Letters

Letters 09-07-2015

DEJA VUE Traverse City faces the same question as faced by Ann Arbor Township several years ago. A builder wanted to construct a 250-student Montessori school on 7.78 acres. The land was zoned for suburban residential use. The proposed school building was permissible as a “conditional use.”

The Court Overreached Believe it or not, everyone who disagrees with the court’s ruling on gay marriage isn’t a hateful bigot. Some of us believe the Supreme Court simply usurped the rule of law by legislating from the bench...

Some Diversity, Huh? Either I’ve been misled or misinformed about the greater Traverse City area. I thought that everyone there was so ‘all inclusive’ and open to other peoples’ opinions and, though one may disagree with said person, that person was entitled to their opinion(s)...

Defending Good People I was deeply saddened to read Colleen Smith’s letter [in Aug. 24 issue] regarding her boycott of the State Theater. I know both Derek and Brandon personally and cannot begin to understand how someone could express such contempt for them...

Not Fascinating I really don’t understand how you can name Jada Johnson a fascinating person by being a hunter. There are thousands of hunters all over the world, shooting by gun and also by arrow; why is she so special? All the other people listed were amazing...

Back to Mayberry A phrase that is often used to describe the amiable qualities that make Traverse City a great place to live is “small-town charm,” conjuring images of life in 1940s small-town America. Where everyone in Mayberry greets each other by name, job descriptions are simple enough for Sarah Palin to understand, and milk is delivered to your door...

Don’t Be Threatened The August 31 issue had 10 letters(!) blasting a recent writer for her stance on gay marriage and the State Theatre. That is overkill. Ms. Smith has a right to her opinion, a right to comment in an open forum such as Northern Express...

Treat The Sickness Thank you to Grant Parsons for the editorial exposing the uglier residual of the criminalizing of drug use. Clean now, I struggled with addiction for a good portion of my adult life. I’ve never sold drugs or committed a violent crime, but I’ve been arrested, jailed, and eventually imprisoned. This did nothing but perpetuate shame, alienation, loss and continued use...

About A Girl -- Not Consider your audience, Thomas Kachadurian (“About A Girl” column). Preachy opinion pieces don’t change people’s minds. Example: “My view on abortion changed…It might be time for the rest of the country to catch up.” Opinion pieces work best when engaging the reader, not directing the reader...

Disappointed I am disappointed with the tone of many of the August 31 responses to Colleen Smith’s Letter to the Editor from the previous week. I do not hold Ms. Smith’s opinion; however, if we live in a diverse community, by definition, people will hold different views, value different things, look and act different from one another...

Free Will To Love I want to start off by saying I love Northern Express. It is well written, unbiased and always a pleasure to read. I am sorry I missed last month’s article referred to in the Aug. 24 letter titled, “No More State Theater.”

Home · Articles · News · Art · The World is Plastic:...
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The World is Plastic: Ultra-Realistic Sculpture at Dennos Museum

Andy Taylor - July 15th, 2004
Within the annals of the National Basketball Association’s history there is an amusing story about one of its most revered players. The legendary Michael Jordan was in Milwaukee one day for a game and went to check in at the arena when he was snubbed by one of its employees: a security guard who goes by the name of ‘Art.’
“Michael Jordan came in one day and began signing in and even started talking to ‘Art’... there was no response. So Michael went over to the management and he said, ‘I don’t know what this guy’s problem is. I tried to be nice to him, I tried to talk to him and he’s just sitting there. The guy’s a jerk. I just wanted you to know,’” artist Marc Sijan said in a 2002 interview for the Milwaukee Catholic Herald.
What Jordan didn’t know was that ‘Art’ was literally his namesake: he’s a sculpture. ‘Art’ is one of Sijan’s Ultra-Realistic sculptures modeled after a living human being.

CAUGHT OFF GUARD
This summer the Dennos Museum Center, on campus at Northwestern Michigan College, is hosting the second edition of an exhibit by Sijan that features 11 of his extremely life-like sculptures. It’s been really popular so far.
Everyone of all ages [likes it]. It does catch people off-guard. Even some of the staff here can’t get used to them. It’s been a lot of fun, especially to watch the kids go up and touch them and understand that they are sculptures,” says Kathleen Buday, curator of education and interpretation for Dennos Museum.
Buday also says that the sculptures are having the same effect on area visitors as they did on Mr. Jordan. “One visitor did come in when we were setting it up so not everything was [displayed] and they see the people in their bathing suits out in the sculpture court and they’re like, ‘Who is that?’” she says. “It really intrigues people and just fascinates them that [artists] can actually do this with just paint and polyester resin.”
The sculptures are so detailed, in fact, that it takes Sijan about six months to complete each one. He looks for all the imperfections in the skin - anything from goose-bumps, color, sunburn, birth marks and age spots - and works a plaster mold with special tools and a magnifying glass to make them match. The plaster mold is taken from an actual person who Sijan chooses to be the model for his sculpture.

25 COATS OF PAINT
After the plaster is completed Sijan casts the sculpture in polyester resin. Then he applies around 25 coats of paint, with a touch of varnish, in order to make the realistic flesh tones. After this, he uses oil paint for the final stages. “The goal is to achieve depth, yet translucency. It can’t be flat. The chest and throat texture is different from that of the arms, legs and stomach. Facial skin differs from that of the torso,” Sijan says.
He takes his inspiration for the sculptures from Michelangelo’s David. Sijan was taken with the renaissance artist’s attention to detail and to anatomy. “The human figure is one of the most challenging subjects to work with. I am working to develop a niche of my own where I can develop a believable figurative sculpture that works not only on a visual level, but on a deeper more emotional level,” he says. “It’s interesting, this fascination. The human form is the oldest artistic subject - it was the first subject known to man. We just keep interpreting it, over and over.”
Sijan began his study of the arts at the University of Wisconsin and graduated in 1968 and then completed his Master of Science in Arts degree three years later. After this period, he spent seven years teaching in Milwaukee’s public schools. During this time he would teach at the school and then work in his studio at night. He is now a full-time artist and spends upwards of 80 hours a week working in his studio. He has participated in over 40 one-person museum exhibits that have traveled all over North America.
His exhibits have been extremely popular in the past. According to Buday, Dennos Museum Curator Gene Jenneman came up with the idea of having the exhibit when he heard about how popular it was at a museum in St. Joseph, Michigan. “I believe that he originally heard about it from St. Joseph’s museum. They had his exhibition a year or so ago and it was hugely popular,” Buday says. She also says that the exhibit has been a nice change of pace for the museum. “Every so often we like to have more fun type of exhibits like this. It’s a lot of fun. It’s a nice change for the summer because of the tourists that come through. It’s not as heavy,” she comments.
The sculpture exhibit runs through September 5 and museum hours are from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily and from 1 - 5 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is $4 for adults and $2 for children. For more information
visit www.dennosmuseum.org or call
231-995-1055.





 
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