Local Artist Marques Marzan Uses Natural Materials To Teach the World About Hawaii

10/2/2020

Marques Marzan - Waikiki Beachcomber Original

Pictured above: Beachcomber Originals Vince Lim (left) and Marques Marzan (right) at the Grand Opening of the Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger

The roles of artist and advocate are woven into Marques Marzan's blood the same way that natural fibers are woven into his intricate, highly celebrated pieces of rope art. A native of Hawaii, Marques was born and raised in Kaneohe, Oahu. After receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a specialty in Fiber Arts from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Marques honed his highly recognized talents under the instruction of legendary weavers like Esther Kakalia Westmoreland and Julia Minerva Ka‘awa while developing his own signature style.

One of Waikiki Beachcomber's "Beachcomber Originals," Marques has dedicated his life's work to creating authentic Hawaiian rope and cordage vessels. While beautiful to look at, his pieces convey a much deeper message regarding the preservation of the ideals and practices that have shaped Hawaiian culture throughout the centuries. According to Marques, his pieces are both "physical and metaphoric vessels" for the values held and passed down by native Hawaiians. He shares his message through an eagerness to participate in public presentations and workshops that showcase the liveliness of rare, authentic Hawaiian materials and designs. 

At its core, Marques' mission as an artist is to open a dialogue regarding the value of understanding how natural materials are connected to the authentic Hawaiian understanding of life. His very tangible, rough materials serve as a nice compliment to the canvas-based works of fellow Beachcomber artists like Erin Ibarra.

Marques' celebrated collections have included everything from woven sculptures to wearable pieces, which make perfect gifts for friends and family back home. Those who buy his pieces while visiting Hawaii feel like they are taking with them authentic Pacific Island treasures that encapsulate the rich experiences they've had during their time here. While his pieces often communicate Hawaiian themes, Marques is not one to allow himself to be boxed in as only a Hawaiian artist. He routinely travels the world to learn more about indigenous Pacific perspectives and other new areas of inspiration.

Becoming acquainted with the works of Marques Marzan while visiting Hawaii is an unforgettable experience. Discovering how each textured, intricate piece created by Marques encapsulates the simultaneous smoothness and roughness of the Pacific landscape allows you to gain a more intimate understanding of the societal evolution that has taken place in this isolated, hidden portion of the world. 

In addition to being displayed at prominent festivals around the world, Marques' work can also be seen at Maui Brewing Company at the Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger.

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