Shaun Castro - Painting

Matt Tuohy
By Matt Tuohy
Friday - August 15, 2008


Shaun Castro - Painting

When looking at Shaun Castro’s paintings, it is clear something divine is driving him from within.

His works range from scenes with bright, warm colors of children playing with each other to darker tones of beggars on the street as indifferent pedestrians pass them by. Script is painted on the canvas like tags you might find under an overpass, giving each piece an urban feel.

When asked how he would describe his work, the 26-year-old simply says, “The work I do is hard to describe. I’ll leave that one up to the critics. I’m just an artist.”

Castro’s main inspirations are his faith and a want to change how people perceive each other. The interesting thing, however, is you would never know. There are no crosses or silhouettes of an omnipresent being; instead, his work shows people living their lives as normally.

“The underlying meaning of my art is to share my personal testimony about the love of God and hopefully leave people touched by God, challenged in their faith and provoked to make a difference in this fallen world,” he says.

To illustrate his point, Castro describes a recent solo exhibition titled Love Movement at Prototype in Pearlridge Center, where he displayed 15 paintings inspired by St. Paul’s letters to the Corinthians in the Bible. “My paintings depicted various forms of love manifested in action. Examples were zealousness for God, compassion for homeless children, love for missions, encouragements for healing and comforting others, challenging people to keeping no record of wrongs, etc.”

Castro says he also experiments with other mediums to convey his messages. “I don’t just keep myself bottled up with using painting as my main form of expression. I really enjoy doing design, writing, photography, videography and editing, and music production.”

Castro recently returned from his first out-of-state tour to the Mainland with Ground Up, a local collaboration of artists, musicians and more.

“It was my first time traveling to the Mainland, so I was really excited,” he says. “We traveled up to California to do a group art show with Jedidiah Clothing in San Diego. The art show was a benefit for StandUp for Kids, a nonprofit organization for homeless at-risk youth.”

Castro also will be participating in a show called Lost Cause from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday at the University of Phoenix in The Town Center of Mililani. The show also will feature photography, painting, sculpture, live music and more.

Castro was born and raised in Hawaii and earned his bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of Hawaii in 2008. He also is working toward becoming a campus youth minister.


Third Thursday

It’s probably the gallery you’ve been into several times but you can’t remember its name during those late nights walking down Nuuanu Avenue in Chinatown.

It’s called the Louis Pohl Gallery (on the corner of Nuuanu Avenue and Hotel Street) and it features a new, local artist every month while displaying and selling work from the gallery’s namesake, the late Louis Pohl. Sandra Pohl, the artist’s widow and owner of the gallery, has only one criterion for featuring art: It has to evoke a sense of happiness and well-being.

“We try to find artwork that’s meaningful, that’s uplifting,” she says, “so that when people take the artwork home, they feel calm, peaceful, happy and content.” Pohl says the art styles she mostly displays are anything contemporary to abstract, as long as it fits the criteria.

An inside look at Louis Pohl Gallery
An inside look at Louis Pohl Gallery, located on Nuuanu Avenue near several other galleries in Chinatown

Art on display in the gallery this month is to commemorate the auspicious day of Aug. 8, 2008, says Pohl. “August is my lucky month, so most of the things in the gallery are about being lucky or auspicious, love and contentment.”

Since First Friday has already passed for August, a great time to visit the gallery is on Thursday, Aug. 21, to catch a new art walk, appropriately named Third Thursday.

Other galleries also will be open on Third Thursday to attract more patrons who dislike fighting the crowds and lines on First Fridays.

“It’s more low-key,” Pohl says.“We have this percussionist come in - he plays a kind of new age jazz -his name is Van Baron. Artists also are on hand to talk story.”

And the gallery offers more than art.

Intuitive readings by Pohl’s friend Helen Rauer also are a popular draw. These are not psychic readings, nor will they help you with your get-rich-quick schemes. But Pohl says they are fairly accurate in describing your personality and upcoming events.

“It’s unbelievable,” says Pohl, who described a recent reading she had that foretold that a regular customer from the Big Island would appear at the gallery in the near future.

“I was like, ‘Yeah ... OK.’ But sure enough, he showed up, just like she said. It was weird, because he usually just writes a check, but this time he showed up in the gallery.”

Readings are done by appointment.

For more information on the gallery or to schedule a reading, call 521-1812. You also can view some of Louis Pohl’s work, read up on the gallery’s history and more at


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