Art Maui 2018 welcome juror Isabella Ellaheh Hughes
Born and raised in Honolulu, Hughes is an art critic, curator, and entrepreneur. She has written for ArtAsiaPacific, Brownbook, Contemporary Practices, Frieze, Harper’s Art Bazaar Arabia, and Ibraaz, in addition to contributing to exhibition catalogues for the Singapore Art Museum, Barjeel Art Foundation, Agha Khan Museum, and Bahrain’s Ministry of Culture. She is the editor of the monograph, Sama Alshaibi: Sand Rushes In (Aperture Foundation, 2015), and has curated exhibitions nationally and internationally, including for Art Dubai Projects, Ayyam Gallery, the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, Transformer Gallery, and Maraya Art Center. A frequent speaker and moderator of panels, Hughes has also served as a nominator for the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship Program; Abraaj Capital Art Prize, as well as a juror for the YICCA 2013 International Contest of Contemporary Art, Art Omi International visual arts residency, and was the 2016 co-curator of CONTACT: Foreign and Familiar at the Honolulu Museum of Art School.
Great art is undeniably subjective and for me, artistic excellence has always been a marriage between aesthetics and meaning. When jurying, I look for art that has a balance of content and embedded meaning -whether obvious at first glance, or apparent once reading an artists’ statement, which is coupled with something that is visually distinct and captivating. I was first drawn to the field of art because of the power art has to make us think about things differently and see artists as passionate storytellers – who share with their audience what matters to them most.