Those of us who live or stay at Maui Vista are fortunate to have the wonderful sculptor and painter Dale Zarrella as a nearby neighbor. You can often see him at work perched above the rocks at the north end of Charley Young Beach. In this photo he is working on the nearly completed koa wood sculpture of Saint Damien of Molokai.
This life size statue is destined for the Damien Museum in Honolulu. A bronze made from Zarrella’s quarter size study for the piece (the smaller white statue to the left of Zarrella) was dedicated at the Vatican Museum in April 2012.
Father Damien – now Saint Damien – was cannonized by Pope Benedict XVI on October 9, 2009 for his work in the 19th century caring for the spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of those quarantined in the leper colony on the peninsula of Kaluapapa on the Island of Moloka’i. Called “the Apostle of the Lepers” by the Catholic Encyclopedia, Father Damien eventually contracted leprosy (now a treatable condition called Hansen’s disease) and, after 16 years ministering to the sick and dying, he too succumbed to its ravages.
You can admire other works by Dale Zarrella at his website dalezarrella.com. We also have a nice picture of a lifesize bronze by Zarrella in our post Frank Lloyd Wright and the King Kamehameha Golf Club. For an update on the Damien sculpture, click here. One sculpture by Zarrella you won’t find anywhere else can be seen by clicking here.