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About The Artist: Kawahine
The owner and artist behind Kilomana Creations is Michele Joy Kawahine Kilomana Naataq Ugruaq Danner. She is Iñupiaq and Native Hawaiian. Her ancestral lands are Utqiagvik, Alaska and Kauai, Hawaii. She is guided by the traditional values of her Iñupiaq and Kanaka ‘Ōiwi elders, teachers, and community members. Her art mediums include acrylic paint, locally harvested animal hide/bone, digital programs, and tattoo ink. Her art goals include empowerment, authenticity, and story-telling. Outside of art she enjoys cultural activities, teaching volleyball to youth, and spending valuable time with her family. She wants her customers to know that she puts deep thought, meaning, and dedication in each creation.
Behind The Name
Kilomana Creations is named after the artist, who is named after her grandmother Lorraine “Kawahinekilomana” Kolo-Danner of Niumalu, Kauai. Lorraine was a Native Hawaiian educator who moved from the hot shores of Kauai to the frozen shores of the Arctic Circle, to teach in the Iñupiat villages until her last days. Kawahinekilomana means “The Woman With Stargazing Power”. Our ancestors used stargazing to navigate for survival, and many believe we begin and end as stardust. Kawahine wants her art to spark wonder… this is why she named her Indigenous-owned business “Kilomana Creations”. There is nothing more wonderful than “kilomana” or “stargazing power”, and it captivates the vision behind each design.
Past Work, Partnerships, & Awards
- ✦ Santa Fe Art Institute, 2024 International Residency Program
- ✦ First Alaskans Institute, Elders & Youth Conference Logo
- ✦ Ukpeaġvik Iñupiat Corporation, Coloring Book Creation
- ✦ Arctic Indigenous Film Fund, Filmmaking Partner
- ✦ Team Alaska Arctic Sports 2023, Team Logo
- ✦ Rasmuson Foundation, Individual Artist Award
- ✦ HGTV, "The Unique Challenges of Living in the Arctic"
- ✦ Indigenous Milk Medicine Collective, Event Logo
- ✦ Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board, "Two Spirit Talks" artwork
- ✦ Seawolf Seafoods, Logo Creation
- ✦ Made By Raven, Logo Creation
- ✦ Coffee&Quaq, Episode 19 Podcast Participant
Kawahine speaks with HGTV's Townsizing Podcast on "The Unique Challenges of Living in the Arctic Circle". Listen by clicking the link below!