WMU News

Sculptures by art alumna on exhibit in Gallery II

Oct. 2, 2005

KALAMAZOO--Gallery II in Sagren Hall at Western Michigan University is featuring a sculpture exhibition by Dora Natella, a WMU School of Art alumna, Monday, Oct. 3, through Thursday, Oct. 27. The free public exhibit is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

Natella's art is well-known to the Kalamazoo community through the sculptures that have been commissioned by WMU and the piece that was on loan to Sculpture Tour. She will be a visiting artist at WMU Oct. 6 to 8, during which she will conduct a life-casting workshop at the Knollwood Art Annex from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. On Thursday, Oct. 6, she will give a slide lecture on her work at 7 p.m. in Room 1213 of Sangren Hall.

Natella was born in Maracay, Venezuela, in 1956 to a family of immigrant Italians, but was mainly raised and educated in Italy. In 1980, she moved to the United States for advanced studies in bronze casting techniques. She earned an Master of Fine Arts degree in sculpture at WMU in 1986.

Having more than one place to call home has given Natella a broad perspective about people, their cultures and their experiences. Having artistic roots in both Italy and the United States is the key to her artistic identity through the contemporary style of her figurative sculpture, which is approached from a classical background.

"My sculpture is mainly focused on the female figure and addresses fundamental aspects of my own experiences as a woman," says Natella. "These experiences inform the conceptual essence and formal qualities of my art. Many of my images have a dual quality of being both serene and anguished. The white tone, in some of my sculpture, implies a coolness, distance and detachment that removes the figures from ordinary existence. The result is a sculpture that is sensual, distant and impassioned, yet meticulously observed.

"These sculptures, along with their placement in a surrounding environment, evoke universal ideas relating to the human condition. With my work I strive to inspire and support the fellowship of all women artists. As an artist and a teacher, I strongly share their vision. With my creative practice I strive to inspire younger generations, provide mentorship and promote awareness about the diverse contributions of women artists to our culture."

Natella is an assistant professor of fine arts and sculpture area coordinator at Indiana University South Bend. She has an extensive national and international exhibition record that includes numerous solo and group shows in the United States and abroad. In 2000, she did a large sculpture installation at the CEVAZ, Centro Venezolano-Americano del Estado Zulia in Maracaibo, Venezuela, and in 1997, she showed at Museo de Arte Moderno in Merida, Venezuela. Her large-scale sculptures have been displayed in various outdoor venues throughout the United States, including "Pier Walk," on Chicago's Navy Pier and at Brookgreen Gardens in South Carolina.

For additional information, contact the School of Art Exhibitions Office at (269) 387-2455.

Media contact: Jackie Ruttinger, (269) 387-2455, jacquelyn.ruttinger@wmich.edu

WMU News
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