Art at the Capitol is an annual event held in the spring at the Hawaii State Capitol. House and Senate members open their doors after working hours during a “First Friday” event to give the public an opportunity to view hundreds of pieces of public art displayed in lawmakers' offices.
On this special night, the Capitol becomes a museum for the public to view state-owned artwork and even chat with some of the artist themselves. Live chamber music from talented local student musicians set the mood with ambient compositions, allowing the melodies to resound into the volcanic-like opening of the Capitol building. Special tours of the House and Senate chambers are also given throughout the evening.
The works of art are part of the “Art in Public Places” collection held by the Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts. The “Art in Public Places” program enhances the environmental quality of state public buildings and spaces for the enjoyment and enrichment of the public; cultivates the public’s awareness, understanding and appreciation of visual arts; contributes toward the development and recognition of a professional artistic community; and acquires, preserves, and displays works of art expressive of the character of the Hawaiian Islands.
The program was established in 1967 and was the first program of its kind in the nation.