Wendy Maruyama, furniture maker and educator, delves into matters of ethnicity, gender and world issues in her studio in San Diego, CA. Born an American of Japanese heritage, Maruyama satisfied her artistic passions by becoming an important furniture maker in a field dominated by men and in the process, overcame challenges related to her deafness and disability.
Her early work was steeped in feminism and traditional craft, maturing into narrative sculpture infused with intensely personal social issues. In 2012, “Executive Order 9066” and “The Tag Project,” bodies of work about the forcible relocation of Japanese American citizens during WWII, traveled widely in the US. Most recently, the artist’s “wildLIFE Project” focuses public attention on wildlife poaching, particularly the endangerment of African elephants and rhinoceroses.
Maruyama is one of the first two women to receive a Masters of Fine Arts in Furniture Design at the Rochester Institute of Technology, NY and has been a professor of woodworking and furniture design for over thirty years. She has exhibited work nationally and internationally, with solo and group shows at The Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston, MA, Savannah College of Art and Design, GA, and the Fuller Museum of Craft, MA, among others. Her work can be found in many national and international museum collections and is represented by the Sparks Gallery, San Diego, CA.