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Hawaii's First Coworking Space

Meet the 2018 BoxJelly + fishcake Artists-in-Residence!

Spring 2018 Artist-in-Residence Michelle Schwengel-Regala

Our Spring 2018 AiR is science illustrator and fine artist Michelle Schwengel-Regala, of Mililani, Hawaii. Michelle creates diverse projects including technical science renderings, information graphics, sculptures, and community art initiatives. The common thread is that her art tells stories about science. She presented her work at the 2017 Honolulu Biennial, Hawai‘i Handweavers’ Hui, and CONTACT. Michelle’s past residencies include the Artist-in-Resident program at the Bishop Museum, Artist­-at­-Sea Program with Schmidt Ocean Institute, and National Science Foundation Antarctic Artists & Writers Program. 


Read more about Michelle and her work HERE



Summer 2018 Artist-in-Residence Jane Chang Mi

Our Summer 2018 AiR is Jane Chang Mi, an ocean engineer and artist based out of Honolulu and Los Angeles. Her works consider land politics and post-colonial ecologies. Exploring the narratives associated with environment through her interdisciplinary research-based work, she aims to express our contemporary relationship to nature. Jane has exhibited both nationally and internationally, most recently at Emily Carr University in Vancouver, Canada, Honolulu Biennial, and Beaconsfield Contemporary Art in London. She was a visiting artist at the National Gallery in Amman, Jordan, sponsored by START House and Art Dubai, and a scientist on the Arctic Circle Program departing Spitsbergen, Norway. Jane currently teaches at Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA.


Read more about Jane and her work HERE



Aloha & Mahalo, Nanci!

A huge  “Congratulations” to our Summer 2017 Resident, Nanci Amaka! Her opening of MOTHER on January 11th was an incredible success, and we were blown away by her beautiful, poignant images and words. We will miss your warm spirit and gracious energy, Nanci! Best of luck with your future endeavors!


For more information about Nanci, click HERE


MOTHER will be up at the BoxJelly until April 27, 2018. With her mother as muse, Honolulu-based artist Nanci Amaka explores the anxieties surrounding concepts of love, loss, embodiment, and letting go with a new series of work. Amaka’s artistic process involved re-enacting memories and metaphysical childhood visions of her mother, an intimate performance of dealing with her death and release of her lifelong search for answers.  







Join us for Nanci Amaka’s AiR Opening Night


A Solo Exhibition by Nanci Amaka

Thursday, January 11, 2018 from 6-8PM

Honolulu-based artist Nanci Amaka, BoxJelly + fishcake’s latest Artist-in-Residence, explores the anxieties surrounding concepts of love, loss, embodiment, and letting go with a new series of work.

Amaka’s primary inspiration was her mother, mysteriously killed when she was a young girl. Through video, photography and sculptural media, she explores anxieties she endured from the loss of her mother as an adult, as well as lessons learned. Amaka’s artistic process involved re-enacting memories and metaphysical childhood visions of her mother, an intimate performance of dealing with her death and release of her lifelong search for answers.



Nanci Amaka is the current Box Jelly + Fishcake Artist-in-Residence, based in Honolulu, Hawaii. Nanci’s work explores ideas surrounding trauma, identity, memory and the liminal space between experience and language. Working from the theory that traumatic events challenge perceptions of power, autonomy, and identity. Her performances are poetic narratives of memory retrieval & inspection that investigate limits of vulnerability & social empathy, by creating charged contemplative experiences. Nanci received a BA in Visual Critical Studies from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and an MFA from California College of the Arts. Nanci was born in Nigeria and spent her formative years in a rural rainforest village in south eastern Nigeria. 




Artist-in-Conversation with Nanci Amaka & Andrew Binkley


Artist-in-Conversation Event with Nanci Amaka + Andrew Binkley @ BoxJelly

Monday, December 18 2017

6-8PM at BoxJelly


Box Jelly + Fishcake present the second “Artists in Conversation” talk, all about artists talking to each other about what they love doing!  


Please join us, our current artist-in-residence, Honolulu-based conceptual artist Nanci Amaka, and multi-disciplinary Oʻahu based-artist Andrew Binkley. They will talk about Nanci’s latest body of work entitled, “Mother” created during her residency. (Some of the videos from Nanci’s upcoming exhibition were created in collaboration with Andrew.) Together as art collective Stargaze, they engage in artmarking which “intersect the principles of omnipresent agency with transcendental capacity.”


