Sculptor Sachiko Akiyama to continue Chautauqua Visual Arts Lecture Series, discussing craft, process

Sachiko Akiyama

After 2023’s pause on Chautauqua Visual Arts programming, the CVA Lecture Series is well underway this season with a packed schedule of faculty members at the School of Art.

The lecture series aims to bring to light contemporary artists teaching at the School of Art in the broader Chautauqua community, allowing artists and makers to share their artistic practices and work with anyone who is interested.

Continuing the CVA Lecture Series is Sachiko Akiyama, who will be giving a lecture at 6 p.m. tonight in Hultquist Center.

Akiyama, a sculptor, works with wood, primarily carving sculptures portraying animals and people. She is heavily inspired by nature and her surroundings, according to her artistic statement, and is particularly influenced by the ocean, woods and nearby wildlife.

Her figurative sculptures are visceral and captivating, seemingly simple and straightforward in composition from afar. But up close, immense intricacy and attention to detail emerge. Mark-making evoked by the carving process brings depth and visual texture, further drawing the viewer into the piece itself.

Muted and gentle color palettes grace Akiyama’s work, expressing the influences of nature and the outside world within her art. Her figural works, often depicting serenity and solitude, invite viewers to look inward and self-reflect.

The Portsmouth, New Hampshire-based artist received an MFA in sculpture at Boston University and continued her studies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Madison, Maine, according to her artistic statement.

Akiyama will be the fourth lecturer in the series, followed by Susan Lichtman on Wednesday. This lecture is preceded by faculty members Kevin Umaña and Alex Callender, who both have work on display in “Simpatico: Works by 2024 School of Art Faculty,” as well as artist Anina Major, who has work on display in “Making Space: Woven Works.”

Her lecture will focus on her artistic process and her body of work, as well as her process in guiding artists-in-residence who are studying in the School of Art.

Recently, she has had solo exhibitions at Brattleboro Museum and Tracey Morgan Gallery, as well as group exhibitions at Dartmouth College, Inman Gallery and Tiger Strikes Asteroid.

She is the recipient of a Joan Mitchell Fellowship and an Artist Resource Trust Grant, and has participated in artist residencies at Millay Arts and Ucross.

Akiyama has four pieces on view in “Simpatico: Works by 2024 School of Art Faculty,” which is open now through Aug. 11 on the second floor of Fowler-Kellogg Art Center and is curated by Judy Barie, the Susan and John Turben Director of CVA Galleries.

Tags : Chautauqua Visual ArtsChautauqua Visual Arts Lecture SeriesCVASachiko AkiyamaSculptorwood carving

The author Julia Weber

Julia Weber is a rising junior in Ohio University’s Honors Tutorial College where she is majoring in journalism and minoring in art history. Originally from Athens, Ohio, this is her first summer in Chautauqua and she is thrilled to cover the theater and dance performances. She serves as the features editor for Ohio University’s All-Campus Radio Network, a student-run radio station and media hub, and she is a former intern for Pittsburgh Magazine. Outside of her professional life, Julia has a newly adopted cat, Griffin, and she is an avid fan of live music and a dedicated ceramicist.

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