Esther Hi’ilani Candari was born to a mixed Asian American family and raised on the beautiful eastern shore of Oahu, Hawai'i. As an artist, her work reflects this rich multicultural upbringing and often draws upon Polynesian symbols and cultural idealogies. Her work is primarily figurative and explores concepts such as; multiracial identity; gender and the female gaze in context of religion; and the nuance of human psychology that can be expressed through portraiture. Many of her portraits break the fourth wall with their direct gaze and challenge the viewer to engage with the subject on an intimate level, rather than merely observe. The foundations of her painting techniques are traditional in nature, but her meticulously crafted multimedia applications infuse the final works with a unique, innovative, and captivating edge. 

       Her work has been exhibited, purchased, and published in cities across the country including New York, Salt Lake City, and San Francisco. She currently lives in central Virginia with her husband,  two guinea pigs, and an ever-growing collection of house plants.  

Let's work together

email: hiilanifinearts@gmail.com                                 phone:  808.726.1006

CURRICULUM VITAE

 

EDUCATION:

 

Masters of Fine Arts , (Projected 2020)

Emphasis in Painting

Liberty University, Lynchburg, Virginia

 

Summer Undergraduate Residency, July 2017

New York Academy of Art, New York City, New York

 

Bachelors of Fine Arts, June 2017

Painting & Sculpture Emphasis, Photography Certificate

Brigham Young University Hawaii, Laie, Hawai'i

 

 

WORK EXPERIENCE:

August 2019 - Present

Adjunct Instructor of Art

Southern Virginia University, Buena Vista, Virginia

December 2019 - Present

Council Member

Buena Vista Arts Council, Buena Vista, Virginia

February 2019 - July 2019

Assistant Registrar

The Fralin Museum of Art

University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia

November 2017 - July 2019

Artist in Residence

Center for Multicultural Enrichment

Liberty University, Lynchburg, Virginia

June 2017 - August 2017

Artist's Assistant

Joseph Brickey

Beaux-Arts Academy, Provo, Utah

 

August 2017 - March 2019

Graduate Assistant to the Director

Office of Equity and Inclusion

Liberty University, Lynchburg, Virginia

 

December 2016 - June 2017

Teaching & Lab Assistant for Beginning and Figurative Painting

Brigham Young University Hawai'i, Laie, Hawai'i

 

January 2017 - May 2017

Art and Art History Instructor for Grades K-12

Harmony Educational Services

 

June 2015 - December 2016

Teaching & Lab Assistant for Figurative Sculpture

Brigham Young University Hawai'i, Laie, Hawai'i

 

August 2016 - Present

Private Art Instructor

Kaneohe, Hawai'i

 

June 2012 - Present

Portrait and Event Photographer

Amherst, Virginia

 

RECOGNITIONS & AWARDS:

 

2017 - Present 

Honor Society Member

Zeta Chi

 

2016 - Present 

Honor Society Member

Phi Kappa Phi

2019

Student Thesis Research Grant

Center for Research and Scholarship

Liberty University, Lynchburg, Virginia

Institute of Classical Art and Architecture 1st Place Award

"Dialogue" Feature Artist Award

Jury Honorable Mention

Zion Art Society

"Certain Women: Statements of Purpose" Invitational Exhibit

Honorable Mention

Alliance of Covenant Artists

Fall Symposium of Fine Art and Faith

2018

Exhibition Finalist

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

11th Triennial International Art Competition

Top 40 Exhibition Finalist

XL Catlin Art Prize Exhibition

 

Peer Award Scholarship

Vision of the Arts Scholarship

2017

First Place for Fine Arts

Kula Manu Literary Journal Juried Art Competition

Department Merit Scholarship

Brigham Young University Hawai'i

 

2015-2016

University Honor Roll

Brigham Young University Hawai'i

 

2015 

First Place for Cover Art

Kula Manu Literary Journal Juried Art Competition

 

Second Place for Fine Arts

Kula Manu Literary Journal Juried Art Competition

 

 

EXHIBITIONS:

 

2020

A Girl's Guide to Heavenly Mother - An Exhibition

Writ and Vision Gallery, Provo, Utah

2019

Buena Vista Arts Council Holiday Exhibition

BVAC Center, Buena Vista, Virginia

Certain Women - Zion Art Society Invitational 

Anthony's Fine Art and Antiques, Salt Lake City, Utah

Certain Women - Zion Art Society Invitational 

Anthony's Fine Art and Antiques, Salt Lake City, Utah

Zeta Chi Juried Art Show

Academy Center of the Arts, Lynchburg, Virginia

Meditations on Belief - 11th Triennial International Art Competition

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Church History Museum, Salt Lake City, Utah

2018

XL Catlin Art Prize Exhibit

San Fransisco Art Institute, San Fransisco, California

Linda Warren Projects, Chicago, Illinois

New York Academy of Art, New York City, New York

African American History Month Exhibit

Center for Multicultural Enrichment, Liberty University, Virginia

 

2017

Summer Undergraduate Residency Curated Final Exhibit

New York Academy of Art, New York City, New York 

Greater than Rubies: Solo BFA Exhibition

Brigham Young University Hawai'i, Laie, Hawai'i

Risen: Figure Painting Easter Exhibit

Brigham Young University Hawai'i, Laie, Hawai'i

 

2016

Explorations - Advanced Painting Group Exhibit

Brigham Young University Hawai'i, Laie, Hawai'i

 

Vulnerable: A solo sculpture show

Brigham Young University Hawai'i, Laie, Hawai'i

Reflections: Figure Painting Self Portrait Exhibit

Brigham Young University Hawai'i, Laie, Hawai'i

 

PRESENTATIONS:

2017

An Alternative Approach to Feminism Through Art

Undergraduate Research Conference

Brigham Young University Hawai'i, Laie, Hawai'i

 

2016

The Academics of Art

Undergraduate Research Conference

Brigham Young University Hawai'i, Laie, Hawai'i

 

ASSISTANT WORK:

 

2018

Christus Mural

Joseph Brickey

Monumental Oil on Canvas Mural

LDS Temple Visitor's Center, Rome, Italy

2016

The Royal Family

Asipeli Viliami Toluta'u

Permanent Sculpture

Waikiki International Marketplace, Honolulu Hawai'i

 

Portrait of King Siaosi Tupuo II of Tonga

Asipeli Viliami Toluta'u

Permanent Sculpture

Tonga Mission Centennial Memorial, Nuku'alofa, Tonga

 

 

PUBLICATIONS & COLLECTIONS:

 

2020 

Makua

"A Girl's Guide to Heavenly Mother" by McArthur Krishna

Deseret Book Publishing, Salt Lake City, Utah

2018

All I Ask

Motherhood

Santa Clara Review,  Literary Journal, Santa Clara University, California

2017

Enlightened

David O. McKay Library, Brigham Young University Hawai'i, Laie, Hawai'i

 

2016

Lower Lights

Ka Pohaku

Colors of Courage

Painting Life

Kula Manu Literary Journal Competition, Brigham Young University Hawai'i

Ka Pohaku

Collection of John S. Tanner, President, Brigham Young University Hawai'i 

 

2015

Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?

Hawaii Ku'u Ipo

Sepia Samoa

Point of View

Kula Manu Literary Journal Competiton, Brigham Young University Hawai'i

 

2013

Wallflower

Life in Black and White

The Artist

Kula Manu Literary Journal Competition, Brigham Young University Hawai'i