Nanci and Box Jelly + Fishcake staff will be on hand after the presentation to answer questions about artists interested in applying for the next round of Box Jelly + Fishcake Artist-in-Residence Program, for Spring, Summer and Fall 2018.


Box Jelly and Fishcake deepens its commitment to supporting emerging artists and diversifying the platforms through which the public is invited to engage and gain greater insight to the seminal program that offers a supportive community of like-minded art professionals to foster artists’ creativity and career development.


Nanci Amaka:

Nanci Amaka is the current Box Jelly + Fishcake Artist-in-Residence, based in Honolulu, Hawaii. Nanci’s work explores ideas surrounding trauma, identity, memory and the liminal space between experience and language. Working from the theory that traumatic events challenge perceptions of power, autonomy, and identity. Her performances are poetic narratives of memory retrieval & inspection that investigate limits of vulnerability & social empathy, by creating charged contemplative experiences. Nanci received a BA in Visual Critical Studies from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and an MFA from California College of the Arts. Nanci was born in Nigeria and spent her formative years in a rural rainforest village in south eastern Nigeria. She is now based in Honolulu.


Andrew Binkley:

Andrew Binkley is an American artist based in Oʻahu, Hawaii. Andrew’s work uncovers and examines notions of time and stages of transformation towards awakening and letting go. He studied art at the Kansas City Art Institute, and Buddhism at a monastery in Thailand. His art practice acts as a reflection on the relationship of arising and passing away, as well as one’s own relationship with impermanence, by inviting a shift into acceptance and appreciation. Andrew exhibited internationally with The Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts (Taiwan), the Downtown Film Festival (Los Angeles), the Queens Museum of Art (New York), Shanghai Zendai Museum of Modern Art (China), and the Honolulu Biennial (Honolulu).


Artist-in-Residence Program FAQs

Artist-in-Residence Laurie Sumiye (left)

You’ve Got Questions About the BoxJelly/fishcake Artist-in-Residence Program. We’ve Got Your Answers


How do I apply for the BoxJelly+fishcake Artist-in-Residence program?

To apply for the Artist-in-Residence Program, jump over here and submit an application by December 31st 2017!


What are the dates for next season’s Artist-in-Residence Program?

We are currently accepting applications for all terms through midnight on December 31, 2017 for the following terms:

Spring (February 1 – April 30, 2018)

Summer (May 1 – Aug 30, 2018)

Fall (September 1 – November 30, 2018)


Who will be deciding on the submissions?BoxJelly Artist-in-Residence Amelia Samari

All applications will be evaluated by a panel of creatives from BoxJelly and fishcake.


Is there a fee to apply?



Is there an artist’s stipend?

Nope, sorry; however,  you do get a terrific space.


How big is the space?

About ~150 sq ft or so.


What do you mean by “clean studio space”?

It does not refer how neat you are! The larger space is shared with designers and peeps who work on computers, so this means no painting, wet media, or materials that give off toxic fumes.


What is the age requirement to be a resident?BoxJelly Artist-in-Residence Nanci Amaka

Residents must be 18 years or older.


What hours can we work on our projects?

Residents have 24/7 access to the space.


Is there a minimum weekly time commitment at BoxJelly? Am I allowed to travel while in Hawaii?

In order to make the best of this opportunity, we recommend that residents work from BoxJelly at least four days per workweek. Residents are expected to manage their time and workflow to ensure they are able to meet program milestones, but travel is absolutely encouraged!


Art by BoxJelly Artist-in-Residence Laurie Sumiye

Do I need to be a U.S. citizen to apply?

We accept applications from many countries around the world, and are working at broadening our program all the time. If you are outside the United States and are interested in a residency, please contact us and we will do our best to accommodate you.


Does the residency program provide residents with visas?

The Artist-in-Residence program does not provide residents with visas, so residents must arrange their own visas and should enter the United States as visitors. We can, however, provide residents with an invitation letter describing the nature of the relationship that the Artist-in-Residence has with us and explain the reason for the visit. We’ve found that these letters can be useful for residents when entering the U.S., but are in no way intended to replace a visa.


Do you provide residents with transportation to Hawaii?

No. Residents must make their own transportation arrangements to and from O’ahu, Hawaii.


Where should I stay during my residency, and how should I get there?

We do have one shared studio apartment that is available for our residents to rent; otherwise, our residents coordinate their own travel arrangements and accommodations. Please arrange your housing and travel well in advance, or budget accordingly to stay in temporary accommodations (hotel or hostel) upon your arrival. You might consider visiting or to find temporary housing or sublets.


