Kittredge Gallery Opens its New Season with Two Sculpture Exhibitions

August 20, 2009

Kittredge Gallery opens its new season with two exhibitions that explore the medium of sculpture.

Paul Vexler: Wood and Space Maki Tamura: Constellations Aug. 31-Oct. 3, 2009

Paul Vexler's wood sculptures blend geometry with organic form, creating sculptures that appear to move and breathe. Drawing from his 35-year career as a carpenter and contractor, and a lifelong fascination with both natural and manmade structures, Vexler reveals the beauty and symmetry often overlooked in the world around us through his fluid sculptures. He says: "I want people to approach my work and feel compelled to walk around it. I want them to walk around two or three times because the work is helping them learn to see things that they missed the first time. And most of all I want them to experience the pleasure of seeing something beautiful."

Though Vexler only began working full time as a sculptor in 2006, his works have found a ready audience. His most recent solo exhibition was held at the Bellevue Arts Museum earlier this year. The works on view in Wood and Space include both recent pedestal-size sculptures and larger wall and floor pieces installed so that viewers can move around them and experience them from varied viewpoints.

Maki Tamura presents a suite of five sculptures that are suspended from the ceiling, each bearing intricate clusters of pictorial tablets. Crafted out of heavy watercolor paper, they take the forms of tree branches, Baroque garden pavilions, beehives, a circus tent, and stars in the sky. These organic and architectural forms serve as ornate armatures for delicate watercolor images, housed within the three-dimensional picture frames. The highly decorative surfaces and playful tone belie the intensive labor that went into their construction.

The works were inspired by Tamura's memories of growing up in Indonesia, and the visual clamor of cultures, colors, religions, and other imagery she saw daily on the streets. Through these works, Tamura investigates irreverent approaches to displaying pictures, methods of presentation that are precious and subversive, traditional and contemporary. The exhibition also will include her early sculpture Domestique (2001), a large, working clock made of paper. Together with the suite of sculptures, Tamura hopes to create a space in which the viewers navigate through past and the present, the formal and the capricious. Tamura lives in Seattle, and shows her work at James Harris Gallery as well as nationally.

Both exhibitions will be open to the public on Aug. 31; an opening reception will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 2, from 4 to 6 p.m. Both artists plan to attend the opening and also will be speaking about their work during the run of the exhibition. Please check our Web site or call the gallery for further details.

Kittredge Gallery serves as a teaching tool for the art department and a cultural resource for both the university and the community at large, exhibiting work by noted regional and national artists. Exhibits and talks are free and open to the public.

Kittredge Gallery Location: University of Puget Sound, N. 15th St. at N. Lawrence St., Tacoma, WA


Regular Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday; noon-5 p.m., Saturday*

*Please note that the gallery is closed on Sunday and during university holidays.


For additional information call the art department at 253.879.2806.

Print-quality photos are available on the University of Puget Sound Web site at