Board of Directors
Welcome our new board of directors! An incredible group of passionate and creative people.
Jeanne Bitz | President
When Kimokeo Kapahulehua invited me to paddle in an outrigger canoe in the Summer of 2020, I did not know the impact it would have. I’m not an expert in Hawaiian or Oceanic cultures. I’m simply a person who was seeking and has now been invited into an abundance of healing truth and beauty.
The puzzle pieces that I had gathered from my own work to repair my challenging life experiences were put together with paddling in a way that was more beautiful than I could imagine. I was able to experience a culture where people work together and meet others with curiosity rather than with judgement and separateness. If you are a paddler, you know this experience.
I think often about the paths we walk. It’s the times when no one is looking, there is no safety net, and nothing but brutal honesty in our next step… Taking complete ownership of the success or failure that might result from our choices… Being terrified and moving into the unknown anyway… Well, there are a thousand ways under the sun to avoid facing ourselves and life’s challenges. The few times I’ve been brave have resulted in a life and friendships far beyond what I envisioned or hoped for.
My hope for humanity is that we, as a group, want to know each other enough to learn a new language of love and peace. To work together and build together. To ask permission before we take.
In honor of all my fellow humans who’ve risked big and stepped bravely into life’s messy, beautiful, heartbreaking, heart soaring adventures and come out the other side stronger and ready to fly – these paintings are for you.
Cecilia (Ceci) Chenault | Vice President & Secretary
Cecilia believes that Art Maui is very important and she understands the positive effects it will have for artists as well as the community. She believes that art can be used to heal the hearts of many and bring people together in wonderful ways. As vice president and secretary she strives to bring her education in art and business into the organization.
She has been an artist and instructor for over 40 years and has participated in art exhibitions in California and Hawaii including past Art Maui events.
She is classically trained as a portrait and figure painter and known for her confident brush strokes and radiant color. She loves to paint en plein air but also paints in the studio. Sun-drenched beach scenes and luminous landscapes are her favorite.
Beginning in 1992 she taught for the Lahaina Art Society’s art outreach for children, public and private schools and private lessons. Cecilia has advocated for children's art programs on Maui through county grant testimonials, fundraising and community awareness.
Cecilia enjoys ancient history, gardening, painting and outdoor adventures in her Jeep. She lives in Wailuku with her husband Solon and her little Pomeranian Ozzi.
Stephanie Sachs | Treasurer
Stephanie is a long-time member of the Maui art scene. She first made her living as an artist drawing portraits on Front Street and currently selling her artwork at the Four Seasons in Wailea.
She knows that Art Maui has been essential to her career, introducing her to many artists and collectors. It has offered her a place to stretch her creative process.
Stephanie has joined the board to see this legacy kept alive for the artists in the community now and into the future.
Carl Yoshihara | Design, Web, Social Media
Carl is 5th generation from Maui and has been an artist all his life. He has works in collections nationally and internationally. He loves creating in a multitude of media.
Before moving to Maui, he lived in the San Francisco, Bay Area for 40 years and all over the country and overseas. He worked as an art director and graphic designer for his own firm and many notable companies in the heart of Silicon Valley.
Currently, I’m enjoying photography, surfing, painting, life and trying to remodel my house. But you know how that is. :)
Taryn Alessandro | Programs, Community Outreach
Contemporary Mixed Media Master, Taryn Alessandro, has gained an impressive amount of exposure & recognition due to her innovative use of up-cycled materials & avant-garde approach to traditional fine art.
Classical style painting is uniquely contemporized when harmonized with Taryn’s textural layers of found & up-cycled materials. Aluminum cans, sand, fabrics, glass, cardboard, jewelry, etc. filter light reflections created by precious metals, iridescence, metal leaf, and resin for an illuminating experience unlike any other.
Taryn is a classically trained painter with a BFA from Boston University. She has studied at Lyme Academy of Fine Arts, Decordova Museum School, & abroad in Italy. She currently resides on Maui, where island living inspires much of her work.
