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Artist Sayaka Ganz turns the discarded into creatures of beauty in Beach Museum of Art exhibition

Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017

"Emergence," created in 2013 by Sayaka Ganz

"Emergence," created in 2013 by Sayaka Ganz, is made from reclaimed plastic objects, painted steel and aluminum, hardware, wire and cable ties. The work is 6 feet by 7 feet by 7 feet. Photography is copyrighted Act4.co.


MANHATTAN — Artist Sayaka Ganz transforms discarded plastic objects into sculptures brimming with energy. She hopes her creations will inspire viewers to rethink the way our society uses and discards material objects.

Ganz's work will be featured in the exhibition "Reclaimed Creations: Sayaka Ganz," which runs Sept. 5-Dec. 19 in the Marion Pelton Gallery at Kansas State University's Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art.

The sculptures of birds, animals and marine life included in the exhibition incorporate discarded plastic objects such as kitchen utensils and clothes hangers. Ganz's aim is to impart new life to such items by transforming them into wildlife forms.

"I get my inspiration from nature and from the movement that we find in nature," said Ganz, who describes her reuse of found materials as "3-D impressionism."

Her recycled objects appear like brush strokes, looking separated up close, but unified at a distance.

"My work is about perceiving harmony, even in situations that appear chaotic from the inside," Ganz said. "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."

A resident of Indiana, Ganz grew up living in Japan, Brazil and Hong Kong. She has a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Her work has been displayed at the Hermann Geiger Foundation in Cecina, Italy, and the Isle Gallery on the Isle of Man. Her commissions include a series of four marine life sculptures at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California, and an underwater scene of a whale and various schools of fish in the atrium of the Exploration Tower at Port Canaveral, Florida.

Ganz also has lectured widely and taught design and drawing courses at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. She is the subject of the video "Sayaka Ganz: Danz Della Natura," produced by the Hermann Geiger Foundation and available online at player.vimeo.com/video/62684324.

The tour of "Sayaka Ganz: Reclaimed Creations" is produced by David J. Wagner LLC, and David J. Wagner, Ph.D., curator and tour director.

The Beach Museum of Art's exhibition of "Reclaimed Creations" is made possible in part by a grant from the Caroline Peine Charitable Foundation/The Manhattan Fund, Bank of America NA, trustee.

The Beach Museum of Art is offering several public activities related to the "Sayaka Ganz: Reclaimed Creations" exhibition; all events are free and take place at the museum:

• Recycled Art Welcome Back Night for K-State students is scheduled for 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 7. Students are invited to create sculptures from recycled materials for a temporary display in the museum. Activities, door prizes and refreshments will be available.

• The museum will host the K-State Family Day Open House on Sustainability, with a Recycled Art Workshop from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14. Special guests from the university's Office of Sustainability, landscape architecture and regional & community planning department, natural resources and environmental sciences program, and K-State Research and Extension will be on hand.

• An artist talk by Ganz will be at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 9. She will discuss the environmental concerns that motivate her to incorporate discarded plastic objects in her wildlife sculptures. A reception will follow.

The Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art, 14th Street and Anderson Avenue, is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free and free parking is available adjacent to the museum.


Sayaka Ganz's "Uta," or "Humpback Whale," from 2013

Sayaka Ganz's "Uta," or "Humpback Whale," from 2013, is reclaimed blue, white and translucent plasticware, powder coated aluminum, wire and cable ties. The work is 8 feet by 10 feet by 13 feet. Photography is copyrighted by Valentina Ragozzino.


Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art


Sayaka is SAY-yah-kah


Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art