Monday, 16 December 2013

First Come, First Served!

Magnolia branches harvested from Mary Philpotts McGrath's yard are up for grabs at PLACE. ~ free of charge while supplies last!

As seen in Sunday's Star Advertiser article, "Harvesting Christmas," featuring Mary and her lush Nuuanu landscape.  Click here to check out the article and photo gallery.

PLACE. Holiday Hours: 
Monday - Friday, 10am-6pm
Saturday, 10am -4pm
Sunday, 12pm-4pm (through 12/24/13)

Friday, 8 November 2013

November Workshops Announcement

RSVP: "Dress the table & Holiday Decor" 
Workshops with an emphasis on being green, lead by Mary Philpotts McGrath.  
Call today to reserve your seat, 808.275.3075.  
Saturday, 11/16 @ 2pm
Tuesday 11/19 @ 6pm

Aloha! PLACE. 

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Stylized Elegance...Very Mary

I was asked by a client to design a carved wood headboard with "old Hawaii" style figures and foliage. Pictured here is an early 20th century Marguerite Blasingame which was part of my inspiration. I particularly like the simplicity of the shallow carving with soft "pillow" edges. To see more of this era, research the work of Blasingame and Fritz Ablanalp--we'd love to see what you find!

"Marguerite Blasingame compactly fitted the figure, monumental in form, within the tight, shallow geometric confines of the panel. This depiction of a fallen male nude is reminiscent of sculptural reliefs from ancient Greece. Blasingame's sinuous contours and simplified anatomy create a composition of stylized elegance. 20.5 X 15.25 in." (Severson, Hotikawa, Saville pg. 213)
Severson, Don R.,Hotikawa, Michael D., Saville, Jennifer. Finding Paradise: Honolulu, University of Hawai'i Press, 2002.

Marguerite Louis Blasingame (1906-1947)
Marguerite Louis Blasingame (1906–1947) was an American sculptor. She was born Marguerite Louis in Honolulu in 1906. She graduated from the University of Hawaii and then went on to earn an M. A. in art from Stanford University in 1928. Marguerite returned to Hawaii, where she became an established sculptor of figural works, many of them bas-reliefs in wood and stone. Her depictions were usually sinuous in contour with simplified anatomy. During the Great Depression she was a Works Progress Administration artist and filled many commissions for architectural panels. She was also a member of the Hawaiian Mural Guild. Marguerite Louis Blasingame died in 1947 while traveling in Mexico.

Three of her sculptures are installed in the John Dominis and Patches Damon Holt Gallery of the Honolulu Museum of Art. Other sculptures in public places includes an untitled 1935 marble sculpture in Ala Moana Park, Honolulu, Hawaii and Hawaiian Decagonal Fountain (1934–1935) at Kawananakoa School, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Marguerite Louis Blasingame. (2013, May 15). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 23:14, October 11, 2013, from

"This modern fresco was one of a pair just inside the Waikiki's doors, executed in full color by noted artist Marguerite Blasingame, and were possibly the first frescos in Hawai'i. Blasingame was primarily a sculptor, but was clearly skilled in this medium as well. These unique works were unfortunately demolished whenthe theatre expanded its lobby in the early 1800s." (Angell pg. 95)

Angel, Lowell. Theatres of Hawai'i: Charleston, Arcadia Publishing, 2011.


Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Hoppy Smith Show Starting August 10, 2013

Kiawe trees spring from sandy soil on fingers of volcanic rock reaching into the sea. Lei of twisted ferns and flowers, bowls of clear glass balls gathered along the seashore are among the dreamy, nostalgic photographic images created by printmaker Hoppy Smith for her upcoming show at PLACE, Le Jardin Galerie opening Saturday, August 10, 2013.

We invite you to come see the show anytime during regular store hours. In addition, we are delighted to announce Hoppy Smith will be joining us in person at the Galerie for show & tell with etching plates and ice tea.

Show & Tell Times:
Saturday, August 10th 10:00 am - Noon
Wednesday, August 14th 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Smith grew up near New York City and attended college in Colorado, but when she met fellow student and Kauai native Peter Smith her world changed. He brought his young bride to Hawaii in 1960 and she fell in love with all things Hawaiian.

As a child, she dreamt of becoming a fashion designer or cartoon artist, but while taking an art class in college she was introduced to what she thought was a piece of abstract art. It turned out to be an enlarged picture of a square inch of grass. Nature itself was abstract she learned. There was no need to alter it any further.

