BYU-Idaho Radio · Twyla Mahelona Interview

The City of Rexburg recently hired Twyla Mahelona to be its new community arts engagement specialist and she already has many events planned. 

Mahelona was hired after the city reached out to her and asked to meet. In the meeting she was asked what she was passionate about in the world of art.  

“I just started the list,” Mahelona said. “I am passionate about bringing art to kids. I am passionate about creating creative moments for adults. I am passionate about health and connecting your heart and your mind with meditation. When I met with the city they said ‘Okay, you can do all of that!’ I was just so thrilled that they gave me the greenlight to start exploring and to bring stuff in.” 

Mahelona has planned several events for the rest of April, some that will head into May as well. Tuesdays there is an art exploration event for community members ages 6 to 12. There is also an introduction to watercolor class on Thursdays from 7 to 9 p.m. and that is for community members 18 and up. 

She decided to start with these programs since they are what she had experience in originally. 

“I moved from Washington and I’ve been involved in teaching through library programs and traveling through libraries to bring art to kids. I taught adult water color in a studio for quite some time. I was most recently involved with the Burkhead Art Center over in Washington and we built a permanent Labyrinth over there so I was part of an art installation, so all three were current passions or current things that I was working on,” Mahelona said. 

Mahelona is a BYU-Idaho alumna and she discovered her passion for art after her husband said she should take an art class during college.  

She fell in love with the watercolor class she took and ended up switching her major from medical assistance to art. 

“It was a shocking turn of events,” Mahelona said. “I always look back like I don’t know how it happened, but obviously it was meant to happen. The passion just grows.” 

She is passionate about art and teaching art. She wants to see the Rexburg art community grow and thrive. 

She says the best way to support the program is to just show up. 

“We are trying to fulfill needs and we don’t know what people need unless they come to support, or unless there is a demand. So the more people that come to these events, the more the city recognizes that there is a demand for arts and that it is enhancing our community,” Mahelona said. 

You can sign up for the events at and you can also see the schedule for the upcoming art events for the month.