Calling all mermaids, mermen, goddesses of the sea, and mermangels! Join Mermine, the Mermaid Crone for the inaugural Maui Mermaid Extravaganza, hosted by the Enchantress Gallery by Bootzie in The Shops at Wailea. Break out your glitter and shine those tails, this event is about celebrating the mermaid within—with fabulous art, performance, and cake!
Following the event details below, please enjoy an in-depth historical piece on the history of mermaids and the role they play in my work, written by my long time friend and art historian, Betty Ann Brown.
Mahalo to Catherine Kenar and the Maui News for this terrific article on our event: Siren or savior: Mermaids continue to fascinate and inspire
This event features:
- Fashion show by Skin Wars TV star and award-winning designer/body painter Rachel DeBoer!
- Mermaid costume contest with cash prizes!
- Mermaid photo booth courtesy of Hawaii Mermaid Adventures
- Music by Tempa & Naor
- Mermaid art and lemonade and bubbles for all!
- 10% of all mermaid art gallery sales during the event will go to the Wailea Fire Station!
- 4 hours of complementary parking for all attendees.
Those wishing to enter the mermaid costume contest are encouraged to register in advance:
All contestants will receive a piece of mermaid cake by master pastry chef Teresa Shurilla and a complimentary mermaid art card by Hermine Harman.
Free your inner mermaid and join us for a sparkling, magical good time! For more information or questions, call the Enchantress Gallery by Bootzie at 808-495-4161
HERMINE HARMAN: Artist & Mermaid Crone
by Betty Ann Brown, Ph.D., Art historian, critic & curator
Professor Emeritus, California State University Northridge
Hermine Harman is an artist who lives in Maui and loves painting mermaids. Hermine’s artwork is bright and playful, with a childlike joy of intense pigment, richly encrusted surfaces, and shining collage elements. She is a feminist surrealist fantasist who describes herself as a “color maximalist swimming in a sea of glitter.”
Hermine has returned to the image of the mermaid again and again throughout her career. Her mythic characters swim and dance and cavort in shimmering waters, their human torsos contrasting with their lustrous fish tails. Some have fiery red hair. Some have feathery wings rather than human arms. Some hold fans. Others play harps.
The first mermaid appeared in Syria over 3000 years ago, when the goddess Atargatis, who was overwhelmed by remorse at accidentally killing a man, tried to turn herself into a fish. The other gods wouldn’t allow her to abandon her earthly beauty, so she remained human from the waist up, and became a fish from the waist down. Most readers will be familiar with Hans Christian Anderson’s classic tale “The Little Mermaid” from 1837. (It was transformed into a Disney animation in 1989). But not all mermaids were so sweet and benevolent. The evil seductive sirens in Homer’s Odyssey (eighth century BC) were Ancient Greek forms of the mermaid. And similarly demonic mermaids appeared in the 2011 film Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
Structurally, mermaids function like most mythic creatures. They combine characteristics of two opposing conceptual categories–in this case, the cultural vs. natural realms, or human vs. animal–in a transcendent character who resolves conflict and points to metaphysical oneness. As such, mermaids are powerful symbolic beings who can help heal our wounded world.
Hermine studied psychology, rather than art, and can be considered a “folk” or “outsider” artist like Grandma Moses (1860-1961) or Florine Stettheimer (1871-1944). Painter, designer, and poet, Stettheimer lived in New York City, where she befriended artists Marcel Duchamp to Georgia O’Keeffe, among others. Her images of the privileged Manhattan upper class are delightful fantasies of intense color and humorous composition.
Another parallel to Hermine’s oeuvre can be found in the work of British-born Surrealist Leonora Carrington (1917-2011), who fled Hitler’s onslaught by moving to Mexico City, where she befriended Spanish Surrealist painter Remedios Varo (1908-1963). Carrington and Varo created powerful images of women–and their animal companions–on mythic quests for the Tree of Life, the Holy Grail, or the Fountain of Youth.
Like Stettheimer, Carrington, and Varo, Hermine Harman imagines fantastic realms of color and light, and populates them with mythic females. Her mermaids are totemic figures for the artist. They are characters with spiritual significance for her, characters she has adopted as her emblem.
I invite you also to adopt mermaids as your totem. Enjoy viewing Hermine’s mermaids. Allow their healing energy to enhance the way you perceive and interpret the world.