Like many women at the time, Smith put her creative endeavors on the back burner and spent her energy raising her children. But in 1982 she enrolled in a printmaking class at the Honolulu Academy of Arts (now the Honolulu Museum of Art) taught by Dodie Warren.

“Dodie is an expert printmaker and excellent teacher,” says Smith. She has been taking the same course over and over again since then, learning all the intaglio etching methods such as photogravure and photo etching. Over time she experimented with new ideas and methods for her prints also learning to do woodcuts.

Now widowed, Smith keeps busy paddling canoe for Lanikai Canoe Club and making art. Her friend, David Porteus, introduced her to his family’s oceanside property, Kiholo, on the Kona coast that still retains the feeling of Old Hawaii. This area has inspired much of her current work.

Most of Smith images are reasonably priced and fit into standard sized frames, making it easy to find a place for them to hang in homes and offices. A few of the framed pieces are custom sized.

PLACE, Le Jardin Galerie is located at 54 South School St. There is parking next door.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Check out Mary's contribution to PBN

Mary Philpotts McGrath: Make landscaping part of Hawaii’s sense of place

By Mary Philpotts McGrath, PBN Contributor

Pacific Business News has been the voice of business in Hawaii for 50 years. Business leaders and PBN have co-witnessed the onslaught of changes in lifestyle, density, construction, tourism, traffic and an elevated-rail system.

“A sense of place” is now an overused phrase in environmental discussions, lectures, editorials, and political campaigns as we continually voice concern for our environment.

When I ask myself, “What can we do?” the answer is always: “Increase landscaping!”

Our green landscape is disappearing and there is only minimal restitution. Even the high-rise roof gardens have given way to solar panel installations.

The visual impact of concrete is ever increasing. For instance, how and why have newly constructed and monumental buildings been built without a landscape setback?

Throughout Honolulu there are increasing greenscape voids where concrete monolithic structures and inappropriate signage are offensive to the environment.

It is my hope that Pacific Business News will, for the next 50 years, be a strong and vocal leader in a campaign to maintain our environmental balance.

We can, together, with arboretums and the city and county staff, enhance and balance the construction impact on our landscape and create a memorable greenscape in Honolulu.

If you doubt me, stop and reflect on the gold trees and shower trees in bloom every year and the joy they bring to us.

If you think it’s too late, drive by 1122 Banyan on Palama Street off King Street, and marvel at the apartment building’s living green fa├žade!

Another dynamic example is the planting on 1224 Maunakea St. By raising the planter three to four feet, the landscape has far more impact in screening the building and lessening loitering. The Hawaii Convention Center has also utilized raised planting effectively.

Read full story

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Check out this article in recent SF Chronicle Sunday “Style” section featuring a Lanai residence, Mary and Marion.

SF Chronicle - Vacation Retreat Becomes Lanai Home

Written by Beth HughesPhotography by Matthew Millman

For a San Francisco native raised in the chilly, foggy Avenues, something close to heaven appeared decades ago off the bow of the SS Lurline, a posh Matson line steamer on the San Francisco-to-Honolulu run.

Hawaii - sunny with beaches of white sand lapped by water so welcoming a boy could swim year-round. Both grandmothers might be San Francisco natives, but Hawaii was his special place, a revelation where warmth caressed his soul.

Thus began a lifelong love affair with the islands. Throughout marriage and a move to sunny, warm Marin County to raise three daughters, the visits to Hawaii continued. Hawaii was not only his place; it was their place, the place outside the Bay Area.

And as retirement approached, the stars aligned when the couple spotted an advertisement for oceanfront property on Lanai in the Wall Street Journal. "We'd been there, and we'd seen it," said the boy's wife, a Larkspur native, who, like her husband, prefers to remain anonymous to protect the family's privacy. "We knew it was hard to find property on the water, so we thought we'll go and see what they had."

The let's-check-it-out trip turned into a let's-write-a-check moment as the Pacific Ocean provided a sparkling backdrop for views of Kahoolawe and the Big Island.

That was 1997. Today, the kid describes himself and his wife as "grandparent-type people," and the couple's second home on Lanai epitomizes the easy, unforced fusion of indoor and outdoor, Eastern and Western sensibilities that are the hallmark of Hawaiian style.

Read full story

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Rubbish to RICHNESS!