February 2014

De Saisset Explores Water and Food Issues, and 3-D printing

Santa Clara, Calif. Feb. 10, 2014-- The de Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University is taking a bite out of some major food and water issues in two new exhibits and the community is invited to pull up a chair. “A Serving of Shapes” and “Sip. Do Not Gulp.” are on display now through March 16.

A Serving of Shapes” by artist Corrine Takara is largely comprised of designs created by the public at a series of 3-D printing workshops held in January. Takara encouraged community members to design an object that reflects the history of food in the Santa Clara region or their personal relationship, experiences, and associations with food. Takara and de Saisset Museum Curator Lindsey Kouvaris chose 44 designs to print and display. In addition to the 3-D objects, the exhibition honors the creative process with the inclusion of digitally printed tablecloths that incorporate all of the designs submitted at the workshops.

“I really wanted to play with the contrast in the region’s agricultural past with our technology-infused present in this exhibit,” says Takara. “We’re not only hoping to grab people’s attention with the exciting new process of 3-D printing, but also get them to reflect on how we think about food daily.”

Sip. Do Not Gulp.” is a site-specific installation exploring the importance of water to Santa Clara Valley’s agriculture and is especially relevant given the current drought in California. Artist Michele Guieu calls attention to shifting patterns of water usage through the history of the valley, the increase in water use over time, and how water availability has changed with the introduction of agriculture and later modern technology and infrastructure. Kouvaris says the exhibit is about more than just an increase in how much water is used.

“Visitors have the opportunity to engage in a serious conversation about one of our most precious resources. Over the years, the climate in Santa Clara Valley has changed naturally from one that was very wet to one that is arid and plagued by drought, but we haven't adjusted our water usage accordingly. We act as if water is an unlimited resource when it's not," says Kouvaris.

A mural designed specifically for the de Saisset spans three walks. Using pointed text and bold color, the mural outlines the Valley’s rich history and relationship with water. It also calls attention to some potentially uncomfortable truths about how human behavior wastes the supply.

In addition to the mural, Guieu’s installation includes a documentary video that brings together four distinct voices to address water concerns from a range of perspectives: Andrea Blum, chef and writer; James Famiglietti, professor of earth system science and civil and environmental engineering at University of California, Irvine; Edward Mauer, associate professor of civil engineering at Santa Clara University; Ann Marie Sayers, Ohlone storyteller and tribal chair of Indian Canyon.

The exhibit runs now to March 16. To encourage dialogue among visitors, “Sip. Do Not Gulp.” is designed to be interactive. Museum visitors are invited to share stories, commentary, and reflections on the role of water in our lives by posting comments directly onto the surface of the mural.

A reception for both exhibits will be held the night of Feb. 13 and is open to the public staring at 7pm. For more information visit: www.scu.edu/desaisset/exhibitions/current.cfm

Media Contact: Lindsey Kouvaris lkouvaris@scu.edu 408-554-4528

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