Last Days at Pu’unene Mill is a new exhibition/installation and community-engagement project created by Joan Osato and Tanya Orellana in collaboration with Campo Santo.
Presentation of this work was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When feasible, the artists and organization will present an installation and public events that reflect on the distinctive, historical relationship between Pu’unene Mill in Maui, Hawai’i, and the C&H (California & Hawaii) Sugar Company in Crockett, California, initiating a new dialogue about immigrant life, issues of native sovereignty, and how sugar production affects the two communities. Osato and Orellana have visited a number of sugar mill sites in Hawai’i as well as the sugar refineries in Crockett. They will examine the history of sugar production through interviews, investigations, photography, and film.
Lead artist Joan Osato is a seasoned community-engagement specialist and producer who has been recognized for her work as a photographer and her video designs for theater. Tanya Orellana is an installation artist/set designer and core member of the award-winning performing ensemble Campo Santo, this project’s collaborating organization. Campo Santo’s founder Sean San Jose will serve as a leader in the story-gathering effort in Crockett.
Last Days at Pu’unene Mill builds on a body of work the artists have been developing over the last decade.
Image of the Pu’unene Mills from The Maui News