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Evocative Tales inside a Snowglobe: The Photographs and Sculptures of Walter Martin and Paloma Munoz

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Gazing at the shimmering magic of snowfall is mesmerizing. Whether it's outside your window or inside a snow globe, the experience can be transcendent, allowing the viewer to enter a quiet world of dreams and mysteries. In their recent work, collaborators Walter Martin and Paloma Munoz subvert the cheerful conventions of the snowglobe by constructing desolate and sometimes sinister snowscapes.

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Martin and Munoz have been invited by the Student Art Alliance at SUNY New Paltz to discuss their provocative sculpture and photography on Wednesday, March 2 at 7:30 p.m. in Lecture Center Room 102 at the State University of New York at New Paltz. The lecture is free and open to all.

Within the six-inch sphere snowglobes, viewers discover a topography of snow-clad hills, dead tress, and boulders, occupied by small plastic people. But instead of an unfolding enchanting story, Martin and Munoz set up evocative tales of lonesome travelers in a frozen wilderness.

The travelers, many times dressed in business suits, carry suitcases, backpacks or briefcases. Two men greet each other, one tipping his hat while the other removes his head; a little schoolgirl finds her path blocked by a bald man in a shirt and tie; a stocky man dangles a young boy over a well, while others seem to pay homage to a businessman standing on a pedestal. When the globes are jostled, snow gently falls on these unsettling scenarios. Martin and Munoz also create large engaging photographs of the scenes they have constructed.

"Like fairy tales or dreams, the tiny tableaus work as psychological metaphors: specifically, a stage everyone is bound to enter when life has lost its warmth and promise, at which point finding a new way becomes desperately urgent." Ken Johnson, art critic

To their credit, Martin and Munoz have shared numerous solo and group exhibitions at locations including PPOW, Galerie Academia, Salzburg, Austria; Galeria Moriarty, Madrid, Spain; and Main Line Art Center, Pennsylvania. Their sculptures and installations have been exhibited at the Wilshire/Normandie Metro Rail Station, California; MetroSpective at City Hall Park and Grand Central Terminal, New York; and several other public sites. Their work is in the collections of the Walker Art Center for the Arts; Miami Museum of Art; The Hunter Museum of American Arts; Aperture Foundation; and the Museum of Art and Design.

Walter Martin and Paloma Munoz's lecture is sponsored by the Student Art Alliance, a funded member of the Student Association at SUNY New Paltz. Admission to the lecture is free and open to all. For further information call (845) 257-3872 or visit www.newpaltz.ed/artsnews

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