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Waipio Valley Artworks Under New Ownership   January, 2024

Jeff Tanenbaum and Catherine Tripp

Jeff Tanenbaum and Catherine Tripp, husband and wife, and new owners of Waipio Valley Artworks, in front of the gallery.


By Sarah Anderson

“Art has many secrets to tell” says Catherine Tripp of the husband-and-wife team that bought Waipio Valley Artworks this past November (2023). Jeff Tanenbaum is the other half of the partnership.  Jeff notes “There are an amazing number of artists on this island, but not all artists are comfortable selling or marketing their art.” He is especially interested in reaching out to the Kukuihaele and Hamakua Coast community.

In their former lives, Catherine worked in finance and Jeff as an attorney in the Bay Area and they filled their home with art.  Jeff grew up in New   York City in a family of artists and musicians and adds flatly, “I was the only one in the family with no artistic talent whatsoever but I became very appreciative of art.”


The couple first started coming to the Big Island more than 30 years ago for vacations. Back in the day, playing tennis at Mauna Lani, they met a fellow named Alan Shattuck with whom they struck a friendship. Alan Shattuck and his wife Mimi were the owners of an art gallery on the Hamakua Coast in Kukuihaele named ‘Waipio Valley Artworks”. The gallery is housed in what used to be the general store in Kukuihaele.  Catherine and Jeff have always loved the gallery and remained friends with Alan Shattuck until he passed in 2017.

After Jeff and Catherine moved in the island permanently in 2019, they began looking for something to invest in, they looking into real estate but upon reflection decided that they wanted a fun investment that would be beneficial to the community. When an advisor mentioned an art gallery that was for sale, they were very interested.  When they discovered that is was Waipio Valley Artworks, then owned by Elise and Richard Mastronardo, Jeff figured it was karma!


They intend to keep many things the same, but they do have some changes in the works.  They will be upgrading the café with an expanded menu. Eli Pessah, of Honoka’a’s Donuts and More (formerly the Mamane Street Bakery) is providing a full selection of sandwiches on brioche bread, croissants, as well Eli’s famous baked goods, cookies and other treats.

Jeff and Catherine will keep showcasing local artists, or artists with direct ties to Hawaii.  Jeff says “I love this about the gallery, I get to pick the art!”.  They buy about 50% of their inventory outright, especially the woodwork, and about 50% on consignment which, Jeff admits, makes bookkeeping interesting.  They will continue to stock small gives items as well.  They are currently looking for more locally crafted wood furniture and are that is new and creative.

Waipio Valley Artworks Gallery

They plan to set up an artist in residence program where an artists creates art at the gallery and interacts with visitors creating a rich experience for everyone. 

Other plans include a Waipi’o Valley art contest where the theme is Waipi’o Valley and that artists create pieces to reflect their artistic vision of the Valley.  They would also like to reach out to schools and sponsor an art show for junior artists to encourage their art work.

Another longer-term plan is to work with the Waipio Valley Shuttle tour, which operates out of the Artworks property, to organize tours in which an art instructor takes aspiring artists into the Valley to create art, actually creating, painting and photographing on site.


The gallery is open 8-5 Monday through Saturday and is regularly open on holidays,  Their website is and the phone is 808 775-0958.

Waipio Valley Artworks- Koa bowls

Woodwork by father and son, Gene and Wesley Buscher on display in the center of the gallery.

Diana Templeton and Christina Cohen check out placement of painting of Waipi'o Valley by artist Peter Jefferson of Kamuela.

Christina Cohen, an artist and an employee of Waipio Valley Artworks, Cahterine Tripp, new owner of the Artworks and Diana Templeton, the manager of the Artworks at the front counter.

Waipio Valley Artworks Art Consultants

This page is a reproduction of the newspaper article.

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