Adjacent to HPA’s Village Campus, you will find a doorway to two centuries of Hawaiian art. Here, contemporary pieces by living, local artists stand alongside those of Hawaiian masters. The gallery presents the beauty, strength, and resilience of Hawai‘i as seen and felt by artists who found—and continue to find—inspiration here.
The center is home to the world’s largest collection of paintings, drawings, and watercolors by Madge Tennent, who ranks among Hawai‘i’s foremost artists. These works join a distinguished roster of artists that includes Herb Kane, Martha Greenwell, Lionel Walden, Lloyd Sexton, D. Howard Hitchcock, and Jean Charlot, among others.
HPA students study art history with Center Director Mollie Hustace. Her class prepares students for the AP Art History exam (if they wish to take it), and, above all, offers inspiration and critical context for our studio artists and aspiring designers, architects, and historians.
Isaacs Art Center was established in 2004 to serve as a cultural force benefiting HPA, Waimea, and Hawai‘i Island communities. In addition to its permanent collection, part of the center operates as an art gallery and all proceeds go to support student financial aid at HPA. The center’s concurrent mission is to provide access to cultural learning and exemplary art for Hawai‘i Island communities.
The center’s current building originally opened in 1915 as the Waimea Elementary and Intermediate School, the area’s first public school structure. In 2002, the 5,580 square-foot structure was saved from demolition and relocated to its present location; a meticulous renovation restored the schoolhouse to its former glory, garnering the Historic Hawai‘i Foundation’s Preservation Honor Award and recognition on the State Register of Historic Places.