Brandon Jones has been a lifelong artist who has explored many media, both professionally and for personal growth. He grew up in rural Idaho and attended Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington, and Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. He studied classical guitar and music composition, as well as visual arts and dance. He feels that making and experiencing art are great ways to understand one’s self and one’s place in the world, which is why he is a strong champion of art and arts education in all their forms. When he first moved to Molokai in 2002, his main medium was metal sculpting and he sold his work throughout the islands. Brandon now focuses his artistic energy on writing. His first published novel, All Woman and Springtime (2012, Algonquin Books), was translated into several languages.
April Maddela has always had an interest in art, and often spends her spare time drawing and painting. She was a part of the first group of MCC students to take ceramics classes at the Molokai Arts Center, where she learned to throw on the wheel and fell in love with pottery. She later became one of the first people to serve the Molokai Arts Center by being an Americorps volunteer, learning more of the fine points of being a potter and how to run a studio. A year later she became the MAC’s studio manager and keiki art teacher. She loves every minute of being in the studio and looks forward to what will come in the future.
Greg was a film professor at San Diego State University for 20 years, and before that the film curator at the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art for 13 years and a contributing editor for the San Diego Reader. A strong believer in community work, he is currently active with I Aloha Molokai, Maui County Food Bank, President of the Board of Directors at Molokai Community Health Center and president of Friends of the Molokai Public Library. His art sensibility has been influenced by the Dadaists, Surrealists, Abstract Expressionists, Light and Space movement, installation art, site specific work, and performance art.
Joyce Haase has served on the MAC board since 2015 and supports providing more opportunities for arts in our community. She is a 6th grade teacher at Kaunakakai School and believes an art enriched education develops well rounded students poised to use creativity in their daily lives. Joyce has experience in the performing arts through involvement in a travelling teen repertory theater group. She has a background in glass art and attended Pratt School of Art in Seattle, WA. She enjoys the MAC mission on Molokai and is the soup cook for the annual MAC Soup-r-Bowl fundraiser event held every March.
With over 40 years experience as a studio potter, Dan is a founding member of Molokai Arts Center and the owner of Bennett Pottery. Dan is a retired school teacher with over 40 years of teaching experience. He continues to lecture part time for Molokai Education Center, Maui College, and University of Hawaii as well as teaching adult pottery classes at Molokai Arts Center. He comes to us with a strong history of community service on the island of Molokai serving on the Nature Conservancy Earth Day Committee, as a judge for the Molokai Keiki surf meets, an announcer at Molokai High School athletic events and a member of Hui No‘eau. Dan is also a member of the Hawaii State Teachers Association.
Josiah Ching was born and raised on Molokai, but joined the army right after high school and lived on the mainland for a few years. After returning home in 2013, he enrolled at MCC using the GI Bill. Ceramics was something that always interested him, so he took his first course with master potter Dan Bennett. He loved it so much he took two more semesters and finished the highest level course available through MCC. During his last semester Dan asked if he’d be interested in joining the board of the Molokai Arts Center, which he enthusiastically agreed to do.
Elizabeth Johnson was born and raised in Canada and after finishing a BS in Zoology at the University of Western Ontario she migrated to Honolulu to pursue her PhD in Horticulture at the University of Hawaii. She moved to Molokai in 1969 and worked with one of the first seed corn companies on Molokai. Following her retirement she began working as an advocate for children with special needs. Ceramic classes with Dan Bennett lead to her serving on the Board for the Molokai Arts Center. She enjoys working with children, animals, growing native plants, hiking, and reading. It is her belief that the arts of all venues should be available to the community and especially the children.
Paula was born and raised on Molokai, but, like many students, left the island for high school and higher education. After living away for 43 years, Paula returned home and now resides in Kalae, in the house where she grew up. Paula obtained a B.A. in Psychology in 1978 from San Diego State University, and in May, 2007 completed a second Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts, Art Studio, from the University of New Mexico. Paula works in several photography based mediums: acrylic, encaustic, mixed media collage work and hand pulled printmaking (primarily intaglio and monotypes).
As an artist and an active advocate for the arts, Paula served several terms as an Art Commissioner for the City of Rio Rancho, New Mexico and served as a board member and chair of communications for the Rio Rancho Art Association. She has organized and curated numerous art exhibits and was a volunteer art curator for the Esther Bone Library, bringing in many art related programs and exhibits to the community of Rio Rancho.