When I first got back [from my mission], a rapper, MadeinTYO, was blowing up. He was getting big. I loved his vibe, his sound. I was like, ‘Yo, I wanna make stuff like this.’ It’s heavy. It hits. It was wavy. I listened to a lot of him, and his brother, 24hrs. "What’s funny is that this last week I got to work with the brother, 24hrs, and I got both of them on the song too. MadeinTYO inspired me initially, then I ended up working with his brother.” •

A different form of art

Martial arts helps BYUH junior gain self-confidence and inner-strength BY MACKENZIE BEAVER Marvin Latchumanan’s said his prompting to learn how to defend himself led to him discovering Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, a martial art, and the lifestyle it offers. His interest in martial arts began as a desire to learn self-defense and later turned to a way of life. “My favorite thing about martial arts is that there is a lot of failures and a lot of corrections. You have a lot of time open to yourself to really understand yourself and accept new things,” said Latchumanan, a junior from Malaysia studying communications. He added he has learned a lot more than what he initially thought about martial arts, which was just learning how to defend himself. Latchumanan is working on mastering Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at Casa de Fera, which is run by the bishop of the 16th Ward, Nihi Napoleon, in the Laie YSA 2nd Stake. Latchumanan eventually said he wants to become a personal trainer and travel while doing so. He is taking the personal training certification class at BYUH, and he said he feels martial arts is a good supplement and addition to learning how to become a personal trainer. Delphia Lloyd, a sophomore from Idaho studying hospitality and tourism management, is a friend of Latchumanan. Lloyd said, “Marvin is a very quiet and private guy so I often don’t get the chance to learn or see much about him, but his passion for martial arts is something you’ll catch onto first about him if you pay attention. “It kind of surprised me at first because he is such a gentle person.”

Inspiration to learn

Growing up in Malaysia, Latchumanan said he had witnessed a lot of crime and robberies near his home. “I remember as a young child, I was walking with my mom and a snatch-thief tried to steal her purse. “Luckily, my mom wasn’t robbed but I remember seeing other people having their belongings stolen from them quite often. People would just get their bags or purses stolen in the streets, or houses would get broken into.”

Latchumanan training at Team Pride Academy. Photo by Ho Yin Li

Three years ago, in February 2016, Latchumanan said he had just returned home from his two-year mission for the Church where he served in the Philippines. “When I came home from my mission, I just felt this strong need and inspiration to learn how to defend myself. “I knew I needed to learn how to protect myself so I decided to follow the inspiration and learn martial arts.” Latchumanan began searching for gyms that would allow him to learn and practice what he wanted. After looking near his home in Malaysia, he said he was ready to give up his search for a martial arts gym after traveling long distances to several gyms. Eventually, Latchumanan said he found a martial arts gym that was in his budget and close to his home. He began with traditional Thai kickboxing and then made the transformation to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, which is what he is still practicing and trying to master. Latchumanan said he genuinely enjoys learning martial arts, and this sport is more than just a sport to him. He is constantly finding new skills and disciplines of martial arts to learn and develop. Latchumanan’s younger sister, Vanessa Latchumanan, a freshman from Malaysia studying social work, said, “I think my brother is an inspiration towards martial arts. Just by his example towards it teaches me strength comes within ourselves and our passion drives us to come forward.” Later when he began attending school at BYU–Hawaii, he said he found a gym in Laie. Now he trains at Casa De Fera near Hukilau Beach, he said two times a week for an hour and a half each training session. • MAR CH 2019


Bleaching flannels to make a difference Katelynne Halliday said she uses her business to counteract pollution of fashion industry BY HAELEY VAN DER WERF

