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MauiTime says Aloha to artist Guy Junker


We are very sad to announce that Guy Junker, a great artist, martial arts instructor and wonderful person, has passed away. He had a serious accident on Saturday morning while riding his e-bike near his Emerald Plaza studio in Lahaina and suffered serious head injuries, his close friend Rosa Sosa told us.

“He will be on a ventilator until Tuesday, when they will collect his organs for donation,” she said via a Facebook message today. “He was confirmed deceased yesterday [Oct. 18] at 4:04 p.m.

Junker was born on June 7, 1972 in Arkansas City, Kansas. After spending much of his formative years in California, Junker visited Maui in 1994 and moved here shortly thereafter. He designed for the art of Crazy Shirts in which his art appeared American Legion Magazine, Hawaii Race Magazine, the Asian Martial Arts Journal, Maui No Ka Oi and of course, MauiTime.

For MauiTime readers, the guy in the red shirt in the Eh Brah! logo which appears weekly in our print edition is probably Junker’s best-known art (he also designed our old LC Watch logo as well as). But there was more to his art than just a wacky little cartoon.

“Guy Junker is an artist from Maui who is known for his innovative panel paintings which are a delicate balance between painting and sculpture,” says Guyjunker.com. “Rediscovering ancient Hawaiian petroglyphs (stone carvings) is a favorite exploration subject for Guy. “

Like all great artists, there was something mischievous about Junker. This was apparently known from his school years, as this anecdote from Junker’s official artist biography precise :

During his freshman year at St. Joseph High School, Guy drew a political cartoon depicting the principal, Sister Shelia, removing some of the privileges from the student directory. Several hundred copies were distributed in the school lockers and Sister Shelia asked the school art teacher who she thought could have drawn the cartoon.

Mrs Crabtree, the art teacher said, “Oh, this guy’s work”.

Guy was quickly arrested and taken to Sister Shelia’s office and prepared for the worst. Over her metal-rimmed glasses, Sister Shelia looked down at Guy and said, “I have thought long and hard about the appropriate punishment for your recent disruptive behavior and have decided not to punish you. While I didn’t like the reference to my book Trash Duty and Executions or the Nazi uniform that was drawn to me, you were making a statement without vulgarity or profanity. Guy had dodged a bullet and this controversial cartoon was Guy’s first published work of art.

Junker has also studied Muso Jikiden Eishen Ryu Iaijutstu since 1999, according to his Irontsuba.com website, which sold its Japanese and samurai art. Junker even appeared in the October 8, 2009 MauiTime history “Grand Master Sekiguchi Sensei and The Legend of the Iron Knife” (Junker was a master samurai and instructor at the Komei Juku School in Maui).

But Sosa said Junker’s influence transcended all of that. “He has done so much for the community,” she said. “Last New Year, he donated $ 1,000 to the Jodo Mission, the Buddhist temple in Lahaina. He’s helped so many people start their own businesses, including me. Without him we would not have Menehune Cards, tourist cards that advertise local businesses. He helped start a radio station, the Shark Pit Restaurant, the henna gallery. So much generosity.

Photos by Guy Junker, flowers left at Junker’s art studio in Lahaina courtesy of Rosa Sosa

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