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Detail of Immersion by Kathy Venter, on display at IMA from August 29 – December 14, 2015.


Kathy Venter: Immersion
August 29 – December 14, 2015

Opening Reception: August 28, 5:00–8:00 p.m.
Art as a Voice: November 4, 7:00 p.m. at the San Juan Community Theater
Sponsor: The Lester M. and Bernice Smith Foundation

The San Juan Islands Museum of Art (IMA) is excited to announce an installation by Canadian artist Kathy Venter. Venter’s exhibition “Immersion” is an installation of six life-size human figures suspended within the museum’s Atrium Space. Treating the atrium as a body of water, Venter’s figures float through the space, hovering within a moment unaccountable to gravity, sound, or breath .

Venter states: “The sculptures are made from studies of my [live] models underwater. Water refers to another dimension, an altered state of consciousness—the spiritual. Figures in water react differently to sound, light, gravity and movement. The human experience under water is cocoon-like—as if transformed back to the womb and in a private world of its own. The sharpened intent is on the diminished effect of gravity on the figure, the free movement of the limbs and the evidence of the pressure of the surrounding water on clothing, hair and face.”

Kathy Venter is also recognized for her life-size terracotta hand-built sculptures. Meticulously and patiently constructed from pinched clay, she then covers the surfaces with Hydro-stone, which she sandblasts to reveal the clay body underneath. Venter is recognized for her ability to capture the essence of the live model, without sentimentality or idealization, to achieve truly contemporary figurative sculptures.

Kathy Venter was born in South Africa and received her MFA in sculpture from Port Elizabeth School of Art and Design, South Africa. Her work can be found in public and private collections throughout Canada, the US and abroad. She lives in Salt Spring Island, British Columbia. She will deliver a talk for the Art as a Voice lecture series on November 4, 7:00 p.m. at the San Juan Community Theater, Friday Harbor.

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