What started as an activity to fill time while she was recovering from a broken and dislocated elbow has turned into an effort to have a positive impact on the environment through selling repurposed, bleach-dyed flannels, said Katelynne Halliday. Halliday, a senior from Utah majoring in painting, said she makes all of her bleach-dyed flannels out of repurposed clothing because she wants to raise awareness about the pollution created by the fashion industry. “Something I really wanted to emphasize with my business is trying to get people to be more aware of the things they purchase and consume and how they affect the environment. “With these shirts, I wanted to make a company that is affecting the environment in a better way. I wanted to find a way I could pull away from the big fashion industry and be able to make a clothing line that impacts the environment in a good way.” According to Kristan Tiritilli, a junior from California majoring in exercise and sport science, Halliday is a fun-loving person who likes to inspire others to try new things. “Katelynne was one of my roommates a couple years ago, and we clicked and have been pretty close ever since. She started talking about making flannels during this past summer time. “Katelynne is the sweetest human. She wants the best for people and is a great listener. She is always looking for ways to make people laugh and to help them take life a little less seriously. She is down for adventures and spontaneous things which makes it fun to be around her. She also is open to trying new things and it inspires me to be like that too.”

Katelynn Halliday holds one of her bleach-dyed shirts. Photo by Cameron Gardner 42


Graphics by Lynne Hardy

Working for a cleaner fashion industry

Halliday said she learned about the harm caused by the fashion industry through social media. After researching, she said she decided to buy the shirts she bleach dyes second hand instead of buying them wholesale. “I feel like [wholesale] is almost an easy way out but also not as good for the environment. I decided to get all the clothes I bleach dye as resale clothes, so thrifted or second hand … It’s a little more of a hassle on my part because I have to take this extra time to go find the shirts instead of just ordering them online.” Halliday said, “It makes me feel more at peace and feel better about my business. It is a business supporting a better environment. I’m just trying to help people be more aware of the clothing they’re purchasing and how it’s affecting the world around them.”

Starting her business

She said she originally began bleaching shirts with friends. Her creative mindset

is what pushed her to start bleach-dyeing flannels, and her injury was what pushed her to start the business. “Over the summer, I ended up dislocating and fracturing my elbow. When I’m back in Utah, I normally work for a catering company my aunt and mom run. That’s a lot of heavy lifting.You need to be able to move things around and carry things. I couldn’t do that with my arm, but I could dip a shirt in bleach dye. “I had this in the back of my head, this idea that I could sell these shirts. I had friends who liked them and said they would buy one. Being out of work, dislocating my elbow and not being able to do what I normally could was the extra push to do this. Why not take this extra chance, start a business, and see how it goes?” Ana Mendoza, an alumna from California who majored in psychology, said Halliday started talking about this business over the summer, and her crafty nature helped her make the business a reality. Although she didn’t know anything about how to start a business, Halliday explained how the internet was a huge help to her starting her business. “I don’t really know anything about business, marketing, or anything. Honestly, thank goodness for the internet, Google, and even YouTube, because you can search anything.You can figure out how to do anything

and learn from other people who have gone through the same process.” As for where she sells her clothes, “Etsy is where my business is right now. I also sell locally at farmer’s markets and pop-up markets. I’ve done the farmer’s market here at BYU–Hawaii. When I go back to Utah, I want to pursue some other markets there.”

The learning curve

Halliday described how the first time she bleach dyed a shirt, it didn’t go as planned. “My first time dying a shirt was actually kind of a fail, but also a step in the right direction. I was like, ‘Oh yeah, I can just dunk it in the bleach and it will be all fine.’ I sat in the bleach, and was like, ‘Oh, it probably needs to bleach for like an hour.’ I hadn’t really looked anything up the first time. I thought I knew what to do and could figure it out. “When I came back to check on it, I lifted it up, and it just fell apart into the bleach. My friend was with me, and I was like, ‘Umm, this is embarrassing.’ I learned later when you’re bleaching clothing you have to dilute the bleach.” After she learned how to properly make her shirts, she said she realized what it was actually like to start a small business. “I realized you want it to grow so quickly, and you think, ‘Oh yeah, I can make it grow so quick.’ I think with any start-up business it’s a gradual incline.

