About the Artist:

Michael Stark

        One of Maui's most acclaimed artists, Michael Stark creates his art with the goal of sharing the primal beauty of natural and traditional island life.  Represented by galleries throughout Hawaii and the Cook Islands, and featured in several one-man shows and two television specials, Michaels art graces art collections worldwide.  For many, the vivid colors in Michael's work bring back memories of their first trips to the islands.  
        A self-trained artist, Michael began his art career over 25 years ago by painting sand dollars collected while diving in Florida and selling them in his native Oklahoma.  As a teen wandering the South Seas, Michael became fluent in Samoan language and traditional Polynesian culture. The islanders taught him how to fish on the reef, climb coconut palms, and survive in the jungle.  Michael was eventually honored with a Polynesian chief title in Western Samoa.  His primitive lifestyle would become a major influence in his art.
        While working as an editor in Pago Pago, American Samoa, Michael found artistic inspiration in the idyllic scenery and began painting again.  He married a Polynesian dancer, had two daughters, and returned to college to earn a Bachelor of Science degree, magna cum laude, while studying marine biology and anthropology.  Afterwards, he moved the family back to the Pacific Islands where he commercially fished and taught biology for 5 years on Maui.  Following an amicable divorce, Michael's passion for adventure re-ignited.  While working on a project in Hong Kong, he met a Thai chef, and they began a long distance relationship.  After many adventures together throughout Southeastern Asia, Michael married Sai.  He has now added two more daughters and a new baby boy to the family.
        Michael presently works full time at his professional art career out of his home-based studio while his  wife, Sai, runs their large organic garden and helps manage their five children.   Regarding his current work, Michael says, "As always, the islands provide me with endless inspiration.  The most exciting thing for me is working with light in my paintings and making it dance on a whale's back, or across a moonlit beach, through a pareu."  He continues to enhance his creativity by exploring new artistic directions, most recently through plein aire oil painting and abstracts.
        Michael's adventurous swims with whales, dolphins and sharks continue to hone his talent for sharing the wild beauty of the Pacific Isles. He has spiced up his repertoire through international adventures and enjoys giving back to the community through non-profit groups.  
        The highest points of his life?  Michael lists a "euphoric dive to 200 feet, along a wall loaded with black coral", hosting a party for Miss Universe contestants, writing as a foreign correspondent for the Associated Press and USA Today, trout-fishing in the Rockies, spending quality time with his family, the inadvertent catch and release of a 100+ lb. ulua,  living off of the land deep in the interior rain forests of Samoa, traveling through Asia with his Sai, and receiving an honorary traditional tattoo from Tahiti's Kahuna Nui (High Priest) Tavana.
        Many have welcomed Stark's culturally enlightening artwork into their homes, in prestigious art communities in Paris, New York, Hollywood, Tokyo, throughout Australia, Asia, Africa, the Americas and across Europe.  Michael's art can be found in galleries throughout the Pacific Rim.  Email for a location nearest you, or order directly from the studio.
 
 


Gathering Coconut Fiber


Posing at Opening Night


Trekking the Andaman Sea


Michael and his wife, Sai


Daughters Tiara and Leilani 
at the Royal Palace 


Sailing off Ka'anapali with young Leilani


Painting on location during winter
at his farm in Northern Thailand


Driving mother Julie on an elephant


Researching Big Island petroglyphs 
in Waikoloa, Hawaii


Exploring a Korean shipwreck 120 feet down at Taema Banks, off Samoa


Fire-knife Dancing in earlier days


Teaching ecology to local youth at Kealia Pond Federal Wildlife Refuge as a volunteer biologist 

With new son J.P. at Waikiki


With brother Tim at Art Fair 
under Lahaina's historic Banyan Tree

Michael joined by a pod of spinner dolphins in the deep blue off  Lana'i

 


STARK ART STUDIOS
85 Maunaleo Place
Wailuku, Maui, Hawaii 96793

Tel: (808) 298-6186        email: stark@maui.net


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