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New exhibit at Idaho Falls museum draws attention to beauty found in reclaimed objects

Arts & Entertainment

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Photos of ‘Sayaka Ganz: Reclaimed Objects’ exhibit by Adam Forsgren

A new exhibit at the Art Museum of Eastern Idaho in Idaho Falls shows the beauty and possibilities that can be found in everyday objects that have been discarded.

The exhibit, “Sayaka Ganz: Reclaimed Objects,” features colorful sculptures depicting animals in motion composed out of everything from kitchen utensils to old toys the artist, Sayaka Ganz, has collected. The sculptures capture the energy and motion of creatures in the wild while also exemplifying how new life can be given to household items we don’t use anymore.

The exhibit also includes prints that help to buttress the ideas Ganz is presenting in her art. Together, the prints and sculptures help to link the beauty of nature to the effect mankind is having on the planet.

Making art from scraps has fascinated Ganz since she was young.

“I’ve always been very interested in scrap materials,” she told “I think part of that is because when I was growing up, my mom always had so many different craft hobbies, and she would always give me her scrap materials. I have vivid memories of playing with all these scrap things, and I was a child that loved jigsaw puzzles and other types of puzzles. So I think piecing shapes together came very naturally to me, and I really enjoy that process.”

Ganz’s process involves building metal armatures to serve as the foundations for her sculptures. From there, she fastens objects to the armatures, often cutting larger objects down to fit more soundly into her vision. The results are works that render the motion, energy and velocity of natural creatures in ways that preserve their beauty and textures.

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Ganz said that once she has her armatures, the process of completing her sculptures happens in a fairly organic way.

“That part of the process is very spontaneous,” she said. “I tend to start with a large pile of materials of the color that I need. I just kind of fit them together intuitively like a puzzle. I tend to start with the larger objects that can only go in certain spots on the body, and I use them as a starting point. But then what happens is that towards the end, those objects I put on the armature at the beginning almost always have to come off at the end.”

“My process is really focused on the movement of the animal,” she added. “I use the found objects almost like brushstrokes as I’m describing the surface of the animal’s body but also the movement.”

Ganz also said she hopes the public comes away from “Reclaimed Objects” with an appreciation for the possibilities hidden within the things we throw away.

“The most important message that I want people to receive is just how beautiful these plastics can be and the potential of things that are considered waste,” she said. “I want to elevate (found objects) as a material. For all the environmental messages I send out, I think it’s all naturally going to happen if we can associate more value with these items that, right now, we find so easy to just toss away.”

“Sayaka Ganz: Reclaimed Creations” is currently on display at The Art Museum of Eastern Idaho now through October 2. Visit the museum’s website or Facebook page for more information.

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