Art Exhibit by Maura Schaffer to be Displayed at Wabash

by Karen Handley

October 19, 2005

Get directions to Wabash College Fine Arts Center

The Wabash College Art Department announces the opening of an exhibition featuring artist, Maura Schaffer. The exhibit opens Monday, October 24, and continues through Friday, December 9.

The exhibit called "Nightblue Fruit" combines multimedia elements with sculptural forms to create a dreamlike environment. Stars made of wire and spandex take on an animated and surreal quality when placed in an open "landscape" with projections and sound. In the exhibit there will be video and sound, a clock, and some other brown fabric that will be on the floor.

Schaffer was inspired to create this art form when a drawing by her five-year old daughter immediately recalled a quote from Joyce’s Ulysses. "What spectacle confronted them when they, first the host, then the guest, emerged silently, doubly dark, from obscurity by a passage from the rear of the house into the penumbra of the garden? The heaventree of stars hung with humid nightblue fruit."

"I began to imagine the heaventree of stars and what imagery Joyce was invoking in that line, Schaffer said. My daughter’s drawing seemed so fresh and vibrant and I just felt that the juxtaposition of the two ideas was the basis for further exploration." The exhibit invites the audience to explore the cycle of life and death and the illusion of time.

"Each piece of art that I create is a specific memory rendered by familiar objects and materials. Ideas about relationships and social mores are embedded within these memories. The images I use are often architectural, specifically the domestic space. In my early work, walls, windows, doors, and stairs are transformed as they are situated within the context of the human body."

Schaffer is currently an adjunct professor of sculpture at Purdue University. She is the recipient of the Individual Artist Program Grant by the Indiana Arts Commission for 2004-2005. For more information about the artist go to

The artist will be on hand for the opening from 8 to 9:30 p.m. Monday, October 24 in the Eric Dean Gallery of the Fine Arts Center at Wabash College. The event is free and open to the public and refreshments will be served. The hours for the Eric Dean Gallery are Monday through Friday from 8-5 p.m. and Saturday from 10-2 p.m. Admission is free.


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