Oil on linen
48" h x 72" w
"Cash Crop, Pu‘u Nene references Hawai‘i’s last operating sugar mill on the Island of Maui which closed in 2016, ending more than one hundred years of sugar cultivation on the island. The network of sugar mills across Maui transformed tens of thousands of acres thereby obliterating native ecosystems and the resident endemic plants and animals dependent upon these natural areas–species I spent decades protecting as a conservation manager.
Specifically, it was the Pu‘u Nene sugar mill that brought my Filipino grandparents to Hawai‘i as field laborers among the thousands of immigrants from Asia and Europe. The painting is a testament to industry’s role in transforming Hawai‘i’s environment and social fabric." - Melissa Chimera
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