Hawaii’s beauty can be portrayed in many different ways – through stories, postcards, paintings and – most commonly – photos. One local artist, however, took to footwear as her canvas.

Kimi Werner collaborated with Vans Shoes in making a special collection of unique, handpainted shoes. Each pair of shoes features coastal, ocean and underwater scenes. As a renowned free-per and spearfisher, Kimi paints from her own ocean experiences.

Turtle Bay Resort hosts the art exhibit called, “Tread Lightly.” Twelve pairs and two oversized Vans shoes will be on display in the hotel lobby until December 20. The exhibit also includes a storyboard of Kimi’s inspirations, such as underwater imagery and acrylic paintings.

I finally got a chance to see the exhibit on a weekend visit to the resort. It was smaller than I thought it would be but definitely in a prime location, where guests constantly stream by throughout the day. The detail on each pair is incredible as well! You can tell a lot of time and effort (and paint) had been put into each pair, as they had their own unique touch to them.

If you particularly love a pair, then buy it. All shoes are for sale, with proceeds going to Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii and Malama Pupukea-Waimea Marine Life Conservation District. And if you don’t choose to wear them, then why not sport them on a bookshelf mantel back home? A great way to experience Hawaii’s beauty from miles away!

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