December Newsletter

In this issue:
Upcoming SOKO Events
Featured Artists
In Memoriam
Member News and Events

Notes from the Editor

Greetings to all you friends of SOKO. Welcome to our first-ever Monthly Newsletter! We’re here to keep you informed of all the goings-on with the SOKO artists, most of whom you’ve probably not been able to see in person lately.
First, some good news--we have added three new artists to the SOKO roster:  Barry Gitelson, Lisa Marie Kingry and Dianne McMillen. This month we will feature them, in their own words, and give you a photographic taste of their artwork. All three are accomplished artists and delightful people, and we are proud to have them as members.
In each month’s newsletter, we plan to feature two of our artIsts, but this time, because we have three new members, we are featuring all three.

—Catherine Wynne

Upcoming SOKO Events
SOKO’s signature event, the STUDIO TOUR, will be virtual this year because of COVID-19. We plan to hold an ONLINE AUCTION FROM FEBRUARY 13-20, 2021. If you’re receiving this, you will receive an invitation to join us, and vie for a chance to own some beautiful, unique and locally-created artwork. Please tell your friends!
In addition, a number of the SOKO artists will be participating in the BEST OF KONA FESTIVAL, which this year will be a one-day, in-person event, planned for Saturday, April 10, 2021, on the lawn and area surrounding the Kona Inn shopping center in Kailua-Kona. Please mark your calendars now!
And you can always make appointments to visit our artists and purchase their art, either in person or online. You can also see their new work on the SOKO Facebook page at or the SOKO website at, where contact info is available.
Featured Artists

BARRY GITELSON, Star of Stage and Screen, Makes Unique Creations In Glass

Born and raised in a small town on the east coast (Washington, DC) but Kona has been home for over 50 years. Working with glass has been a passion since 1984. Or should I say an addiction. There is just something so satisfying in the feel of cutting and breaking glass. And occasionally frustrating. When not doing glass, my time is filled with my other loves. Professional magician for over three decades. Working with bonsai and other plants in the garden. Playing table tennis. And spending time at home with my wife, Kris, and the kitties. And, in 2014, I was a contestant on the TV show Wheel of Fortune.

LISA MARIE KINGRY Creates Vibrant Paintings

Big bold color. Abstract florals and faces. This is me and what I continually conjure up when I get a brush in my hand. I am a self-taught intuitive painter who doesn't have a destination in mind when I begin a painting. I simply enjoy the journey.
I began painting seriously about four years ago. For me painting is a meditative and expressive way to unwind and destress. 
I gravitate towards acrylic and watercolor and the color pink. My pieces vary between paper and canvas. I am pretty passionate when I paint and end up painting over paintings many times until just the right color shape and figure appear. 
Evolving as an artist, I am always taking new classes, learning new techniques and putting my own spin on them. I love what I do, and I hope my art inspires you to answer your own unique creative calling.

DIANNE McMILLEN Creates Beautiful Leaded Stained-Glass Artwork

My family and I have been residents of Hawaii for 35 years. A few private instructional classes in stained glass basics in 2005 started my journey into this ancient craft. With limited educational opportunities in this craft available, I am primarily self-taught. Practice and dedication to this craft have led me to ongoing discoveries and development of skill needed to create one-of-a-kind stained glass pieces.
In Memoriam
On a sad note, two of our members passed away this past year: Linda Savell and Ina Koch. Both were excellent potters, and you are no doubt familiar with their work.
LINDA SAVELL belonged to the Kona Potters Guild, and was a long-time member of SOKO. She had her work in galleries all over the Island, she was a beautiful and skilled Raku artist. In her Raku coveralls Linda would arrive at the Potters Guild with her true love, partner in firing, husband Chuck, tenderly load and fire her popular fish sculptures, her rattling hearts and astounding vases. Linda was adept at her craft and created beauty. She was a creative, kind, generous and loving person, we will miss her very much. Linda passed away at her home on May 1, 2020.
INA KOCH joined the Potters Guild in April, 2000, and was one of the original members of SOKO. Ina was a painter, a potter, a lover of the wonders of Nature. She saw the poetics of nature, and that is true art. She interpreted these observations in her work: the wave plates, the reef bowl, the manta rays, petroglyph plates, and incredible movement on her dolphin and whale plates. She was a true artist. She influenced all with her kindness, humor, spirit, and energy. Ina was exceptionally prolific, and could often be seen working away in her studio in the Potters Guild space, downstairs of the SKEA building, or at numerous festivals and sales events across the Island. Her loss is felt deeply. Ina passed away on October 11, 2020.
Member News and Events
The West Hawaii Community Health Center regularly sponsors art exhibits featuring local talent. This year the theme is “Art Is Healing” and THREE of our SOKO members were juried into this prestigious local event. They are: Kathleen T. Carr, Ellen Crocker and Lisa Kingry. You can see the exhibit here:  The art can be purchased online though the link.

The Hawaii Nei Exhibition is an annual juried art exhibition celebrating the native flora and fauna and endemic species of Hawai‘i Island. Our member Kathleen T. Carr won 1st place in the Professional Photography division. The show runs from Nov. 6- Dec. 10 and can be viewed in person at the Wailoa Center in Hilo, and online at

Ellen Crocker has crafted a beautiful new e-commerce website that is well worth the exploration. It's a great way to get to know new sides to someone who's not only a gifted artist and a dedicated educator but also a web designer, as it turns out.

SOKO Artist Kristin Mitsu Shiga of 'Okina Jewelry will show her work with a collection of renowned ceramic artists in Handmade for the Holidays - an art sale on Sunday, December 13 from 10AM - 5PM at 75-5758 Mamalahoa Hwy in Holualoa.  Collect for yourself or pick up meaningful gifts for those you love.
New Logo
You may have noticed, we’ve updated the SOKO logo—many thanks to Mark Martel for his lovely artwork.
Our Mission
SOKO (South Kona Artists Collective) brings together artists in South Kona to reach a wider audience through exhibits, events and our annual Studio Tour.

Visit SOKO Online
Copyright © 2020 SOKO - South Kona Artists Collective, All rights reserved.

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