Saturday, Aug 4, 2018 from 12:00pm to 4:00pm
Maruyama worked with Houston Center for Contemporary Craft curator Elizabeth Koslowski to develop wildLIFE Project, with support from the Windgate Charitable Foundation. The exhibition comes to The Maloof after a five-city national tour, and with a timely twist: In previous installations, visitors saw the artist’s majestic eight- and twelve-foot high elephant masks made of wood and string, and related elements including a glass sarcophagus displaying ceramic elephants and a video program. For the run at The Maloof, Murayama has added a new sculpture of a life-size rhino, designed as a 3D computer model and fabricated using a robotic cutting machine.
Maruyama is thrilled with the added rhino. “I had always wanted to make one but conceived of the idea after the exhibition took off. The idea was on hold until I visited The Maloof’s gallery and thought to myself, that is going to look really great there! “
Maruyama has been making innovative work for more than 40 years. Known at The Maloof primarily as a gifted woodworker, and for her prior leadership of San Diego State University’s premier furniture design program, she has also built her reputation as a feminist and artist who defies easy categorization.
In California Handmade: State of the Arts, an exhibition co-presented in 2016 by Craft in America and the Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation, Maruyama’s work spoke to injustice in the incarceration of US citizens of Japanese ancestry during WWII. She explores this theme further in E.O. 9066, on view through May 27 at the Riverside Art Museum in Riverside, CA. Ingenious sculptures, comprised of thousands of personalized identification tags carrying the names of individual internees, depict a tragic story close to the artist’s heart.
The monumental sculptures in wildLIFE Project demand equal attention. “I think when people see the immense size of these animals, they realize with sadness man’s capabilities of killing and eradicating species for monetary gain. These animals could very well be extinct in 10 years if things don’t change. The West African Black Rhino is already extinct, and all the others are critically endangered.”
Though wildlife Project may seem to be a departure from some past exhibitions at The Maloof, it affirms the institution’s continuing exploration of issues involving sustainability and the environment, which are inextricably linked to the use and appreciation of wood as a natural resource.
The Maloof is a Smithsonian Affiliate, and member of the National Trust’s Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios program. The Maloof Historic Home and Studio are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Maloof is located at 5131 Carnelian St., Rancho Cucamonga, CA.