Friday, September 10, 2010

Paia

MAUI, Hawaii — It was just after 10 a.m. and the Paia Contemporary Gallery was getting ready to open. The sun was streaming through the glass storefront, giving everything inside a warm glow.

Alejandro Goya, the gallery's owner, was adjusting a small glass sculpture just a fraction of an angle.

"I'm interested in abstract art, as you can tell," said Goya, surrounded by crisp white walls and vaguely figurative sculptures, some costing a few thousand dollars.

But any notion that this was a high-priced gallery in a big city was punctured when a group of surfers walked past the front door — barefoot, boards under their arms, and wet suits unzipped to their waists.

Surfing and art mingle in Paia — a blink-and-you-miss-it town on the north shore of Maui. For years, this old Hawaiian sugar town has been a respite for stoners, surfers and, according to many locals, a certain low-key breed of celebrities like Willie Nelson, the Doobie Brothers, Woody Harrelson and Kris Kristofferson.

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Article by Danielle Pergament, The New York Times.