A Little History of LAS
Lahaina Arts Society (LAS) was born from a group of artists who, back in the sixties, created informal art exhibits along the sea wall and in the park next to the Pioneer Inn. In 1965, ten couples donated $50 each to start up this present institution. Among those who formed the new non-profit were Alexandra Morrow, Tim Morrow and Joyce Clark. In 1967, after the post office moved out of the old courthouse, LAS petitioned the government for the use of the space. Fifty Maui residents helped paint and renovate the old post office into gallery space. After this face-lift, the grand opening for LAS’s first gallery was held on March 19, 1969.
Within a few years, LAS was bursting at the seams. In the mid-seventies, George Allan, recently arrived in Lahaina aboard the Carthaginian, led a group of artists to reclaim the former town jail in the basement of the courthouse. They cleaned out the abandoned jail cells creating additional gallery and classroom spaces.
For decades, Lahaina Arts Society has promoted the visual arts through special exhibits, children's arts classes and the awarding of scholarships. Macario Pascual was the first recipient of an LAS scholarship. He, along with many other successful Maui artists, began his career with Lahaina Arts Society. Among those artists are Betty Hay Freeland, Ronaldo Macedo, Andrea Smith, Bruce Turnbull and the much-missed James Warren.
Today, Lahaina Arts Society remains the gatekeeper for new artists arriving or launching on Maui . LAS members keep two galleries in the Old Lahaina Courthouse filled with work. Outdoor Fine Arts Fairs continue several days each month under the historic Banyan Tree. There are free weekly children's art classes given at a variety of sites around Maui County, and partial scholarships are awarded to high school students each year. Lahaina Arts Society also hosts and co-sponsors the annual Lahaina Town Poster Contest.