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ABOUT ME

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Aloha! My name is Ruben Aira Jr. I was born in Havana, Cuba in 1964, and immigrated to the United States at the age of one. By 1998, I had made Hawaii my new home, living for the majority of the time on the laid-back North Shore of Oahu, where I have been continually inspired by the sea, the flora and the fauna surrounding me. That being said, I have been an artist for as long as I have been human! Though, I have worked in many different professions, from graphic artist to journeyman roofer to Alaskan crab fisherman and, most recently, textile designer for Aloha shirts. It wasn’t until 2015, after being laid off from my full-time job at Hilo Hattie, that I decided to pursue my lifelong passion of becoming a professional artist.

My journey began in a house on top of Pupukea, where the earliest of my creations centered on my discovery of a new Hawaiian art form: the carving of reliefs from surfboards whose glory days of riding waves had passed. I prided myself on creating art for the land from a product made for the ocean, and this innovative art form has now become part of my family’s heritage, something to be passed down from one generation to the next as a timeless treasure. That original vision then inspired me to experiment with different materials, such as wood, stones, resin and cut paper, reimagining these items into one-of-a-kind artworks. My newest body of work is comprised of a series of sculptures intricately carved from high-density urethane and coated with colored layers of translucent oil paint. Currently, my multi-media paintings and sculptures can be found at Bill Wyland Galleries, Martin & MacArthur Galleries, & Wy`s Galleries across the State of Hawaii. 

Professional Art Experience

 
Fine Artist                                           Creating for galleries and collectors                                                          2014 – 2019

World Surf League                            Trophies for Hawaiian Pro and Vans Triple Crown                                   2017 – 2019

Hilo Hattie                                          Textile designer and visual merchandiser                                                 2012 – 2014

Hawaiiprint                                         Art director and textile designer                                                                2005 – 2012

Freelance Sign Maker                       Dimensional hand carved signs for commercial businesses                   2002 – 2019

Warner Brothers                               Movie production artist                                                                               2002

  


Past and Present Exhibitions



OHA (Office of Hawaiian Affairs: Native Hawaiian Art & Culture Expo)            
Nov 2015

Hawaiian Pro World Surfing League Championship Trophy Ceremony                                            
Nov 2016
Nov 2017                               
Nov 2018

Billabong Pipeline Championship Trophy Ceremony                                                                                
Dec 2017
Dec 2018                             

Art Auction for Wailua Community Association North Shore                                                                    

Dec 2017

SALT @ Kaka’ako                                                                                                                                                           
Sept 2018 

Bill Wyland Galleries Lahaina, Maui                              
Multiple showings from July 2016 - July 2019

Kawela Art Gallery at Turtle Bay Resort 
Oct 2016- Jan 2017 

HCRA (Hawaii Culture & Retail Association: Private Venues)
May 2015
Feb 2016

Provenza Galleries Outrigger Reef Resort 
Feb 2018 - Aug 2018