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The long run

I’ve created social media pages, like Instagram and Facebook. I have way more followers than I did at the beginning.” Halliday said her customers motivate her to keep going. “I’ve had committed followers. I’ve had people who have bought shirts and come back to buy another shirt because they’re so satisfied. That’s been really cool to see people who have purchased my merchandise and liked it enough they want to come back and repurchase.” Another thing keeping her motivated is her drive to be successful. “I’m a person who doesn’t want to fail at things. Sometimes in some ways I have a fear of failure. If I do pursue something, I’m going to pursue it and put everything into it. I don’t want to fail because I don’t want everyone to see me fail. “The things I do, I want to be able to be successful in and feel accomplished. That’s something that keeps me going with it and not giving up is that I want to be able to find success in it. I feel like the time I have been able to put into it, I have been able to see success. It’s been slow and gradual, which is common with any small business, which I have to remind myself sometimes.”

Her creative process

Halliday described how she makes the shirts. “To start off, I’ll go get a shirt. My favorite thrift shop to go to is Savers … I’ll get home, and I’ll set up my bleach station. I have a big container I put the bleach in. “I’ll put my gloves on and my mask on. Then I’ll get a shirt, and I’ll gradually move 44


it into the bleach. I’ll splash it up in certain spots and smooth it in and rub it in. I’ll rinse out parts of the shirt to get more of a faded look and let other parts sit longer. Eventually, I’ll rinse out the whole shirt and set that shirt aside until it’s ready to be washed. I’ll do other shirts in the meantime, so it’s a big load with multiple shirts.” Once the shirts are done, Halliday said she’ll usually photograph the shirts so she can put them up on her Etsy site. “If I don’t have time, I don’t get to photographing all of them. I’ll just take them to the farmer’s market even if I don’t have photos of them yet. Sometimes they’ll sell before I take a photo of them, which is nice. I just find my friends, or sometimes even acquaintances, where I like their aesthetic and look. “Then I’ll edit them, which can be fun and a pain at the same time ... I don’t try to over edit it because I want them to look how they are. People want to purchase what they’re seeing. Then I’ll post them on my site. Once I’ve posted them on my site, I feel free to post them on social media as well. I try not to post anything on social media I haven’t posted on my site first.” Explaining some of her specific techniques, Halliday shared, “You do one-part bleach, two parts water.You can even do more water. It’s safer to add more water to the bleach. I also don’t just dunk it in the bleach anymore like the first time ... Bleach is a really strong chemical, so you have to be really careful with it.”

Pursuing a minor in psychology as well, Halliday shared, will hopefully lead her into the field of art therapy. “In the long run, I want to go into art therapy and counseling, so I’ll have to go to a master’s program for that. Right after I graduate, I want to take a little bit of a break before I jump right into school again and work. “I’ll be able to put more time, effort, and commitment to my small business I’ve started up, which will be kind of fun and exciting. I definitely want to find another job as well that will be like a stepping stone for me in the direction of art therapy, whether it’s something more art related or psychology related. I’m not completely sure yet, but that’s the direction I’m going. As for incorporating her business into art therapy, “I definitely feel like it could be incorporated, doing some creating of clothing and art therapy. I haven’t really thought about it. I don’t know how long I’ll be doing this business.” To see more of Halliday’s products, follow her on Instagram @made_bykate_ or visit her Etsy shop MadebyKShop.

Top: A rack full of Halliday's shirts and flannels. Bottom: Halliday often sells her products at the BYUH Farmer's Market. Photos by Cameron Gardner


The power of theatre and music BYU–Hawaii professors say the arts can be transcendent tapping into people’s hearts and minds

BY HAELEY VAN DER WERF Connecting with people on an emotional and spiritual level through theater and music can transform into something divine, said two BYU– Hawaii professors. They said these qualities are the responsibilities of all those involved, from the composer, to the performer, to the audience. Kristl Densley, assistant professor of Theater at BYUH, said human connection is the most important part of performing in theater. “All theater is about connection. A live audience with real people makes theater. It’s transformative because actors have a real want and need to communicate. An actor is only believable when they know exactly what their character wants and is trying to achieve it. If they don’t know what they’re trying to get, there’s a disconnect. “In theater, you can’t play emotion. Emotion is a by-product of action. If you are going for that want, the by-product is emotion, by the character or audience. “I like to call them transcendent moments. These are moments where we have understanding and connection with something else. I like to compare it to the gospel, where you have ‘Aha’ moments. It’s the same in your art, where if you don’t practice, you’ll forget what it was.” Densley said one of the most powerful experiences she has had connecting with a character was when she was in “How I Learned to Drive,” by Paula Vogel. “I couldn’t connect with a woman who couldn’t see what a monster her husband was. One day my speedometer was broken, and I got pulled over on way to rehearsal. I had documentation about my speedometer being

