story by Leslie Lang
Time forges on at the historic Hilo Irons Works. The building started life as a flourishing pineapple-canning plant, then for years was the site where steel was produced for local sugar plantations. These days, the huge loft-like space with panoramic ocean views is an ambitious and impressive contemporary fine art gallery. Artist Lyn Howe, a former California architectural glass artist, has, along with her partners Laura McDonnell and Hope Northway, dubbed the new incarnation Art in the Iron Works.
photo by Peter French
"There are so many really good artists on the east side of Hawaii who are still painting from the heart," says Howe. "My goal here is to make Hilo the art town it really is."
Besides permanent and changing exhibits of paintings, sculpture and prints, the gallery hosts open studios where artists meet to work in different media, uninstructed figure-drawing classes, a writer’s group, and drawing and painting workshops. Printmakers can rent time on the gallery’s press, and there are art films on the first Friday of the month to correspond with the town’s First Friday art nights. The gallery has even sponsored plays.
Howe says that she was helped by many in the early phases of her career, and she is happy to return the favor by exhibiting the works of the talented artists on the Hilo side. "We don’t care if we sell the art," she says. "We just want the artists to be seen." Art in the Iron Works is located at 1266 Kamehameha Ave. in Hilo, or visit them online at www.artintheironworks.com.
Art in the Iron Works