Top Hawaii Photography Galleries in Maui
The Hawaiian Islands are the archetypal vacation spot, and have been since their induction as the 50th state in 1959, brought into popular consciousness through the antics of Elvis and the golden age of surfing. While Hawaii may have lost some of its hype since the 60s and seen a good deal of development over the years to handle its burgeoning tourist industry, the fiery archipelago still offers some of the most stunning natural scenery to be found anywhere in the world.
Situated socially and geographically between the bustling resort metropolis of Oahu and the quiet repose of the Big Island, Maui embodies the perfect balance between jungle wilderness and tropical getaway. From the fog-shrouded peaks of Haleakalā to the rolling blue surf of Kaanapali Beach, Maui is an insular haven of genuine wild hidden in the center of the endless Pacific. Like any place of great beauty, Maui is also home to a thriving art scene, pairing together natural and manmade splendor in its many art galleries. Thus, for art lovers and sightseers alike, Maui offers an unforgettable experience and a comprehensive panorama of what the archipelago has to offer.
The Island of Maui
Like the rest of the islands in the Hawaiian chain, Maui is the result of volcanic and tectonic activity lifting great mountains from the Pacific seafloor. Maui is composed of two volcanic formations: the ancient and eroded West Maui Mountains, and the younger and considerably larger Haleakalā. Haleakalā lacks the fireworks display put on by its neighbors on Oahu, and has only erupted a handful of times in the last millennium. Nonetheless, those who climb to its summit are offered spectacular vistas of the whole archipelago and some of the best stargazing possible on Earth. It’s for these special conditions that the Haleakalā observatory was built here in 1961 to study the depths of the cosmos.
Below this cloudy sanctuary, sprawling jungles roll down the steep slopes to hidden redoubts and lost valleys of rare birds and colorful flowers. The “Road to Hana,” or Highway 360, offers intimate views of this lush country, winding along the eastern coast of the island along the lower borders of Haleakalā National Park and Koolau Forest Reserve. Of course, roads can only stretch so far, and the best way to experience the hidden backcountry of the island is to book a spot on a helicopter tour.
Finally, ringing the whole island are the famous Hawaiian beaches. The water is warm, the surf is mighty, and the palm trees sway lazily over brilliant coral sands. Maui offers shorelines for every taste, from the popular resort beaches of Kaanapali to the surf spots at Hookipa and the more secluded private coasts of Makena Beach State Park. Swim, surf, snorkel over the miles of offshore reefs, or just lie in the sand—there’s no place more relaxing than the sparkling shores of the Pacific.
Maui Photography Galleries
And what about city life on the island? Of course, Maui is known for its excellent resorts and world-class eateries, but nothing is so eye-catching and unique as the wide array of photography and art galleries on the island. Home to a thriving community of local artists and a nexus for the international art trade, the town of Lahaina on the island’s western coast boasts some of the best places to see art on either side of the Pacific.
Clark Little Gallery - Oahu
While actually located on Oahu, no Hawaiian Photography Gallery list would e complete without the Clark Little Gallery. Clark Little is, first and foremost, a surfer. Having moved to Oahu from California in 1970, he grew up around the world-renowned shorebreaks of the archipelago and became an experienced surfer in the 80s and 90s. Entranced by the beauty of the waves, and with the special skills required to capture their wonder and fury, Little turned to photography, sharing a hidden side of Hawaii’s most famous attraction. Today, through his gallery, Little makes his work available in every form, from professional prints to books to phone cases, pillows, and more.
Christopher Egan Gallery - Maui
Christopher Egan is another renowned landscapist who has traveled across the country capturing quaint farmhouses, foreboding peaks, ancient forests, and everything in between. Egan takes a more classical approach to color and editing, but has developed his own unique printing process to ensure his prints are as vibrant and clear in twenty years as they are today. Egan’s main gallery is in Lahaina, though he’s also opened up locations in Wailea and Aspen. Most of the work to be found there is his own, but he also partners with a number of sculptors who market and display their own art as well.
Peter Lik Fine Art - Maui
Lik has spent 35 years exploring the world’s wild and inhospitable frontiers and has become a household name in the process. Stylistically somewhere between Galen Rowell and David Muench, his superwide panoramas are striking and capture an intimate and untouched wilderness few of us will ever get to see ourselves. His gallery in Lahaina is just one of twelve, but is home to many of his most famous editions, printed on the finest archival materials and hologram protected as part of his limited edition runs of Peter Lik Style Prints™.
Andrew Shoemaker Gallery - Maui
Andrew Showmaker is a Maui local who has spent years adventuring around the islands and photographing their most scenic locations. His works are huge, saturated panoramas of high mountains, roiling surf, and fiery sunsets. Each of his prints are specially made for both archival durability and visual impact and are offered in either metal or high quality photo paper under Trulife optical grade acrylic. His Lahaina gallery is a beautiful show of color with a quaint, friendly atmosphere and a comfortable seating area to relax and appreciate the art and scenery.
Vladimir Kush Galleries - Maui
Though located in Lahaina like the rest of the galleries mentioned so far, Vladimir Kush’s gallery is home to painting, not photography. Kush’s positive spin on surrealism, which he calls metaphorical realism, juxtaposes commonplace objects on fantastical worlds of whimsy to create truly original and memorable works of art. Though canvas is his primary medium, he also produces sculptures and jewelry in his same unique style. His gallery in Maui is one of three, the other two being in Las Vegas and Laguna Beach, respectively.
Wyland Galleries - Maui
Wyland has been using his art as a means of expression and activism for over 40 years. Known for his massive murals and talent for practically all artistic media, Wyland’s work celebrates the beauty and vivacity of the world’s oceans. As such, it’s no surprise that he runs one of his eleven galleries out of Lahaina. Here, you’ll find photography, painting, sculpture, furniture, and dozens of other masterworks by this maritime prodigy.
Maui on Metal
This gallery is unusual in that it bases its approach to the art market on a specific medium: metal. Each of the gallery’s stunning landscapes, produced by a cadre of professional photographers, is offered on a slab of coated archival metal with a floating mount, providing both ruggedness and quality. Plus, each piece is available in a number of sizes, allowing for acquisition of breathtaking artwork at any price range.
Martin Lawrence Galleries - Maui
The last gallery on the list is another member of a popular cross-country chain. Martin Lawrence is known for its wide selection of bold and bespoke pieces from the likes of Basquiat, Dalí, Warhol, and others. Their Lahaina location hosts regular exhibitions on past and contemporary masters and is a great place to find something truly unique during your trip to the islands.
This collection of galleries is just a taste of the art scene on Maui and barely scratches the surface of the Hawaiian islands as a whole. The density of galleries in Lahaina and the town’s close proximity to the natural beauty of the island makes it easy to visit most or all of them in one trip, and doing so should be a top priority for any visiting artist or art lover.