broken, but the officer didn’t believe me. I felt wronged. I got to rehearsal and I was late. They were doing that scene. I was thinking about what had happened to me with the police officer. “I connected with the character because she felt wronged. I had this huge emotional release through the words of the play. That was the first time I realized you have to put yourself in the character. It doesn’t have to be the same experiences as the person.” Another example of this, Densley shared, was when she had a student doing “Into The Woods.” “After the show, we had a debriefing and … he started crying, and he said, ‘I can’t let it go.’ He had identified with this character, and he was able to communicate that with the audience every night. He didn’t know how to stop doing that. For him it was extremely profound. Then I talked him through how you invest yourself. But you have to have something to get you out because it’s really not you.” Her method to get out of character is to use specific exercises. “I walk myself slowly into the world of the play and the wants and needs of the character. When I finish, I walk myself back onto the reality that is my life and my wants and needs. It is so important to do some kind of ritual like this so the two can remain separate.” Daniel Bradshaw, chair of the Music and Theater Department, described how a composer infuses emotion into their music. “That’s part of my job as a composer: to notate the music well enough that performers can then interpret it in a way that will be meaningful for them and for the audience. This comes from years of experiencing musical scores

myself, as well as collaborating with performers.” As a composer, Bradshaw explained, “I start with artistic impulses and turn them into notes. The performer has the difficult job of going in the opposite direction, trying to interpret notes and directions on the page in a way that will elicit deeply meaningful from the work and allow it to resonate with the audience.” Helping the audience feel this connection, he said, has something to do with faith. “You have to believe if you find meaning in a certain way of presenting the music that other people will as well. If you feel it, they will too, at least to some extent. That’s often the way of getting past nerves for me as well. I focus on the joy or angst or longing of the music, try to immerse myself in the meaning of the piece, and that focus helps me forget my own nervousness.” Bradshaw shared one experience he had with this was when the Minnesota Orchestra performed his piece, “Chaconne,” and it came across just as he had envisioned it. “As a composer, the greatest thrill comes for me when I hear a performance of my work so closely match the vision I had. The vision and performance become the same. When that happens, the creation and realization of the piece harmonize so well it resonates in a way that approaches the divine. “It wasn’t a perfect performance, but I was riveted to my seat. There was a charge of energy in the hall that seemed to explode when the baton dropped and the audience applauded. To have Maestro Vänskä and 50 orchestral players interpret the ink I put on the page that so closely matched my artistic impulses, it was a spine-tingling experience.” • MAR CH 2019


The man behind the camera YouTuber Khoon An says food, culture and connecting with people motivates and inspires him to make videos By Elijah Hadley



F E BRU ARY 2 0 1 9


n a world where Youtube is one of the largest platforms for sharing media and ideas, Khoon An, a sophomore from Korea majoring in music, has found success. In just two years, An’s independent YouTube channel, Hawaii Khoon, has gained more than 17,000 subscribers, and his most popular video has almost 1 million views. An shared his love for making videos and emphasized the importance of editing. An said his desire to make videos began when he left South Korea to attend BYU– Hawaii. “At first I just wanted to record my journal I had been writing in about my time in Hawaii. I wanted to make it visual. My first video I made was in Korea and it was of me departing to Hawaii. I just wanted to make a memory, like writing in my journal. It started getting a lot of views when I posted it on YouTube, and so I decided to keep doing it. “I thought of different topics I could film,” An said. “I thought, ‘What if I make a video of me feeding spicy noodles to an American and film their reaction?’ I thought it could be really funny and people would like it. The views got crazy, and I thought, ‘Man, this is getting big.’” When asked where his primary source of passion for making videos came from, An answered, “I can find passion the best when I eat something. It comes best through food. I usually make videos of cooking with my friends. Cooking is another way of being creative. There’s a special reaction to Korean food that I have. It sort of triggers my inspiration. “If I upload my video on YouTube and the view count gets higher, I get motivated to make more videos because I see the people really like it and want me to make more. Once I know what the viewers on my channel like, I know what I should make and know which direction I should be going in.” An said, “I cook Korean food all the time for my friends, and I also like to film life in Hawaii. Not so much the campus, but the rest of Hawaii. I film tourist places like Diamond Head and Honolulu. I want to capture Hawaii in my videos. "Many of my friends and family back in Korea want me to show off what Hawaii looks

