Bernice Akamine

Bernice Akamine, artist

A lifelong learner, Bernice Akamine began to pursue a career in art later in life than many artists. Akamine chose to raise a family and then return to school; during her studies at the University of Hawai’i she rediscovered art; deciding that doing what one loves is most important. She changed her major and was awarded a Bachelor of Fine Arts in glass in 1994 and a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture and glass in 1999. Akamine furthered her studies by attending the Natural Resource Management Master’s Program at Central Washington University, 2004-2006, and attended the Hawaiian Ohana for Education in the Arts in the summer and winter of 2010. Akamine has been taking Hawaiian cultural classes and workshops throughout her life and is recognized for her work with waiho’olu’u, Hawaiian natural dyes.

Akamine's work is in the permanent collection of the Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusetts; the Hawai'i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts; Wright State University Art Galleries, Dayton, Ohio; the Portland Art Museum, Oregon; and American Museum of Natural History, New York City. Akamine received a 2015 Native Hawaiian Artist Fellowship, from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation; a Community Scholar Award from the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, 2012; an Award of Excellence, Fiber Hawaii 2003: and was a Visiting Artist at the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of the American Indian in New York City in 1999. Akamine has also served as a Native Arts Review Panelist in 2005 for the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. and on Hawaii Craftsmen's Board of Directors from 2011-2012.