Profile of Wendy Maruyama

Wendy Maruyama is an artist and educator from San Diego, CA. She was the first woman to graduate with a Masters in furniture making from Rochester Institute of Technology. Maruyama’s early work combined ideologies of feminism and traditional craft objects. Her work continues to move beyond the boundaries of traditional studio craft and into the realm of social practice. The wildLIFE project serves to illustrate the plight of elephants and rhinoceros, a cause that is very personal for Maruyama. She took a sojourn to Africa last year and met with zoologists and wildlife advocates to investigate the dangers of continued poaching of both elephants and rhinos. In recent years her work has taken a narrative direction, integrating images and text into shrine-like cabinet forms which add an additional layer of sensory experience for the viewer. Maruyama was an artist in residence at Pilchuck Glass School in May 2013 and worked with both cold and hot glass for this body of work. The exhibition is made up of object-based works combined with a societal message about the dangers of poaching and the need to preserve animals in the wild. Maruyama has exhibited her work nationally, with solo shows in New York City, San Francisco, Scottsdale AZ, Indianapolis, IN Savannah GA, and Easthampton, NY. She has also exhibited in Tokyo, Seoul and London. Her work is included in permanent collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Dallas Art Museum, Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston, AUS; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA; Museum of Craft and Design, New York, NY; Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, NC; Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, MA; Mingei International Museum, San Diego, CA; and the Oakland Museum of Art, Oakland, CA.

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