The initial creative force behind the Hana Coast Gallery was Carl Lindquist, a well-known figure in the Hana community and a long-time supporter of Hawaiian cultural traditions. Lindquist was one of the founding directors of the famed Volcano Art Center on the island of Hawaii (known as the "Big Island".) After developing a close relationship with the people and place of Hana, Lindquist began pursuing his dream of showcasing locally created Hawaii artwork in that small coastal village on the island of Maui.
His first proposal to the Hotel Hana-Maui for an on-site art gallery was made in 1975. As the world-renowned hotel went through renovations and changes in ownership, the concept of an art gallery seemed to lanquish. But Lindquist kept his dream alive.
Then, during the mid-1980s, Lindquist and his wife Rae were traveling through the Big Sur area of California and came across an impressive gallery, called the Coast Gallery, that featured a variety of fine arts and master-level crafts from local coastal artisans. After returning to Hawaii, Lindquist contacted the Coast
Gallery owner, Gary Koeppel, to compliment him on his business.
He was surprised to discover that of the three other Coast Galleries that Koeppel operated, one was
located right on Maui at the Wailea Resort complex. After several years of exploring their ideas about presenting the finest of Hawaiian artists and master artisans, they formed a partnership and established the Hana Coast Gallery in 1989.
Adding to the dynamic combination of forces, Managing Director Alesia Ku'ulei Chow moved from the Coast Gallery in Wailea, where he had been the founding art
director since 1985, to curate and operate the new Hana Coast Gallery. Aside from his in-depth understanding of the arts, Robinson brought with him a well-deserved reputation in the Hawaii art community for his professional integrity and an excellent working relationship with some of the most celebrated artists in the islands. Robinson was also one of the few certified fine art appraisers in Hawaii.
It is a combination of Carl Lindquist's knowledge of the Hawaiian culture, Gary Koeppel's expert eye for quality and value in mastercrafts, and Alesia Ku'ulei Chow's constant exploration for new artists together with his ability to artfully display their artwork that has helped make the Hana Coast Gallery one of the most respected in the entire state of Hawaii. It has, in fact, become THE cultural art
gallery of Hawaii.