If you have been to the Royal Hawaiian Center, Hilton Hawaiian Village, Maui Marketplace, Kualoa Ranch or the Polynesian Cultural Center, you have likely seen the work of artist Jared Pere, a sculptor, welder, painter of murals and graphic artist.
He was born in Laie, Hawaii and raised in both Hawaii and Aotearoa, New Zealand. Jared is a graduate of Kahuku High School, and attended BYU Hawaii in the Fine Arts Program. Jared then returned to New Zealand to attend Toihoukura, where he received his bachelors’s degree in Maori Visual Art and Design. Pere comes from a very artistic family. He carved his first piece when he was just seven years old and at age 16, he learned the finer skill of wood carving from his uncle, who was a Maori master carver.
Pere turned his attention from wood to foam while working in the movie industry in Los Angeles. It was there that he learned to sculpt movie props from foam. Today, he creates unique forms of art, in foam and a variety of material.
Pere brought his skills and expertise back to Hawaii, where he has created a number of works of art around the islands. His art is inspired by his culture and the teachings of his ancestors’ beliefs, passed from generation to generation of the Maori people.
Pere is grateful to his family, teachers and mentors for shaping him into who he is today. He now gives what he was given by sharing and teaching young men and women the art of carving and sculpting. There is honor in upholding the genealogy and stories of the past within each piece that is created. These are the lessons of great importance he shares with his students and children.
It is this connection that he has – with his family, his culture and the community – that can be felt in every piece he sculpts and that truly sets his work apart from others.