top of page
About Us


Aloha and welcome to our very special gallery. We were delighted to have the opportunity to purchase Waipio Valley Artworks in 2023. We were first introduced to the gallery over 30 years ago by our friend and former WVA owner, Alan Shattuck. We became immediate fans of the gallery.


Our goal is to provide our customers with exceptional art and unique hand-crafted gifts from local artists, supporting the Big Island’s incredibly vibrant artist community, and our neighbors in Waipi’o Valley, Kukuihaele, and Honoka’a.


We look forward to meeting you!


Catherine and Jeff

Jeff Tanenbaum and Catherine Tripp
Waipio Valley Artworks - Hamakua Times
The Gallery

Waipio Valley Artworks is located at 48-5416 Kukuihaele Road, Honoka’a in a historic plantation style building, just minutes from the spectacular Waipi’o Lookout. It has been in operation for decades.

We have over 2,000 sf of gallery space and we represent over 150 local artists in all media, including wood art, paintings, photography, jewelry, Ipu, ceramic, glass, baskets, and textiles. We are perhaps best known for having one of the best and largest collections of beautiful koa and other local hardwood bowls and boxes. You will find exceptional art, and unique hand-crafted gift items for any occasion.

We also have a grab & go cafe, with 100% Kona Coffee, fresh made sandwiches and baked goods from Honoka’a’s master baker, snacks, beverages, and the Big Island’s famous Tropical Dreams ice cream. Tables and chairs are available on our covered veranda to enjoy your purchases.

The gallery is the closest store to Waipi’o Valley, making it an excellent spot to stop on your way to and from the Lookout. We have plenty of parking, and restrooms are available.

For information on Waipi’o Valley please click here.

We are open Monday to Saturday, 8am to 5pm.

Almost all of our wonderful staff are our gallery neighbors who live right here in Kukuihaele. We look forward to meeting you, helping you find just the right art for you, and talking story.
About This Wonderful, Historic Building
Waipio Valley Artworks Historic Building
Naozo Kaneshiro had the building constructed as a general store and house for his family. He opened for business as the N. Kaneshiro Store in 1920, during the height of Hawaii’s sugar plantation era. The building is part of what may be the best collection of well preserved historic plantation style buildings in Hawaii, centered in and around Honoka’a.
The building is largely constructed of koa (something you would certainly not see today) and redwood. As Naozo’s business and family grew, the building underwent several renovations. This history can be readily seen in the various rooms that comprise the current gallery.

The N. Kaneshiro Store carried groceries (primarily canned goods), clothing, and animal feed. We have a number of gallery customers who fondly remember the store’s candy counter. The store played an integral role in the economy of Waipi’o Valley, providing needed goods to valley farmers, and buying their taro, which the store than transported to Hilo Poi shops in a Model T truck. The store also made deliveries in its truck to plantation working camps, and received customers from Honoka’a and Waimea, who often came by horse or mule.

Naozo, and later his son Seiko, who started working in the store when he was 8 years old, operated the store for many decades.

The building was eventually sold to Joe and Pamela Mathieu. Mathieu family members lived in the building and converted the store into a woodworking studio and a gallery, known as Waipi’o Woodworks. Joe and his son Charles were both well known woodworkers.
Waipio Valley Artworks - History
A Kaneshiro family member visited with this shirt. The building years ago as a general store.
Waipio Valley Artworks Historic Building
The gallery in it's earlier years..
Thereafter, the building and gallery were purchased by Alan Shattuck and Brian Nelson. Brian eventually sold his interest to Elise and Richard Mastronardo. Alan, Elise and Richard substantially expanded the gallery, renamed it Waipi’o Valley Artworks, and added the cafe. Alan passed in 2017, and Elise and Richard continued operating the gallery until November of 2023 when they sold the building and gallery to the current owners, Catherine Tripp and Jeff Tanenbaum.
Our gallery is located in the very small village of Kukuihaele, located between the historic and charming town of Honoka’a, and the scenic wonder of Waipi’o Valley. We are about 10 minutes from Honoka’a town and 5 minutes from the Waipi’o Lookout.

The origin of the name “Kukuihaele” is shrouded in some mystery. Some say it means “traveling light” - perhaps related to Hawaii legend which tells us the area was the home of a healing god, Kamakanuiahailono, and that many Hawaiian spiritual leaders would travel here. Others of a very practical bent point out that “traveling light” is also just very good advice for those who want to visit Waipi’o Valley. Others say that it means “the land of many heiau”. Unfortunately, most of the heiaus were destroyed during the sugar plantation era. Still other accounts say that the village was named for the many Kukui trees in the area and that the name means moving (or flowing in the wind) Kukui trees. The Kukui tree is the state tree of Hawai’i and is believed to have been brought to Hawai’i by voyagers from Polynesia over a 1,000 years ago.

Today, Kukuihaele is a beautiful and serene place, with lush vegetation and stunning ocean and Waipi’o views. However, it was not always so restful.

During the sugar plantation era (1870-1994, with its heyday from the mid 1920s to the 1950s), Kukuihaele was a commercial center providing services to Waipi’o Valley, the sugar plantations, and the many sugar plantation workers who lived in the area, military personnel stationed in the area during WWII, and customers in Honoka’a, Waimea, and Hilo. It had several stores, a bakery, a school, saloons, a post office and a jail.

The end of the sugar era was bittersweet for Kukuihaele village, with the loss of jobs and income. However, it has also allowed the area to return to its beautiful rural origins.

Please Tell Us Your Kukuihaele Stories!

We have quite a number of visitors to our gallery who tell us they lived, went to school and/or worked in Kukuihaele during these early years and they have shared their stories and that of their families with us. And, of course, we have many return customers who have fond memories of the gallery from its early days.

Please email us with your stories and pictures of these early days to and with your permission we would love to add them here to our history of the gallery, building and Kukuihaele.

bottom of page