A life long learner, kanaka maoli artist, Bernice Akamine began to pursue her first love, art, later in life than many artists. Akamine chose to raise a family and then return to school. During her studies at the University of Hawai'i Akamine rediscovered art; deciding that doing what one loves is most important, she changed her major and was awarded a Bachelor of Fine Arts in glass, 1994, and a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture and glass, 1999. While pursuing her studies at the University, Akamine was also studying traditional Hawaiian art forms, such as lei hulu, lauhala weaving, kapa and waiho'olu'u. Akamine has contributed to many competitive and invitational group exhibitions, as well as solo exhibitions. Her work is in the permanent collection of the American Museum of Natural History, New York; Peabody Essex Museum, Massachusetts, the Hawai’i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, Portland Art Museum, Oregon, and Wright State University Art Galleries, in Dayton, Ohio. Akamine was recipient of a 2015 Native Hawaiian Artist Fellowship, from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation; a Community Scholar Award from the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, 2012; and a Visiting Artist at the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of the American Indian in New York City, 1999.