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Dig Into the New Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens Photo Calendar

It’s that wonderful time of the year when we start looking forward to what’s to come in the new year. That joy of anticipation is given form at the start of the holiday shopping season with the release of calendars for the new year. But why get another word of the day or Garfield calendar when you can hang a beautiful piece of the Big Island on your wall? The new Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens photo calendar is available now at local stores! This collection of beautiful works that include the famous red bridge, sunsets and sunrises, views of Maunakea, and more is an annual fundraiser for the group that helps to restore, clean, and revitalize Lili`uokalani Gardens.

This is the fourth calendar to be created as part of a contest among both professional and hobbyist photographers to see who could best capture the beauty and essence of this beautiful place. In addition to the gorgeous photos, the calendar provides plenty of Big Island events for the year thanks to graphic design by Ken Goodrich of Volcano. A well-known photographer and videographer, he brings a wealth of east Hawaii events to calendar production. Dates for every known activity from Merrie Monarch Festival to the KWXX Ho`olaulea are included.

A photo of Lili'uokalani Gardens

The calendar will feature 13 images from eight different photographers to represent each month, as well as 16 thumbnail images. The selections were made by contest judge Charles Wood, a semi-retired landscape, nature, and travel photographer. The grand prize award went to Kris Hawkins of Opihikao. His “Bridge at Sunrise” was chosen by the judge as the cover image and the featured photograph for the month of August. Wood also selected three additional images by Hawkins for the featured images for the months of January, May, and July. In addition, thumbnail images by Hawkins will appear in March and July. For his prize, Hawkins won a doors-off helicopter ride with photography professionals Bruce Omori and Mick Kalber, courtesy of Paradise Helicopters.

“I picked up photography in high school, back in the days of film. Just recently, I got back into it while backpacking and camping,” Hawkins said. “I love Lili`uokalani Gardens. It is such a surprise to have so many images accepted.”

A photo of Lili'uokalani Gardens

Other photographers whose work will be featured in the calendar and the months include: Jay Takaaze (February and April), Alan Kubota (November and December), Rita French (June), Kenneth Jackson (March), Faith Cloud (September), Lisa Schwenneker (October), and Lucy Fischer (January 2021). Takaaze was the cover winner for 2019 and Jackson for 2017. Fischer is a fifth-grader who entered for the first time. Her thumbnail images appear in March, June, and July.

Additional thumbnail images, two to a calendar grid page, are from photographers Faith Cloud (September), Diane Koerner (October), Darrin Carlson (August), K.T. Cannon-Eger (October and January 2021), Alan Kubota (May and June), Eh Cuz (December), Kenneth Jackson (January 2020), Lisa Schwenneker (January 2020, April, and November), Lee Schechtman (April, May, September, and November), and Eileen Tredway (February and December).

The calendar is produced locally (by Hawaii Printing Corporation) and distributed locally. Photography and nature fans can find the calendars at KTA in Hilo, Banyan Gallery, and Basically Books. Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens will also be at the annual Na Makua Christmas Gift Fair in early December with calendars. A photographer's exhibit will be part of the fourth annual Banyan Drive Art Stroll on Saturday, January 11, 2020.

In the calendar The Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens is also reaching out for help from the community, asking for photos of the gardens from old family scrapbooks. These photos will help them to make decisions about the ongoing restoration projects that include the traditional fish pond and the stonework around it, as well as reconstruction of the red bridge with the appropriate Japanese joinery. 

This is one holiday gift that everyone will love to receive, but don’t wait too long – they may just run out!