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Artist Explores Parallels Between Nature and Society: Sadashi Inuzuka Presents Slide Lecture at SUNY New Paltz

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10/22/2001

NEW PALTZ -- Image available at www.newpaltz.edu/news/images/inuzuka.html.Known for works that comprise hundreds of sculptural forms that suggest hybrid insects, invertebrates, or microscopic organisms, installation artist Sadashi Inuzuka presents a slide lecture at SUNY New Paltz on Wednesday, October 31, 2001. The talk begins at 7:30 PM in Lecture Center room 112 and is free and open to the public.

During the past five years, Inuzuka's work has focused on ecological imbalances and the impact of pollution and invasive non-native species on local habitats. He does not model his work after photographs or sketches of naturally occurring species, relying instead on ideas of forms he carries in his mind. Inuzuka says his work is motivated by a general curiosity he has relating to small, natural objects.

The process behind these installations reveals Inuzuka's cross-cultural approach to creating art. Each work is created with the intent to transform a stark and sterile space into a meditative haven. The scale of the installations - one of which consisted of 600 ceramic pieces covering 6,000 square feet of exhibition space - demands of Inuzuka a laborious and repetitive working process. This process, which Inuzuka refers to as "obsessive," absorbs the artist, entrapping him in the "momentum of making." By immersing himself in his work, Inuzuka blurs the separation between self and whole. He sees this process reiterated in human society and the natural world, and hopes to share it with viewers.

Impressively, Inuzuka creates highly detailed ceramic sculpture despite being legally blind. Of a class that Inuzuka recently led at the Kellogg Eye Center at the University of Michigan, the artist said: "We had such fun discovering a source of creativity that transcends any visual impairment. One family member reported to me later that attending the workshop was a tremendous morale booster for the patient." Through the workshop, titled Art for the Senses, Inuzuka hoped to convey the realization that memory and the sense of touch are sufficient for creating meaningful artwork.

Sadashi Inuzuka has exhibited throughout the world and has received numerous awards and fellowships, including the Canada Council for the Arts Mid-Career Creation/Production Grant (2001) and the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design Distinguished Alumni Award (2000). One installation, titled Nature of Things, inspired a collaborative lecture at the University of Michigan, in which Inuzuka and a Ph.D. candidate and specialist in invertebrate paleontology discussed the parallels in their two seemingly disparate endeavors. He is an Assistant Professor of Ceramics at the University of Michigan School of Art and Design,

The Student Art Alliance, a funded member of the Student Association, sponsors the Art Lecture Series. For information on other arts events at SUNY New Paltz go to www.newpaltz.edu/artsnews.

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Images of selected works are available on the Web at www.newpaltz.edu/news/images/inuzuka.html. Call 845-257-3872 for other sizes or resolutions.