Solomon Enos has produced a suite of twenty-one original paintings inspired by this epic tale, illuminating selected portions of the story. The illustrations are printed in full color, as one and two-page images, in both the Trade and Centennial Editions. Solomon Enos has also created portrait drawings of each main character—these are included as part of the backmatter in each volume.
Solomon Robert Nui Enos was raised in Mākaha Valley, the son of artist Eric Enos, and a 1994 graduate of Wai‘anae High School. Solomon was always encouraged to pursue his interests, and by seventh grade, had completed his first commissioned project. Since childhood, he has expressed himself through his art, from grand murals to tiny logos, and now, for The Epic Tale Of Hi‘iakaikapoliopele, he has created images that bring this ancient story to life.
The Hi‘iakaikapoliopele project expanded Solomon’s artistic style and will remain a cornerstone of his career. Throughout the process of visualizing and crafting his images, Solomon worked with the translators and researchers to negotiate the freedom of artistic expression with the necessities of historical cultural detail. The result is an ancient story, full of incredible fantasy, brought into a visible reality with each brush stroke.
Solomon has followed in his parents’ activist footsteps by dedicating himself to cultural and environmental projects, and by incorporating those issues into his art and his work. He resides deep in Kalihi Valley as the resident caretaker of the Kökua Kalihi Valley Active Learning Center. His dreams of combining art and ‘äina are now a functioning reality.