The Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum (PIEAM
) celebrates its Grand Opening this weekend, Oct 15-17, 2010 and invites the Long Beach and neighboring communities to join the people the of the Pacific in opening its doors to the public.
All are welcome beginning Friday night at the Grand Opening for cultural performances and a silent auction. Saturday and Sunday, both PIEAM
and MOLAA will be open to the public for free.
PIEAM is situated on a triangular piece of land bordered by 7th Street, Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, and Alamitos Avenue; it is, appropriately, an island. The mural design on the exterior of the PIEAM building, created by Long Beach native and famed muralist Art Mortimer, recreates a traditional Men’s House from the Island of Yap, one of the four states of the Federated States of Micronesia. Mortimer’s impressive resume and long history in painting murals throughout Southern California made him the obvious choice for this project. Many of his murals can be seen at www.artmortimer.com
The museum also showcases the diverse cultures from the Pacific who call this area home, including the Marshallese, Samoans, Chamorro, Fijian, Carolinian, Tongan, Micronesian, Hawaiian, the Ni-Vanuatu, Niuean, Tuvauluan, Maori, Polynesian, Papuan, Austronesian, Nauruan, Melanesian, Palauan, the I-Kiribati and many more distinct nationalities.
PIEAM’s mission is to generate interest in these diverse cultures and educate its varied audiences by bringing the beauty and culture of Pacific Island ethnic art to Southern California. PIEAM stays true to the heritage of the Pacific Islands, highlighting all forms of Pacific Island ethnic art.
PIEAM’s exhibits include sculptures, textiles, paintings, wooden tools, jewelry, and carvings from across the Pacific. Works are constantly being commissioned and acquired from all the islands for display at the museum. Aspects of the living arts showcase traditional island dance, interactive cultural demonstrations, and hands-on learning opportunities. The sculpture garden includes a Stone Money Bank (“Rai”) and a dance platform (“Mahlal”).
The late Dr. Robert Gumbiner created PIEAM in an effort to preserve and revive the island arts and crafts of the Pacific Island people. With his passing in January 2009, his personal collection of Pacific Island ethnic art was generously donated to PIEAM.
For more information on visiting PIEAM, go to www.pieam.org