History of The Gallery of Great Things In Waimea
The Gallery of Great Things is centrally located in the historic paniolo town of Waimea (Kamuela). For many years our town was part of the largest independently owned cattle ranch in America (Parker Ranch). In fact the first cowboys in America were portueguese paniolos brought over to help domesticate the wild cattle overrunning the Island.
Maria's part of Waimea history begins with her grandfather's visit to the Big Island in 1909. It was her grandfather's handwritten Hawaiian diary, describing his travels by horseback as a traveling salesman, that inspired her to eventually come to Hawaii. After graduating from the Ringling School of Art in 1969, her Godmother gifted her with a round trip excursion throughout the Orient. On her return flight layover in Honolulu, enroute to Florida, she disembarked and 45 years later she's still here.
After working for 10 years as an interior designer on Oahu, she moved to the Big Island in 1980. In 1984 she started the Gallery of Great Things. On an historical note, the GGT has always been housed in the same building that served as the Nurses Quarters during WWII. (Hard to imagine 8 nurses providing care for over 50,000 soldiers in training and passing through.)
From the beginning, Maria has had a strong desire to exhibit and preserve the Cultural Arts of the Polynesian peoples. In her own words the art gives us "...the wonderful opportunity to teach people about the Pacific Culture and ways of historic life." We hope you enjoy your visit. Aloha!
"For that unique local artist to famous Hawaiian artists...you can find it all here. The caring and knowledgeable staff are near if you have any questions or wants, however you are invited to have a quiet, no pressure stroll around the store. I highly recomend making this gallery a regular stop when you go thru Waimea." — Ramon Honea, Oakland, CA
"A fabulous variety of beautiful arts and crafts. Maria and her staff are extremely knowledgeable and helpful. You'll find something for everyone." — Ron Berlin, Pittsburgh, PA
"A small quaint shop that packs a lot of punch. This shop houses some of the best artists here on the Big Island and has everyone's artistic flavor in mind...love it!" — Jesse Kalawe, Kau, Hawaii