It took me two years to get myself where I am today, and I didn’t do it without making a few mistakes. I would say to all the people to just keep trying.”

Graphics by Lynne Hardy

like. So I definitely want to show both sides of Hawaii. The real Hawaii.” An worked as a videographer for the Ke Alaka‘i for about a year. During this time, he said he “learned so much working as a videographer. I could learn whatever I wanted to know about videography. And I could also take the skills I learned and pool them into the video I was required to make every week. Being a videographer for the Ke Alaka‘i helped me master the filmmaking skills I use for my videos today." An continued, “I usually made videos about the different facilities at BYUH when I worked as a videographer. I made videos about

the Aloha Center, museum, and other places. “Kelsy Simmons and I worked together and experimented with different videos. I remember we did one about how people say ‘hello’ in different languages. I really enjoyed that one.” When asked what his favorite video he had made so far was, An responded, “Lately, the vlogs about how my wife and I live in Hawaii have been my favorite. It’s really fun because Hawaii is so new to us because... we are Korean. “Making videos is how I express myself because in the video, I can be goofy. Since a lot of people watch the videos, I can pretty much

MAR CH 2019


do whatever I want and people will love it. I don’t have to pretend to be anyone else.” An said for his first video, which was only five minutes long, he spent between eight and nine hours editing it. “It was so hard editing, I had no time to do anything else in Hawaii. But now, I have an editor who helps me out and it only takes three to four hours. Once I got used to it, it became a lot easier.” According to An,YouTube is experiencing a boom in South Korea. “Becoming a Youtuber is becoming super popular. Unfortunately, many people start off wanting to make Youtube videos and then quit too soon. I can say that making a video is the same as drawing, painting, or music.You create something, and the filmmaker creates the video. Video-making needs to be seen as a more serious art.” In addition to being a videographer, An also worked as a DJ. He said, “I wanted to learn music as much as possible because I just liked music and learning. After I fell in love with EDM (Electronic Dance Music), I wanted to learn how to be a DJ. So without hesitation, I just went to DJ Academy and signed up. "After awhile, I was able to work in an actual club in Korea. I felt so good when over a thousand people jumped to the beat of my music.” Since coming back to Hawaii, An said he

does not do it very much and focuses more on making videos. An said he tries to combine his love for music into his videos. “In some of the videos, one might see me performing, and I also compose the background music for my videos myself.”


An said he typically works with what he has when starting a video but always has an idea of what he wants the video to be. “When it comes to planning, it really depends. For example, when I make Korean food and eat with friends, I just film spontaneously. No idea of how it will go. Just improv from my friends and I. Sometimes being spontaneous leads to some really crazy fun things coming up. “If I go to somewhere like Honolulu, I have more of a plan,” An explained. “I decide which building and which street I need to show because I don’t want to waste time or use up memory in the camera. An said editing is what can turn a boring video into something exciting and dynamic.“It can make all the difference. To any [one who is] starting out making videos, I would say give it a chance. I am only where I am today because I kept on trying to make videos. Thirty percent of making a video is the actual filming, while 70 percent is editing.

"I want to capture Hawaii in my videos... the real Hawaii."

