Kailani Dobson is a local installation artist with a background in movement-based works and a love for film and textiles. She is passionate about making dance more accessible by taking performances off the stage and exclusively performing in galleries and public spaces.
Kailani believes that art is a community-driven endeavor that benefits from the conglomeration of multiple artforms. As the creator and artistic director of Merikai Studio, she aims to create a space in which various artists can come together and create new bodies of work that not only elevate their own practice but shine a light on the various art forms present.
Her inspiration comes primarily from two sources: a local dance professor, Stephanie Kobes-Newcomb and the artistic director of the professional dance company Ormao, Jan Johnson. Working under Jan, Kailani became well versed with social media management and what it takes to run a studio.
She uses her knowledge to help other creatives with website development, grant application, and creative consultation. Thanks to Kate Perdoni, she was introduced to installation art through ArtPOP 2017. This showed that gallery space was the ideal venue for presenting her work.
The ability to incorporate other visual media stabilized the transient nature of dance, and made the work more accessible beyond a single performance. Since then she has applied for multiple local grants and continues to present her collaborative work in the community under Merikai Studio.