Laura Mellow

Always interested in art, Laura grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii. She studied art at Punahou School, Washington University, The American Institute for Foreign Study in Venice and Florence, Italy and Pilchuck Glass School. Trained as a figurative artist, Laura has grown to doing abstract work. She uses both the computer and traditional art methods which results in her unique art. She is known for her use of color, shape and form in mixed media. She has won many awards and is in private collections in Hawaii, Los Angeles, California, Chicago, Boston and cities across the mainland and Italy.

Laura was recently asked to be a part of the Imago Mundi 2020 “When Home is the Globe”. This project takes you on a virtual tour visiting the artists in their studios during this global pandemic. The artwork “Papa’s Hat Gives Hope” is about her Grandfather overcoming the Scarlet fever epidemic. “Aloha Michelangelo” was inspired by her love of Italy and her hero Michelangelo merging her two favorite places in the world.

She is one of a group of artists included in the 2017 Imago Mundi “Aloha Spirit Contemporary Artists from Hawaii” collection. Of her work it has been said, “ Laura has the talent to translate nature and emotion into figurative and abstract elements that carry the same spirit.”

Many of her themes have been inspired by water and her surf art has been featured in Free Surf Magazine. The amazing 2016 Eddie Aikau Surf Contest in Waimea and Jaws Peahi inspired her theme of huge waves. Laura was honored and humbled to be part of the 2018-19 HiSAM Museum Gallery Shop Winter Swell Art Exhibit, located inside The Hawaii State Art Museum. Her artworks showcased in the exhibit focused on the monster waves that hit Hawaii’s North Shores during the winter months and the men and women who dare to ride these mountains of water.

Laura has made several appearances on the hit television show “Hawaii Five-0” as Nalani Lukela, wife of Sgt. Duke Lukela. Duke is played by her real life significant other, actor Dennis Chun. Her favorite 5-0 episode is about Valentine’s Day love disasters called Ho’a Inea.

One of the works “Honouliuli” inspired Hawaii Five-0 episode (Ho’onani Makuakane #410) that began research into the WWII Honouliuli Japanese Internment Camp and then creating a series of artworks. One was presented to the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii in honor of the designation of Honouliuli as a National Historic Monument. This artwork, inspired by the the stories of the internees, seeks to show while people can be interned, their hearts & spirits cannot be stopped from believing & dreaming.

As one who faced the challenge of epilepsy earlier in her life, Laura is active in educating about this very common condition. She was featured in a “1 in 26 The Art of Epilepsy” in Chicago video which can be viewed on YouTube. Laura has been exhibited in the 1 in 26 The Art of Epilepsy exhibits in California, Chicago and Boston. This show benefits research efforts for addressing the challenge of epilepsy.  Laura has served on the Hawaii Epilepsy Board and has used social media through her artworks, articles and interviews on art & epilepsy.

Laura believes art and artists have a unique opportunity and responsibility to challenge, inspire and better our world. She is extremely grateful for the opportunity to create and share her art.