Kalani Tonga is a biracial (Tongan/Swedish) artist and published author who relocated to Salt Lake City from Houston, Texas about a year ago. She started painting in January of this year when PIK2AR, the nonprofit foundation she works with, partnered with Art Access and began having a weekly open studio night where all are welcome to come and use the Art Access supplies to create. Her artwork is an extension of her “hafekasi weirdness,” in that she takes traditional Polynesian patterns and uses them in unusual ways and with a non-traditional color palate. Kalani recently edited and contributed to the best-selling book of poetry We Hold Your Name, and is currently gathering stories of successful Pacific Islander women to compile into a book geared toward giving 10-14 year old Polynesian girls concrete role models to emulate. 


Kalani creates custom art pieces by request, and you can contact her via email at kalanitonga@gmail.com or by phone at (281)770-8994

© 2019-2020 Polywood801 Awards