There was standing-room-only as the audience packed the Craft in America Center for Wendy Maruyama’s artist talk last Saturday. Maruyama discussed her career from early days experimenting with post-modern furniture, to current installation and social-practice work that engages issues of cultural and political identity. Maruyama charmed the audience, punctuating her talk with humorous moments. The presentation highlighted her ability to infuse three-dimensional constructions with wry commentary on gender, sexuality, tradition, and pop-culture.
After enjoying a birthday cake in celebration of Maruyama’s birthday, visitors had the opportunity to spend time with the artworks in California Masters: State of the Arts. Defying categorization, the objects speak to an atmosphere of experimentation, imagination, and optimism that thrives in the Golden State. From the delicate and sweeping construction of Carol Shaw-Sutton’s lashed willow sculpture, to the delicate surface on Marilyn Da Silva’s metalwork, to the chic design and formal tensions of Tanya Aguiñiga’s rope based furniture, this is an iconic group of artists that showcases the creative possibilities of master craftsmanship and artistry. California Masters will be on view at the Craft in America Center through October 3, 2015.