‘Reclaimed Creations’ opening reception tonight

The opening reception for the sculptural exhibit “Reclaimed Creations” will be hosted from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 15 at the Historic City Hall Arts and Cultural Center.

The exhibition opened earlier this month, featuring Sayaka Ganz, a 48-year old Japanese sculptor. Her sculptural style is described as “3D impressionism.” In this collection, she reclaims plastic objects and uses them “like brush strokes” to create dynamic sculptures that shape-shift based on the proximity of the viewer. 

In her artist statement, she explained that she wanted to explore the meaning of perspective with her sculptures tangibly.

“My work is about perceiving harmony, even in situations that appear chaotic from the inside. When observing my sculptures up close, one might see gaps, holes and items being held on only by small points; step away, however, and the sculptures reveal the harmony created when the objects are aligned to the same general, but not identical, direction. Similarly, it is important to gain perspective by stepping back from current problems and look at the larger picture. Then one can perceive the beauty and patterns that exist.”

Amanda Donaldson, director of cultural affairs, City of Lake Charles, said that installing the sculptural pieces in the gallery was a new experience, as it “demands a little bit more to enhance the viewer’s experience.”

“Our exhibitions team worked very carefully suspending most of Sayaka Ganz’s 3D artworks in the air. We also included our friend from Gallery by the Lake, Inc. to assist in this installation due to the complexity and electrical components in some of the pieces.”

This exhibition was chosen as a “perfect introduction to springtime” in Southwest Louisiana, she said.

Ganz said in her statement that it was a goal to bring the natural world to audiences. In “Reclaimed Creations,” Ganz created images of animals in motion that are “rich in color and energy that create an illusion of form.”

“When we encounter the true wonders of nature, the beauty we behold transcends our intellect and reaches directly to our hearts. … I desire a similar response from viewers of my work; to provoke a re-examination of our relationship to the natural world.” 

This goal extends past the animals depicted in the sculptures. She goes on to describe how growing up with the Shinto animist belief that everything in the world has a spirit has influenced her to use reclaimed objects in her work. 

“When I see discarded items on the street or thrift store shelves, I feel a sadness for them and I am moved to make these abandoned objects happy.”

Donaldson said that Ganz’s passion to reclaim objects is not only based in the desire to give objects new life, but also to reduce waste through reuse.

“We hope our visitors feel inspired by Reclaimed Creations as well as give more thought to properly disposing of recyclable materials. It is no coincidence our City is relaunching Team Green this year.”

Ganz’s current working material choice is plastic because of the variety in color and shape. She said she mostly uses household objects.

At the exhibit, there will be a scavenger hunt for guests that encourages them to look at each creation closely.

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 16, a collaborative community art project will be hosted by Ganz at the Historic City Hall. The workshop is geared toward children (but all are welcome) and will allow guests to create their own piece of a large coral structure using reclaimed and recycled materials.

Both the opening reception and community art project will be free and open to the public.

The Historic City Hall, 1001 Ryan St., is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is always free. 

Sayaka Ganz

Ganz originates from Yokohama, Japan and grew up in Japan, Brazil and Hong Kong. She came to America and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Indiana University in Bloomington and a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture from Bowling Green University in Ohio. In the time period between 2002 and 2012, she taught design and drawing courses at Indiana University – Purdue University in Indianapolis.

Her sculptures have been featured internationally, including at the Hermann Geiger Foundation in Cecina, Italy and the Isle Gallery in the Isle of Man – a self-governing British Crown Dependency in the Irish Sea. She has also commissioned a series of four, marine-life sculptures for the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California, and two permanent installations. One of these permanent sculptures is housed in the atrium of the Exploration Town in Port Canaveral, Florida, and the other in the lobby of the Cimer Spa at the Paradise Resort in Incheon, Korea.

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