Discovering Art While Volunteering

By Niyati Kanitkar Kynion P ’26, PFA Kirsch Art Gallery Coordinator

As a new Punahou parent, and a lover of the arts, I was very excited to discover that there was an art gallery on campus! Kirsch Gallery, located next to Cooke Library, showcases art from the Punahou community as well as other artists from the Islands. 

Therefore, it was very meaningful to me when I was asked if I could be one of the PFA volunteers for the Kirsch Gallery. It is a beautiful space and resource for all the art made by the talented students and faculty at Punahou. I’ve really enjoyed the chance to see the art at the gallery and the revolving exhibitions which occur about once a month. 

There are all kinds of exhibitions at the gallery. Recent Kirsch exhibitions included The Makana Project Hana No‘eau Exhibition, which took an exclusive look at our Punahou Academy student-made traditional Hawaiian artwork, and The Art of Food and Academy Studio Art, both of which were wonderful. The exhibition 50 Years of Glass Art at Punahou is currently on display, and an opening was held for faculty, staff and students. 

I work with my PFA Kirsch Gallery Co-chair, Traci Gutierrez P ’31, who added, “It’s nice to be able to contribute in promoting the arts at Punahou. I enjoy working behind the scenes in support of Kirsch Gallery which involves organizing and coordinating volunteers.”

As PFA volunteers for the gallery, we work with the director of the gallery, Joshua Tollefson, to publicize information about gallery exhibitions, recruit parent volunteers to be “sitters” for the gallery, and help with opening day receptions for selected exhibitions.

It is wonderful for me to see the passion and dedication of the Punahou community for the  fine arts, see the results of the amazing art classes at Punahou, and combine that with volunteering for the gallery to keep it open and running for interested visitors. I feel so proud that we have this space on campus for art lovers to visit, and I often tell people about it. 

The PFA supports Kirsch Gallery with volunteers who act as “sitters” when the gallery is open. 

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