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Sculptures of a Different Kind

Artistic depictions of the human body are nothing new in art workshops or in the history of art.

But as Dutch sculptor Elena Beelaerts, a visiting artist in the Department of Art for five weeks this fall, leads 20 studio art majors through her intensive workshop “The Magical Machine,” the results will be decidedly atypical.

Her students began earlier this month by developing life-sized figure drawings that depict the human body—on the inside.

Through November 15, Beelaerts will step her workshop students through a process that will transform their initial works of inner-body drawings into exotic, three-dimensional creatures with moving parts. And in the workshop’s final week, the class will install the unusual sculptures, along with their foundational drawings, in Hillyer Hall’s exhibition galleries.

Beelaerts has exhibited her work in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, as well as in Dubrovnik, St. Petersburg and Los Angeles.

On Thursday, October 31, Beelaerts will give a slide lecture and presentation on her work at 4:10 p.m. in Graham Hall at the Brown Fine Arts Center.

Also while at Smith, Beelaerts will create a sculpture to be displayed in the Brown Fine Arts Center’s lower-level courtyard (facing Neilson Library). Unlike her students’ works, her piece will be one in a series of dog sculptures, produced by her during the past year. That piece is expected to be exhibited in mid-November.

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