“The worst thing an aspiring filmmaker can do is quit,” An said confidently. “It took me two years to get myself where I am today, and I didn’t do it without making a few mistakes. I would say to all the people to just keep trying.” An’s wife, Jaiseon You, a freshman from Korea majoring in psychology, said, “I work on most of the videos with my husband. I think what he makes is really good art. It is a visual medium and helps to show who he is. “He also made a wedding video for us when we got married. He has a very unique talent. I had no interest in YouTube before I met him. And now he is able to show people in Korea what living in Hawaii is really like.” Kimball Heaton, a junior from Utah majoring in business, said, “Khoon is one of the best people I know. He told me about how a number of people in his home country of Korea fall into a state of depression, sadness, loneliness. "He’s shared his vision of helping thousands of people enjoy life and develop a positive mindset through the videos we are making. I fully support that vision. I feel really honored to be apart of it. He has some comments from viewers on videos we have made talking about how they feel happier and more positive about life after watching them.” •

BYU–Hawaii student Khoon An shares food, destinations, culture and more in his YouTube videos. Photo captured from a Khoon An video. Graphics by Michele Crowley



Religion MAR CH 2019


Eternal life

in the eternal city Rome Italy Temple’s influential Italian art and history inspire and all Church apostles attend dedication BY GEENA DEMAIO




Previous page: The completed Rome Italy temple. Above: The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Photos courtesy of Newsroom

ore than a decade after former President Thomas S. Monson announced the construction of the Rome Italy Temple in the October 2008 General Conference, the temple was dedicated on March 10. All members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and First Presidency traveled to the Eternal City for this historic event. In the dedicatory prayer, President Russell M. Nelson said, “In this ancient and great city that has stood since biblical times, we acknowledge the ministry of two of Thy Son's early Apostles, Peter and Paul, who once blessed this land with their labors.” While in Rome, President Nelson and Elder M. Russell Ballard met with Pope Francis inside the Vatican the day before the dedication, the first meeting between a Latterday Saint president and a pope. According to Newsroom, following the fourth dedicatory service, President Nelson said, “This is a hinge point in the history of the Church. Things are going to move forward at an accelerated pace of which this is a part. We

think the Church is an old Church. It's 189 years old. But it's only the beginning. “Just project out what the next future will be and the Church is going to have an unprecedented future. Unparalleled. We're just building up what’s ahead now."

Restored gospel reveals extended artwork meaning

Of the temple, Megan Hansen, a returned missionary who served in Italy and is a BYU– Hawaii alumna, said, “It’s the most amazing, beautiful, artistically inclusive and biblically symbolic temple I’ve seen. The roads are made from stones that the Church purchased from the Italian government that made up the old roads of Rome.” Olive trees, Bianco Sardo granite and statues sculpted after ancient Roman models embellish the Italian-style piazza, composed of marble sourced and crafted of fine travertine, a regional regality of specialized stone. The temple architecture was inspired by Italian Renaissance artist Michelangelo. Hansen said, “Michelangelo’s famous symbol

is everywhere within the temple and the baptismal font is even oval shaped." The oval designs are similar to the Piazza del Campidoglio and the circular staircases near Capitoline Hill in Rome. The temple grounds are filled with olive tress. “There’s tremendous symbolism in olives and in olive trees,” said Apostle Elder David A. Bednar. “Whenever you cut the roots of an olive tree, they’ll sprout. They don’t die; they will continue to sprout. Some have suggested perhaps that’s symbolic of the hope of the Resurrection.” Other interior features include an instruction room mural featuring Italian landscape scenes from the sea to the hills, the Baroque-style bridal room with its crystalline sconces and hand-painted chairs, the crystal chandelier and artisan-crafted furnishings of the celestial room. Woven off-white carpets can be found in the celestial and sealing rooms, an elliptical font with inlaid stones and Roman-style acanthus leaves in the baptistry, and original paintings of the Savior are located throughout the temple. MAR CH 2019


Top: President Russell M. Nelson meets with Catholic Pope Francis inside the Vatican. Bottom: The baptistry with its oval design.

