last week saturday i had the pleasure of attending the opening reception of the newest exhibit at maui arts & culture center's schaefer international gallery - matthew thayer and the maui news: thirty years of photojournalism. over the last thirty years matthew thayer has been chronicling moments of maui's history with vivid imagery, and to see highlights of it all in one place was simply amazing.
as somewhat of a newbie to maui, this exhibit took me through some of the major changes that have helped to shape maui's history over the last three decades. from the island economy's dependence on agriculture to the departure of pineapple and the current reliance on tourism. photos depicting mom and pop stores that i always hear about, but have long since closed. one of matt's most well-know photos was taken in 1988 of the miracle landing of aloha airlines flight 243 with a gaping hole where the upper fuselage ripped from the plane, pictured on the cover of the maui news below. this story put maui at the hub of the media's attention, and the associated press was clamoring to get photo coverage of it. a rotary transmitter (brand new technology at the time) was sent to matt at the maui news, and the now famous photo was sent over the wire (taking a mere 40 minutes to transmit), making the cover of every major newspaper in the united states. you can even see the rotary transmitter live at this exhibit!
this enthralling exhibit features matt's film and digital photos, but also gives a brief glimpse into the influence technology has had on photo techniques and even how the newspaper is published today. a flat screen tv displays hundreds of additional photos shot by matthew thayer, including sporting events, concerts, cultural events, and everyday moments that we sometimes miss during our busy lives. you can also take a look at matt's actual newsroom desk, and a life-sized dark room where you take a spin in the oscillating dark room door (definitely one of the highlights for my four year old niece).
this exhibition is free to the public and will be on display until october 23rd, so there's no good reason why you shouldn't see it. the schaefer international gallery at the maui arts & cultural center is open from wednesday through sunday, 11am to 5pm and before castle theater shows. mahalo to mary c. sanford, the kent and polli smith family fund at the hawai'i community foundation, alexander & baldwin foundation, hawai'i tourism authority, and the county of maui, office of economic development for helping to make this exhibition possible.