How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Give us a call M-F 8am – 8pm (808)769-6921 or email us! For additional details, please see our Call for Artist-in-Residence Applications



Deadline Extended for Artist-in-Residence 2018 Applications


Apply now for our 2018 BoxJelly+Fishcake Artist-in-Residence (AiR) Program, an opportunity to create new work for a solo exhibition in Honolulu, Hawaii in the heart of Kaka’ako. 




We’re looking for artists who work in contemporary art practices and forms with big ideas and the ambition to execute them.

Spring Term starts February 1 – April 30, 2018.

Summer Term starts May 1 – Aug 30, 2018.

Fall Term starts September 1 – November 30, 2018.

Each 3-month residency includes:

  • A “clean” studio space suitable for artists working in digital arts, video, photography, illustration, fiber arts and textile design. We cannot accommodate painting, woodworking or ceramics.
  • A solo exhibition at The BoxJelly, the premier co-working space for urban creatives in Hawaii! We will provide press, marketing and hosting costs of the opening reception. All sales from the exhibition go directly to the artist.
  • BoxJelly Dedicated Studio membership (a $1500 value).
  • An opportunity to earn a spot on Fishcake’s roster of local and international artists and designers.  Fishcake sells artists’ work in two retail locations, and through their interior design studio, Fishcake Works.

The residency does not include exhibition costs, artist stipend, transportation or housing. We cannot offer a visa for international applicants. For visiting artists, we may be able to offer temporary lodging, pending availability.

Step 1: Apply Here

Step 2: Email materials below to laurie (at)

Submissions must include:

  • Project proposal: 1-2 pages in length, outlining a plan to create a body of work to enhance BoxJelly’s space. Include a detailed list of techniques and materials, outlining project logistics, supply and labor needs, and budget
  • Artist’s CV
  • Digital zip file containing 5-10 samples of your most recent work with an inventory sheet
  • Artist Statement
  • Other Supportive Material (optional)

For additional information, please see our Artist-in-Residence Program FAQs or join us at our Artist-in-Conversation event on December 18th to learn more about our program from current resident Nanci Amaka.




Life Inspired Art

I began to sincerely make work about vulnerable elements of my own life after a studio visit with a close friend of mine, Zina.  At that time, Zina had been making work about her father and his friends’ lives in Iraq when they were in their youth. Utilizing old photographs and narratives from her father, the paintings were vibrant, and intriguing. Most of all, they radiated an endearment that was palpable. Standing in Zina’s studio that evening, we began to naturally talk about our lives and the inherent inspiration we garner from our experiences as women who’ve had to flee our home countries for relative safety in the USA. In the middle of this conversation, as she is wont to do, Zina turned to me and gave me the very heartfelt criticism that I should begin to make work that was primarily about significant moments in my life.

For a very long time, I made work that was inspired a bit by my experiences but was mainly about the lives of people and refugees I interviewed. Although these works were in line with topics I was interested in: memory, trauma, identity, and sensory-to-language translation; they did not speak directly about my own experiences. Instead, offering others a space to speak about their own experiences, acted as a sort of buffer to having to address my own history or translate my experiences. In Zina’s studio that evening in Oakland, her statement acted as a mirror to my thoughts. I had been thinking about the exact same thing, but hesitating from fear of vulnerability. Sometimes, all you need to make a decision, is a loved one holding a mirror up to you. In my case, the conversation with Zina was exactly the push I needed.

Today, I am working on series of works about momentous experiences that shaped my life.  For my residency at Box Jelly and Fishcake, the main concept is ‘Motherhood’. The root of this is in the early loss of my mother to an act of violence.  The sprout of this is my recent pregnancy. In the first month of my residency at Box Jelly and Fishcake, I had planned already to make work about my mother: my memories of her, the pain of losing her to violence, and letting go of the power it’s held over me. Then I learned I was pregnant, and suddenly it became more imperative to do this work now.

The Artist’s Mother

Looking back, what made Zina’s paintings of her father and his childhood friends endearing wasn’t just the colors, or line-work of the paintings. It was also the emotional connection of Zina to the subjects, their memories, and a deep longing for a home loved and lost to time and circumstance. The pieces I am making about my mother will neither recreate her, nor come close to fully defining who she was. By exploring the fragments of her that I still have with me: memories of her singing to me, lifting me to her hips, moving around my grandmother’s yard. Memories of running up to her, burying myself in her skirts, hugging her legs. As well as elusive memories of the moments surrounding her death. I hope to build an exhibit that, as a whole, will give a sense of what she meant to me and the implications of a life lived under the shadow of loss.


