‘Surfing and art mingle a lot in Paia — a blink-and-you-miss-it town — on the north shore of Maui. For years, this old Hawaiian sugar town has been a respite for stoners, surfers and, according to many locals, a certain low-key breed of celebrities like Willie Nelson, the Doobie Brothers, Woody Harrelson and Kris Kristofferson.
In recent years, however, the chill surfer vibe has been joined by a buzzing art scene, with a half-dozen new galleries representing artists like Mary Mitsuda, David Ivan Clark and Udo Nöger. Their works have not only attracted the attention of the international art-collecting crowd, who come here on spending holidays, but also that of major institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Meanwhile, boho-chic hotels and fancy farm-to-table restaurants have opened, and a different caliber of tourist (as in the wealthy, art-buying caliber) has started turning Paia into an unlikely destination for contemporary art.
“You have all that exotica, these wonderful restaurants and top-notch galleries,” said Michael Kessler, an artist who lives in Santa Fe but recently had his first show in Paia. “I don’t know any other place like it.”’—NYTimes, “In Paia, Where Wetsuits and Art Meet in Maui” by Danielle Pergament, May 12, 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/16/travel/16next.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0