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Olin Greets “Silent Nature”

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Staff Writer

On Jan. 20, Olin Gallery was proud to introduce “Silent Nature”, a solo-exhibition focused on the artwork of sculptor Kurt Steger.

“Nature” showcases the talents of both Steger and his sister Char Norman, Associate Provost at Colombus College of Art and Design. Such talents include Steger’s skill as a wood maker and Norman’s creativity in the art of making paper. Steger’s observations of nature and experience with building objects has spanned the course of nearly 30 years. Working in the building trades since 1980, Steger started his work as a cabinet maker before becoming a builder of fine custom furniture. Since then, Steger has focused his efforts towards sculpture.

Influenced by Buddhist beliefs and Eastern tradition, Steger’s art contains a spiritual quality. Joanna Hooker ’12, an Olin Gallery worker, enjoys spending time on the job surrounded by his work.

“Steger’s art creates a calm, serene feeling,” Hooker said. “He wants the audience to embrace his art right away”.

Before viewing the sculptures, one walks through the Pearl Gate. Made of wood and Abaca paper, the large white structure has a peaceful effect as one listens to the soft rustling of paper while passing through.

“Nature” includes nearly 40 pieces of art made from natural and man-made wood, metal, steel, paper, and other materials. Steger’s sculptures are both large and small and incredibly detailed.

“Each piece is so intricate,” Hooker said. “It takes a few different viewings to really get the full impact”.

The sculptures are composed of many different shapes and unique textures. Some look as if they could resemble strange pre-historic creatures with their jagged edges, protruding spikes, and rough appearances. Each sculpture, however, is very natural.

A note-worthy sculpture is Steger’s Burden Boat. The boat allows you to set your troubles free. By writing your burdens on a piece of paper and placing it in the large boat sculpture, they are no longer with you.

“Silent Nature” will conclude on Feb. 20 at 3:00 p.m. in the Olin Hall courtyard after the ceremonious ritual of liberation by fire. By setting the Boat to flames, Steger believes that all of the collective energy we carry will be released.