about Betty Hay
Her perception of Hawaii is unlike that of any other artist. She began her painting career on location and continues to paint in plein air. Betty Hay spends considerable time exploring all of the Hawaiian Islands. She is Hawaiian/Caucasian with a notable Hawaiian ancestry. Many collectors feel that special insights and emotions experienced in viewing her art are due to this Hawaiian heritage and her passion for Hawaii. Her paintings bear a sensitivity that comes from her uninhibited familiarity with the land. Many of her works provide an archetypal view of the “untouched Hawaii.” Her gift is not so much with realistic portrayal, as with feeling and intrinsic qualities. It is said that her value as a chronicler of passing eras will be inestimable.
Born Betty Hay Wodehouse, in Kohala, on the Big Island of Hawaii, she graduated from Punahou School, attended the University of Colorado, and continued studies in New York City. In 1961 she returned to the islands, married George (Keoki) Freeland of Lahaina, Maui, in 1963. Betty Hay, Keoki, and their three adult children presently live on Maui.
Betty Hay began exhibiting her work on Oahu and Maui in 1969. Her first solo exhibit was in 1975. Over the years Betty Hay has gained many accomplishments in her painting career. She has been included in several magazines such as: Sunset Magazine, Plus 1 Living, a Japanese Publication, and Hawaii Westways AAA, and NYLON, South Korea. She has been featured on the show “Self Made on Maui” which aired on OC 16. Her paintings have been published on wine labels at Tedeschi Winery, Ulupalakua, the Hawaii State Phone Directory cover, and in her book The Paintings of Betty Hay. She has been the featured artist at three annual Celebration of the Arts at the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua. 2015 brought many exciting events which included her image on the 2015 Hawaiian Lunar Calendar by Buzz’s Original Steakhouse. She is one of 50 local artists in the newly published Aloha Expressionism book. Her work can be found on the cover. In October, 2015, the Hawaii State Foundation of the Culture and Arts purchased Ho’omalumalu O Waikamoi. This is Betty Hay’s third painting to be included in their collection.
Betty Hay has been repeatedly honored as an invitee to the highly selective Maui Plein Air Invitational held annually each February. She has painted in the competition every year since the inaugural event in 2006, and has been the only female artist invited from Hawaii for four of those years. Her plein air paintings have received five awards.