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Assemblage: Re-Membering
with Leslie Iwai

Leslie Iwai

Leslie Iwai creates artwork inhabiting the space between architecture, sculpture and performance. Her conceptual work represents connections found through research, prayer, discussion and observation, inviting the viewer to experience nature and justice in a unique way. Leslie’s artistic process explores underlying design and geometry found within diverse materials, from concrete and feathers, to paper, fabric and wax. A teaching artist, she gently evokes transformation of her students’ visions into physical form.

Iwai returned to her Nebraska roots and began her art practice in 2001 after completing a degree in Mathematics and Chemistry from Wayne State College in Nebraska and a Master of Architecture degree at Virginia Tech. She won her first public art commission for her sculptural work, “Sounding Stones” in Omaha, Nebraska (2002). After traveling to Sierra Leone and Romania, Iwai’s art took a new direction, yielding solo exhibits which include, “Chambers: Gleaning in Cracks of Light” at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, “Fee! Fie! Foe! Fum!” at the Museum of Nebraska Art, and “Timekeeper: Anachronism & Chrysalis” at Briar Cliff College.  In 2010, Ms. Iwai won the Omaha Entertainment and Art Award for the Best Visual Artist and Best New Media Artist for her solo exhibit “Holding My Horses”.

Relocating to Middleton, Wisconsin in 2011, Iwai has been a part of several groups and solo exhibitions including, “Be:Longing,” “Stations of the Cross,” and “Interstitial Garden.”  Currently, her work is included in the traveling exhibits, “Come to the Table” through CIVA (Christians In the Visual Arts) and “The Residents” through Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts.  As a 2015 artist in residence at AIR Serenbe in Georgia, Iwai embarked on a new body of work inspired by a groundbreaking discovery in cellular division at the Carbone Cancer Research Center at the University of Wisconsin.

Assemblage: Re-Membering

This workshop will focus on art making as an act of re-membering, i.e bringing disparate and broken pieces and places into a new form of wholeness as well as honoring significant moments in our individual and community lives. Certain stories come to mind: i.e. Miraculous multiplication of the fish and the loaves, Jacob’s stone for a pillow after seeing the ladder connecting to heaven, the pouring of nard from the alabaster jar, the act of communion.

There will be an opportunity for collaborative, installation-based art-making

Read + Reflect: We will read and reflect  on selected scriptural passages (see above for possibilities).

Sketch + Collect: We will go out and about on campus to gather materials and sketch for inspiration and to add to our own and collective assemblage materials.

Share + Prepare: We will work on sharing ideas for individual projects, sharing gathered materials and preparing our materials.

Divide + Multiply: Based on the strength in making multiples to form larger wholes,  students will be encouraged to work in either a group context in a multiple-making endeavor or as an individual part of their project.

Re-Member + Reveal: Students will bring forth the new form from the multiple created parts to form individual as well as a collaborative, collective whole.

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