This blog highlights the talents of this years symposium presenters. For more information about attending this years symposium, please see

Friday, December 31, 2021

Stephanie Metz
Stephanie will present her work at the 2022 Yuma Art Symposium.
For information on attending Yuma art Symposium click HERE

When I first proposed a talk for Yuma I had planned to share the adventure of creating my hugely ambitious project ‘InTouch’ that was currently on exhibition at the de Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University. ‘InTouch’ is an interactive, touchable sculpture experience featuring human-sized works made of highly tactile wool and industrial felt that encourages visitors to connect with the art and with each other. Through this tactile exchange, visitors’ interactions with the pieces would actually complete the installations. The exhibition consists of two new bodies of work: the large, mysterious, chrysalis-like ‘Hanging Pods’ and the moveable, stackable, wearable surrealist forms of the ‘Holdables.’ After more than two years of work and the help of nearly 70 community volunteers we had created and installed 56 new sculptures in the museum’s two galleries. The show had been up for two weeks out of an expected six-month-long-run, and already over 500 visitors had indulged the curiosity, contemplation, and play elicited by the work. It was two weeks into January, 2020.

Below: Visitors interact with felted wool ‘Hanging Pod’ sculptures and industrial felt ‘Holdables’ at the InTouch exhibition, pre-pandemic.

Six weeks later, COVID-19 came onto the scene. Of all the suffering and heartache resulting from the new pandemic reality, the early closure of my touchable art exhibit was a bearable disappointment. And yet it was a big disappointment for me-- and all those who helped me bring it into existence. As the artwork lingered in the darkened, shuttered museum, I began compiling the photos and video I’d been recording and gathering throughout the process. Instead of delivering an artist’s talk to a live audience, I set about creating a documentary about the project, from its conception through its fabrication, installation, and its short but fruitful exhibition. By reviewing and reliving the experience I was reminded of all the incredible lessons learned throughout the process.

Community volunteers help poke wool fibers onto ‘Hanging Pod’ sculptures at a ‘Felting Party’ at Metz’s studio in San Jose, 2018.

 The core of my original Yuma presentation remains the same-- sharing the concepts, techniques, and processes I used to create large-scale sculpture out of wool and felt through photos and stories. I’ll talk about managing the project over two years: filling the multiple roles of Lead Artist, Project Manager, Fundraiser, Marketer, and PR person among many others. And I’ll elucidate how, for the first time, I enlisted help from studio assistants as well as volunteers from my community who worked alongside me at ‘Felting Parties’ to apply wool to the surface of the sculptures. The ‘InTouch’ project caused me to stretch and grow in every aspect of my artmaking. Looking back at it now through the overlay of our communal yet individual pandemic experiences makes me appreciate and acknowledge the value of being part of a community of makers that much more. Sharing what we do, what we learn, and what we love matters. 

Stephanie applies the finishing touches to a felted wool-and-foam-rubber ‘Hanging Pod’ in her San Jose Studio, 2019

Since we’re all such hands-on people at Yuma, I’ll also follow my slide lecture with a brief demonstration of my processes-- a quick show and tell of stitching together patterns made from ⅜” thick industrial felt, and shaping wool through the use of felting needles. And you’ll be able to touch things.

Stephanie Metz will present her work at Yuma Art Symposium 2022
For information on attending Yuma art Symposium click HERE
Follow Stephanie : @stephanie_metz_sculpture

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