Sculpture Transformed: The Work of Marjorie Schick
January 12, 2008 – March 16, 2008
For four decades Marjorie Schick, a professor at Pittsburg State University, has influenced the worlds of crafts and jewelry in the United States and abroad. Her “body sculptures,” which combine aspects of jewelry and sculpture, place her in the first wave of crossover artists of the 1960s who combined the crafts with the traditional arts such as painting and sculpture. Always conceived with the human form in mind, Schick’s challenging works are brilliantly colored and simultaneously tactile, ornamental, and performance-like.
Sixty-seven objects in the exhibition “Sculpture Transformed: The Work of Marjorie Schick” trace the artist’s career and influence. Schick’s early work, including oversize armlets, cloaks, helmets, and masks, reflects the revolutionary spirit in culture and society of the 1960s and 1970s. Her 1980s “drawings to wear,” which secured her international fame, find form in later art inspired by nature, domestic objects, and language. A portion of brick sidewalk becomes a cloak in homage to the brick in Schick’s adopted home of Pittsburg; a Shaker ladderback chair becomes a body sculpture; and a suite of necklaces—each commemorating a year in Schick’s life—snake across the floor in a sculptural installation.
K-State professor of art history Glen Brown has long had an interest in Schick’s work. “I think it’s great to have the exhibition here,” he says. “It’s a rare opportunity, but it shouldn’t be, because she’s so close. It will be a great chance to see major work right here in the state.” Brown recently contributed an essay to the book, Sculpture to Wear: the Jewelry of Marjorie Schick. In 1999, he also wrote, Marjorie Schick: Engaging Memory, for the spring edition of Ornament magazine.
A native of Illinois, Schick began teaching at Pittsburg State in 1967. She earned her bachelor’s degree in art education from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and a master’s of fine art in jewelry and metalsmithing from Indiana University at Bloomington. While working on her master’s, Schick studied with contemporary metalsmith Alma Eikerman. In 2000, Schick was named a fellow of the American Craft Council, which recognized her devotion to experimentation.
“In our postmodern era, Marjorie Schick has remained conceptual without ever being austere, agenda-driven or ironic,” writes the exhibition curator, Tacey A. Rosolowski, a former Smithsonian Institution Fellow at the Renwick Gallery. “Her work provides thought and reaction while inspiring wonder, playful curiosity and sensual joy.”
Schick will be at the Beach Museum of Art Friday, February 1 to give a talk about her work.
Sculpture Transformed: The Work of Marjorie Schick and its tour are organized by International Arts and Artists, Washington, DC in cooperation with the curator, Tacey A. Rosolowski, and Marjorie Schick. Further information related to the exhibit can be found at www.artsandartists.org.