A Christus statue, along with 12 statues of the original Twelve Apostles, can also be found on the temple grounds. Hansen explained, “The Christ statue and the Twelve Apostles are exact replicas of those found in the Church of Our Lady, Copenhagen Cattedrale. They were sculpted by a Danish artist, but he was trained, studied and lived his life in Italy. The statues are made of marble from the same Italian quarry in Carrera that the original statues were cut from as well." All 15 members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and First Presidency posed for a photo, with the Christus and Twelve Apostles statues as the background. This was the first group photo taken of the leaders in two decades, according to the Church’s Newsroom. The location of the temple also carries significance, as the apostles Peter and Paul preached the gospel to the Roman people. Jim Tueller, a BYUH History professor, said, “The traditions hold that both Peter and Paul were martyred there in Rome when they were missionaries. For Western Christianity, Rome was the head of the Church, the citta 52


sacrata, [sacred city] you go to pilgrimage.” Tueller continued, “Iconography are the pictures of painting that one can use to identify Peter in the Renaissance. Most iconography of Peter shows him with the keys because he holds the keys, and the keys are often portrayed as for the city of Rome but also the history of Christianity and the Roman Empire. “Keys symbolize the authority, in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we

refer to the keys as the priesthood from no formal clergy.” Carol Peterson, an English administrative assistant who served her mission 40 years ago in Italy, returned to the country to visit the temple. “The idea that there is actually a temple there hopefully will bring the Church just a little more to the forefront. They have the Family History Library and Visitor’s Center and it is a welcoming invitation. It’s absolutely

incredible, especially as we approach the Second Coming. “It’s [Italy's] amazingly beautiful people will come without really knowing what the temple is. When I served my mission, tons of people had never even heard of Mormons. Now that is changing because of the temple.” Hansen shared, “The members in Rome and from all over the country have taken time off of work and school to come volunteer for the open house and to clean and prepare the temple. “Can you imagine being a student and going to the Laie temple every day after class to give tours, organize, clean, explain, and talk to visitors until 9 p.m.? It’s amazing.” Pres. Nelson said, “We are grateful for the support of church, government and civic leaders who have offered much-appreciated goodwill in our desire to build this holy temple here in Rome.” Peterson said she gave photos of temples to a shop owner she often visited as a missionary. While she was visiting Napoli, Italy, she went to his shop and met with him again.

Although the man is not a member of the Church, he was inspired by the photos of the temple, created a stone shell and donated it to the Temple Visitors' Center. "‘La chiesa mormona’ [the Mormon Church] is considered an American church so having the temple and temple grounds be so heavily influenced by Italian culture will really help Italians feel comfortable. It will help

them remember this is Christ’s Church, not an American church,” said Hansen. The Rome Temple began operation on March 19. It is projected to serve about 27,000 Latter-day Saints in Italy. It is the Church's 162 operating temple, with another 40 announced or under construction. • Top: The celestial room. Bottom: The Christus statue with the statues of the Twelve Apostles.

MAR CH 2019


President Joseph F. Smith, his wife, and other Church leaders arrive in Honolulu. Photo courtesy of University Archives

A missionary and his adopted mom

Joseph F. Smith promises Hawaiian mama she will live to see Laie Temple built By Eric Marlowe, professor of Religion

Sometime in the early 1850s, on the Hawaiian island of Maui, Naoheakamalu Manuhii and her husband favorably received “haole” (nonnative Hawaiian) missionaries and their message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Later this young couple cared for a severely ill teenaged missionary. Named after his uncle, this youthful missionary had lost his father at age five, and lost his mother a few years before embarking on this mission at age fifteen. The motherly care shown the orphan missionary was never forgotten. And the missionary experience of this youth among the Hawaiian people played a pivotal role in his becoming a man. He later described the early years of his youth as “a comet or a fiery meteor, without … balance or guide,” and that his mission to Hawaii “restored my equilibrium, and fixed the laws…which have governed my subsequent life.” Little more is known of this caring Hawaiian couple, but like many other 54


early Hawaiian converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Islands, they would have endured breaches of apostasy within the Church, and general persecution from without What’s more, as native Hawaiians they would have endured epidemics of disease leading to the death of much of their race, tumultuous governance, and unimaginable world change. The fate of the husband is unknown, but we later learn that Sister Manuhii remained connected to her faith. And remarkably, more than sixty years later, this devoted sister and the young missionary she cared for were reunited on a pier in Honolulu in 1909. She called out for “Iosepa,” Joseph, and he instantly ran to her, hugging her and saying, “Mama, Mama, my dear old Mama.” The boy she had cared for was now the prophet of the Church, Joseph F. Smith; and the caring sister, now blind and frail, had brought him the best gift she could afford—a few choice bananas.