Sandalwood and Memory of Place

My time here at Box Jelly and Fishcake has continued to be inspiring. During a meeting last month with collaborators to discuss an upcoming performance, I ran the concept by Maura Fujihira. She immediately had two simple questions that completely changed the direction of the work. The piece I was working on, Cleanse, is a performance of an act of mourning that involved me cleaning and washing a space in Ward Warehouse, as a final act of nurture and gratitude before it would be torn down. Maura asked: “What soap will you be using?” and “What will you be wearing?” In that moment, I had assumed that what I would be wearing would be something white but hadn’t thought beyond that.  I also wasn’t confident in my decision for a dress.  I discussed my options with Maura and was much more confident in my choice at the end.

In terms of the soap, I had originally thought that I would use an African Black Soap I had procured from a natural product shop in Nigeria the last time I was there.  My reasoning for this was that the piece, Cleanse was a way for me to mourn my mother who passed away in Nigeria when I was a child. While describing the decision to Maura, I recognized that I felt no particular connection to the soap itself aside from the fact that it was from a shop in Nigeria. I didn’t immediately decide to change the soap, but it stayed in the back of mind. It was a very important part of the performance and as such, it was important that it also had a strong connection to the piece itself. That night, the conversation with Maura came to mind again. She is quite intuitive and sensitive in an ethereal way. Something about her choice of the question lingered. I fell asleep that night thinking that I needed better intention in the decision of the soap used for Cleanse.

The next day, my videographers and I went on a site visit of the space to plan the performance.  After our meeting, I mindfully strolled about all of Ward Warehouse to prepare myself for the performance. Lost in thought towards the very end of my walk, I came upon Island Soap & Candle Works. Walking in, I met the owners and their lovely young adult children, Kimo and Tiare. Both had grown up knowing the family business in Ward Warehouse. They told me of the countless hours they spent as children in the space watching their parents work. Tiare had no memories of the family business not being located in Ward Warehouse. Both expressed feeling sad about the closing of the space but also looked forward to the next phase of the business they had watched their parents build and were themselves also helping develop. The family not only sold soaps and candles in the space; they also created their products in the back of the Ward Warehouse space. Kimo and Tiare showed me the new series of soaps they were working on – beautiful decadent pieces carefully crafted from a complex combination of soaps that rivaled pastries in any French patisserie. It was apparent that they loved what they did and unmistakable that they grew up working in the field. I decided at that moment to describe my project to them and ask for a recommendation on a soap.

Sandalwood – ‘iliahi in Hawaiian – has a strong influence on the history of Hawaii. Six high-quality species of the tree once grew so abundantly on the islands that the Chinese referred to the Hawaiian Islands as the Sandalwood Mountains. Through the foreign trade of Sandalwood – Hawaii’s first major export – King Kamehameha I was able to procure weapons in which to aid in his conquering and unifying of the islands. That trade lasted between 1790 and 1825. On August 1st, 2017, I bought two barsof Cedar Sage Sandalwood soap from Island Soap & Candle Works at the suggestion of local soap makers, Kimo and Tiare. Both bars were made in Ward Warehouse. They were made of natural ingredients, had a neutral aesthetic, and carried a beautiful faint fragrance of sandalwood.  I used one of them in my performance of Cleanse on August 2nd, 2017 to scrub the walls and floors of Ward Warehouse. I intend to use the second bar in a second performance at BoxJelly + Fishcake during my exhibit. As this second piece develops, I will share more.

Nanci Amaka



Settling Into The Space

My time here at BoxJelly and Fishcake has so far, been very productive in many unexpected ways.  As a conceptual artist working with the challenging concepts of trauma, memory, and identity, I was unsure of what would come from my time here at a co-working space and interior design organization.  I must say that I have been thoroughly impressed with: the counsel I have received, the space itself, and the freedom to explore and build on my concepts.

