The Monkeypod Art Studio in Wailuku was born from a love of art and children and the desire to enrich the experience of families on Maui. Owners Coleen “Coco” and Kathleen Keelan, have created a space for families to celebrate every day, the joy and magic of being parents and/or
caregivers, and of course, of being a child.
Although Coco’s career path has been to work mainly in civil service positions with state and federal government, she has always loved the honesty, silliness, inquisitiveness, and imagination of children. She is currently working toward a degree in Early Childhood Education.
Coco’s grandchildren love to visit as she will literally roll on the floor with them, make silly faces, sit and draw or paint for hours with them, read stories, play imagination games with them, cook with them and sing and dance with them until they all drop.
Kathleen holds a Masters Degree in Social work but is also a mother to adult children with their own young ones. She has also spent many years as a caregiver to young children, and is a craftsperson, an artist and a seamstress. She is a general handy person who can put in new
windows, replace toilets, sinks, can fix cars, washers and dryers, etc. She has most recently worked as a civil servant as well. Kathleen sees Monkeypod Art Studio as a vehicle for families to bond, create memories and for parents/caregivers to see their little ones as beautiful works of
While visiting family on Maui, Coco and Kathleen found that there were few places for young children to either play freely, or investigate and create art, or learn through their imaginations. Although there are a few attractions on Maui, a gap was found. After Kathleen decided to retire
from State service, she and Coco decided to move to Maui from Sacramento, California and create Monkeypod Art Studio.
During the first 6 months of life on Maui, there were many hurdles to jump (finding a residence, learning how to live with multiple electrical outages, loss of phone and internet service, possible threats of hurricanes, tropical storms, cane spiders, centipedes, etc). Through the challenges in
the beginning, a beautiful love for and relationship with Maui began to grow; Coco and Kathleen reaffirmed the vision of creating a wonderful creative play space for the families on Maui. After almost one year of living on Maui, on May 15, 2015, Kathleen and Coco opened the Monkeypod Art Studio doors and the magic began!
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