Imagination, art, community… Welcome to Menehune Design Group

 In News

Nestled in a skylight-filled studio in the vibrant Uptown neighborhood of Oakland, you’ll find Menehune Design Group.

Approaching the artist’s entrance along the side of the building, you’re greeted by 3 gorgeous large Menehune art panels on a verdant wall: in the middle; a tiki mug complete with an orange slice, cherry, mint leaves and two thin straws. On either side of the mug; two windblown palm trees standing tall over a bay at sunset with majestic mountains in the distance.

Entering into their space, you’ll hear music (they’ve designated different genres for different days) and see “The Crew”, a tight group of 5 tiki lovers and one hound dog who have worked together since 2016, hand making all manner of “groovy mid-century goods for the home”. They call their offerings “Pacific Pop” which, according to them, is a “tinge of tiki, a pinch of Polynesian, and a whopping wallop of hand-crafted love”. Of course countless mugs of all design variety are the centerpiece though unique, new tiki and mid-century products such as tiki torches, lamp kits, textiles and tiles are on the drawing board and soon to be revealed (Covid allowing)!

While each of The Crew have their own particular story about the initial attraction to tiki art/culture, they share a love of all things Polynesian, hand made and the experience of community, acceptance, imagination and creativity that permeates the tiki world. In the tiki world, all are welcome into a laid back and transformative atmosphere where complete strangers form bonds because of their shared tiki connection – even with all the variation within this ever morphing genre. Variations, in fact, spark creativity, curiosity, and connection.

Though Covid 19 has shifted Menehune’s activities a bit, prior to it they were a regular presence at Trader Vic’s, Tiki Oasis and other large tiki groupie events. Happily, even now – from June 27 through August 22 – Creative Framing & Gallery in Oakland is hosting the 7th Annual Tiki Art Show “Tales of the Tropics”, featuring over 30 tiki artists’ creations, including Menehune and Menehune artist, Woody Miller. The next and last reception will be Friday, August 7, 6-9pm. As always, all are welcome (though only 6-8 guests at a time) and all are encouraged to wear their best tropical mask while social distancing and having FUN!

The Crew at Menehune Design Group. (L to R) Woody, Emil, Dan, Kyle, Susan and Ethyl, the Hound Dog!