My first interaction with BoxJelly and Fishcake was during their introduction of the Artist In Residence (AIR) program at the Artist In Conversation (AIC) Q&A talk. After the Q&A, I was able to tour the space, and get my bearings of what it could allow in terms of art production. I also met several of the creatives already working there. In my initial proposal, I had intended to develop ‘Sensoria’ – a series I have been working on that centers around the concept of paradoxically translating sensory information. During my interview with Laurie Sumiye, and Keiko Hatano, they encouraged me to continue working on my performances as that was what I really wanted to work on.  Although it wasn’t immediately clear how I could translate performance work into their space, nor exhibit it after my residency, I was encouraged to do the work anyway as it was interesting and relevant.  I was, and am still, very grateful for their trust in my work and concepts.

I began my residency in July and have been very happy with it.  The AIR space is located in the inner sections of Fishcake and provides ample space to work; including a gorgeous large work table, ample storage and quite a bit of privacy. It resembles a studio and I immediately felt at ease creating a dry ‘mess’. The residency also comes with 24-hour access which comes in handy when I have to come in at odd hours to work. I will say though, that my favorite part of the space is the ability to meet with several collaborators and teams to discuss projects I am working on. In those cases, it is very easy to buy them coffee at Morning Glass and then settle in at a communal table and meet in a professional setting away from the mess of my studio table.

I am curious and excited about what the rest of my time here at Box Jelly + Fishcake will yield. The counsel I have received as well as the artistic freedom to develop my work has been generous and I am very grateful for it.  I have been able to work as I usually do – intuitively and open to nuance, while maintaining a discipline of concept. I cannot say that I am surprised to find that I have been able to work this way here; as I had no clear expectations.  But I will say that I am thoroughly enjoying the experience.

Nanci Amaka



Goodluck Judith

Judith Brieger from has been through a long journey with us here at BoxJelly (since November 2015)! She’s now ready to move into a new geographic location to reach new clients.

Judith and Marlon are the co-founders of 50/50, amprsand, and white-space studio. I want to start off with a big mahalo to them, because they’re the team responsible for our website. Simply put, they run a branding and design agency. The business has been through multiple rebrandings and changes over the years. They have been through the trenches and they have tested & studied the market already.



I had the opportunity to interview Judith before she moved to Las Vegas. Let’s go back to how it all started. Judith originally sparked her passion during her corporate career. She wasn’t fully satisfied with the cubicle life and she has always felt like she was on the wrong side of the meetings.

What first started off as a passion and hobby grew into a successful small business that offers website design, branding development, social media marketing, and much more. Judith said that by strengthening her network and connections with clients she was able to finally make the jump, because there was a market for the services that they offered.


Their specialty is website design and development. They incorporate UI design, strategic UX design, back-end integration, & API for both websites & apps. They also deal with a lot of branding and illustrations such as logos and mascots. Judith says that when creating a logo design it’s not about what you like, but it’s all about what the target market likes. However, it still needs to mirror the businesses style and voice.



White-space studio has affected small businesses in many ways. Their conversion rates increase, the businesses expand, donation percentages shoot up, and strong branding is established from the very beginning. If you’re interested in benefitting from this, then feel free to email them for a free consultation at You can also reach out to them on Instagram You NEED to check out their Instagram feed, because I mean look at this theme.





Chantal & Her Creativity Journey

Chantal Monté has been all over from foreign countries like Bali to Sante Fe and San Francisco. She loves to tap into her creativity through all forms of artwork. She speaks about her exotic paintings, seductive quotes, and deep poems with so much passion. With her background in iyengar yoga and meditation, she’s able to get into the zone to let that artistic ability flow.

Chantal says that, “Sante Fe is a very special for artists and healers.” This is where she got a good taste of the art industry, but Bali is where she was “recreated.” During her repeated trips to Bali she was able to train and work on her gifts. She knew it was time to move on and break free from her past. She’s now pursuing her passion and fire through mediums such as poetry, music and teaching.

Her new album SYRUP was just released. SYRUP has the viscosity of honey mixed with the taste of pleasure and intimacy. You can listen to the teaser here.

“When we are able to experience love and sorrow, ecstasy and pain, equally and without resistance, then we are able to fall in love with our entire life. Everything is welcomed. Nothing is left out. Love is all inclusive.”


She’s expanded and reached out to offer classes such as a global online event called Meditation for Lovers and offers private coaching for couples wanting to explore their relationship as a creative union. And by meditation, she means meeting in the bedroom naked, shutting the door to the outside world and wrapping legs around hips as a way to connect and feel into each other. She’s able to work in-person and online. She will help guide you through every step of the way. If we want to feel turned-on with our lives, we must slow down.


“Slowing down is the key.”