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Sculpture Exhibit by Amy Toscani

By: Maggie Kretzmann

When it comes to art, most people think of drawings and paintings done by popular artists such as Vincent Van Gogh or Pablo Picasso. However, sculptures don’t come to mind when people hear the word “art,” but that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be considered, especially Amy Toscani’s scupltures.

Amy Toscani was born in 1963  in Dayton, Ohio and went to the University of Ohio and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts as well as her Master of Fine Arts. Her works have been shown at the University of Minnesota and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. She finds most of the material from thrift shops and then combines them with reconstructed plastic and metal. Toscani has received Jerome Foundation grants in 1999, 2005 and 2006, a Bush Foundation grant in 2004 and a McKnight Artist Fellowship in 2013/14.

“What I like about these sculptures is that they’re real serious, but they’re also more playful and almost tell jokes,” said Dean Swenson, the art gallery director and art professor at Waldorf University.

Most of Toscani’s works has a parody feel to them and are odd in appearance, in which she uses decorative arts and daily events to evaluate the world. The amount of time it takes for her to create her sculptures vary, with her newest piece only being a month old. Her creations begin as sketches, and then she continues from there. “I find the material or an object and I go off of that. It’s usually decorative arts so I take it in a direction where I’ll surprise myself plus the viewer”, said artist Amy Toscani.

Her favorite piece she’s created is “Patsy”, a sculpture made entirely out of different plastics melded together. “I love the plastic welding and it’s light-weight, you could pick it up and carry it around,” Toscani said, “I like the Burl Ives sculpture too. I love the burl wood and I also collect album covers, and had a big face of Burl Ives and thought it’d be funny if I used Burl Ives with the burl wood, and once you hear it it doesn’t seem so odd.” Toscani’s artist statement says that the work comes across as awkward and self-effacing; it is this point of vulnerability in which she hopes the viewer enters. The sculpture exhibit is located in the art gallery in the Campus Information Center until December 7.