Artist Leslie Iwai’s brought her art process that incorporates studies in mathematics, chemistry and architecture to the UWL campus community spring semester.

Iwai, an installation artist and sculptor, collaborated with UWL art students and faculty, as well as La Crosse community members on a site-specific sculpture, The Shape of Silver, at the UWL Art Gallery during the 2022 Creative Imperatives festival.

Students called the process of creating the site-specific sculpture fun, inventive and inspiring.

“It’s not always that you get to work with a professional artist when you are a student, so it is really exciting to see the process,” says UWL student Gretchen Fischer.

Iwai designed the sculpture and created templates for its parts. Students and community members screen-printed, traced, cut and assembled the paper components. Metal supports were created by sculpture students.

The project provided hands-on experience creating art from concept through production and then final problem solving to balance and install the giant mobile. The Shape of Silver was a component of Iwai’s installation Winter’s Spring: An Ältere Garten, an exhibition in conjunction with the 2022 Creative Imperatives festival held at UWL.

A celebrated artist with many awards to her credit, Iwai’s work is in numerous private and public collections, including Duncan Aviation and the Omaha Public Art Commission. She has taught in both academic and community settings in Nebraska, Wisconsin, Illinois and New Mexico.

Written by UW-La Crosse

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