Lorayne Lipps | Membership & Events
Artist, jewelry designer, installation and mixed/multimedia artist. Her art ranges from small scale fine silver & gemstone jewelry to paintings as well as immersive, interactive installations.
Lorayne serves as partner at the Maui Institute of Art & Technology. She has developed many programs & events that bridge diverse mediums and cross pollinate sectors.
Lorayne perceives the process of creation an essential aspect of humanity.
Kirk Boes | West Maui Liaison/Art Education
“I lost my home and studio in the Lahaina fire, and all of my work that was being shown in two separate galleries in Lahaina Town; literally a lifetime’s worth of art. I began painting eleven days after the fire and started working with kids three weeks to the day after the tragedy. Art heals. Art helps us remember and gives us hope for the future. I am so grateful for the gift of art.”
Kirk’s family moved to Lahaina in 1973 when he was fifteen years old. He graduated from Lahainaluna High School in 1976 and went on to earn a Master’s in Education from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He joined the Lahaina Arts Society in 1989 and first sold his work under the Banyan tree and in the historic Lahaina Courthouse galleries.
Fast forward several decades and Kirk became Gallery Director for the Lahaina Arts Society and his work was being represented by Gallery Behl on Front Street. He is currently the Arts Education Director for the Lahaina Arts Guild; a non-profit that provides children’s art programs in the community. Boes also co-founded an online art exhibition platform that hosts both local and national juried exhibitions.
“Marc Chagall said, ‘love is the only thing that interests me’ and I concur,” says Boes.
“Love is the only thing that lasts forever. I hope that’s the spirit that comes through in my paintings (and in my life). Thanks for taking the time to read this, and I hope you enjoy the art.”
Amy Rueter | Fundraising
Amy Rueter is a Maui artist who is passionate about fundraising for 501c3’s. She was the COO of the charity Save Their Smiles in Seattle, WA, securing funding for the rural health initiative that served thousands of children and their families in rural Nicaragua.
Amy is a current MFA candidate at Savannah College of Art and Design and she looks forward to fundraising for Art Maui and the artists they support.
Brian Zaleski | IT
While not a visual artist, I grew up wandering the galleries of the Art Institute of Chicago with my stepfather. Those youthful excursions led to a lifelong passion for art.
At the ripe old age of seventeen, I joined the Army where I served as a Russian linguist in Germany (and spent three years tripping all over Europe skiing and hanging out at some very cool museums). After my discharge, I went on the chiropractic college, practiced in the San Francisco Bay Area for ten years, became bored out of my skull, and went back to school where I earned a master’s degree in my hobby - computer science.
A fortuitous combination of timing and geographic location allowed me to be at Ground Zero of the internet revolution where I went on to design, build and manage several large commercial websites, some of which generated more than a million dollars per day in e-commerce revenue. On the side I also gathered extensive systems administration experience. My day hobby for the past fourteen years has been working as a cybersecurity guru for a couple of Fortune 100 companies and the US Department of Labor.
After leaving the Bay Area, a brief (ten year) pitstop in the foothills outside of Golden, Colorado, preceded my arrival on Maui during the height of the pandemic. There’s an art story behind why I’m here, but that’s a story for another day.
I feel blessed every day to be living is this special place we call home. I enjoy gardening, cooking, umpiring and watching the sun rise over Haleakala as often as possible with my crew in the wa’a.
Christine Waara | Community Liaison
Christine is a passionate painter whose mediums range from watercolor, to oil, pastel, encaustic, and mural painting. She has been a painter for over 30 years and enjoys teaching other students of all ages and backgrounds. It is her belief that art connects us to each other, to our time in history, and to our ever-changing world. Art has the ability to inspire, inform, beautify, and entertain.
After moving from Rochester, NY, with her husband Pat a decade ago to her home in Haiku, Christine has focused on getting involved in her Maui community with her art and teaching skills. Along the way she has developed her ohana, learning more about Hawaiian culture, and has challenged herself with many art projects.