“Ma” Manuhii’s enduring faith, and her heartfelt but meager gift of bananas, are telling. Like so many others, her faith was deep and enduring. But her meager means meant that the fullness of the gospel, realized only in temples (thousands of miles away), was not a reality for her. This inaccessibility to temples, faced by “Ma” Manuhii and so many other Saints in distant lands, had been a conundrum faced by Church leaders for years, and possibly the most outspoken of those leaders was her “son” Joseph F. Smith. Years later, “Ma” learned that her beloved “Iosepa” would again visit the Islands, and she waited for days on the steps of the mission house in Honolulu, anticipating his arrival. The prophet and his party had an exceptional visit, and it appears that prior to his departure he promised “Ma” that she would live to attend the temple. Three months later, in the October 1915 general conference, President Joseph

F. Smith proposed the construction of a temple in Hawaii, and it was unanimously approved. Although construction advanced promptly, sadly President Joseph F. Smith did not live to see the Hawaii temple completed among a people he loved so dearly, but “Ma” did. In her nineties and among the first to attend, Ma was carried through the temple to receive her blessings and be sealed to her husband. While in the temple she heard the words of Joseph F. Smith tell her “aloha,” and a dove flew in through an open window and lighted on her bench. Expressing her feeling of deep contentment, Ma passed away a week later. Ma is buried near the temple, and a statue of her now resides next to the temple in honor of her, and so many others like her, whose faith laid the foundation for a temple in Hawaii. •

President Joseph F. Smith is the son of Hyrum and Mary Fielding Smith. His father was killed along with the Prophet Joseph Smith Jr. when Joseph F. was 5 years old.

Joseph F. was called on a mission to Hawaii as a 15-year-old orphan By Emily Hancock

An early photo of the Laie Hawaii Temple. Photo courtesy of University Archives

Joseph F. Smith was born on Nov. 13, 1838 in Far West, Missouri, the first child of Mary Fielding and Hyrum Smith. He spent the first eight years of his life in Nauvoo, Illinois, and at the age of 5, his father and uncle, Joseph Smith Jr., were martyred. A few years later, Joseph F. and his family joined the pioneers westward, hoping to begin a new life in Salt Lake City, Utah. By age 13, his mother had also died, leaving young Joseph F. an orphan. In the April 1854 General Conference at the age of 15, Joseph F. was called to serve as a missionary in the Sandwich Islands, now known as Hawaii. He was assigned to the island of Maui and was told to live among the people and learn their language and culture, according to the Church website. Joseph F. said of this assignment, “By this gift and by study, in a hundred days after landing upon those islands I could talk to the people in their language as I now talk to you in my native tongue.” Joseph F.’s love for the Hawaiian people emanated throughout the islands, as he served in leadership positions in Maui, Hawaii Island, and Molokai. After serving a mission in England, he returned

to Hawaii in 1864 to serve once again as a missionary. At the age of 28, Joseph F. was ordained an Apostle and called as a counselor to the First Presidency. He served in this position for 35 years, until he was ordained as the sixth President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Oct. 17, 1901. As the Prophet, Joseph F. watched over the Hawaiian people like a father, with the hope that the Saints in the islands would soon have their own temple. He announced the Hawaii temple in Oct. 1915, just three years before his death. “I want you to understand that the Hawaiian mission, and the good Latterday Saints of that mission, with what help the Church can give, will be able to build their temple,” Joseph F. said in his announcement of the Laie Temple. “They are a tithe-paying people… We have a gathering place there where we bring people together, and teach them the best we can.” He died on Nov. 19, 1918, one year before the dedication of the Laie Hawaii Temple. MAR CH 2019


PhotoBree by Cameron Gardner BYU-Hawaii alumna Poort works on her resin artwork. Read her story on page 25. Photo by Chad Hsieh

Profile for Ke Alaka'i News

Ke Alaka'i - March 2019  

The ART issue

Ke Alaka'i - March 2019  

The ART issue

Profile for kealakai