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Writer: Kelly Winsa/Hi Honey

Huffington Post Column by Jen Grisanti


06/13/2012 07:28 pm ET Updated Aug 13, 2012

Art Inspiring Art on the Big Island

By Jen Grisanti

It is amazing how art inspires art, in particular when you attend a film festival, take in each artist’s perspective, and you see what works and why it works. The experience awakens something inside of you that can help you further define your own art. This was an invaluable part of my experience at The Big Island Film Festival this past Memorial Day weekend. Whether I was watching a short film or feature length film, I could see the heart of each artist was out in the open, ready to be absorbed by those who were open to receiving the message behind the art. One of the incredibly talented filmmakers I met while there was Korrina Sehringer. Her feature length film, Shouting Secrets received The Audience Feature Choice Award. The film revolves around a gathering of an Indian family due to the illness of their mother. The Audience Short Choice Award went to the short film Hi Honey by Peter A.M. Henderson and Kelly Winsa; it’s a comedy that centers around a woman turning 40 who reflects on a romantic life of waiting and asking permission for what she needs. Both films were my favorites of the festival. It was inspiring seeing the films and the filmmakers gathered there to celebrate their accomplishments with one another.


Since 2000 I began painting in Canada and in Hawaii. My solo show at Rebecca Gallery in Toronto was in summer of 2005. Travelling to the Big Island with my children, I began to teach art to Kindergarten, Grade 1 and Grade 3 students as part of a volunteer program at Kohala Elementary School in Hawi. I joined a group show in 2014 at Kahilu Theatre, selling two originals on opening night. From 2008 - 2013 my work was in the Juniper Island Art Festival, on Stoney Lake, Canada.
During this time, working as a writer since 2002, I began writing 'Aiti' at my cottage, then, 'The Flower Girl' based on the senior marriage of  my grandmother, Sylvia, who raised me when I was young, Rialto, a screenplay about psychological abuse and mental illness, is my current work.
Hi Honey, an award winning 20 minute comedy about a woman who leaves her boyfriend for a dog.
'Hi Honey' went on to win the Golden Honu People's Choice Award at the Big Island Film Festival,  and the Critics' Choice at the Blue Water Film Festival in Michigan.
Recently I traveled to France to research Black Madonnas for the series 'Robi's Flying Saucer Drive-In.' (Kobo books)
Blogging and writing creative content was a natural transition from Canadian Fashion designer, (Wesley and Winsa, sold in stores across Canada + tequila mockingbird).

I am certified in Energy Therapy (3 years, early childhood training) and studied writing with Gotham Writers Workshop in New York, online.
I went to school at Toronto Metropolitan University for fashion, Laurentian University, ongoing HBA. My world expanded living in Hawaii for many years, where an artist taught me that the meaning of black and blue black, the shades of darkness, are within Hawaiian chant. 
I invite you to contact me about any project which interests you. 

I am currently working in art and in film. Working with Toronto Metropolitan University students in Toronto and young art students in Hawaii is my background as a continuing artist.

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