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The 9th International Shoebox Sculpture Exhibition

About Shoebox / Foreword / Traveling Schedule / Artists // Past Exhibitions


Exhibition Period
March 5 – April 13, 2006

Exhibition highlights
Exactly 121 small sculptures from around the world show how artists have handled the challenges of space and scale dictated by the size of a shoebox. An invitation-only exhibition, this exhibit has attracted a large number of well-known artists from Hawai'i, the U.S. mainland, Argentina, Cuba, Australia, Korea, Japan, China, Thailand, France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Canada, and Mexico.

Each sculpture speaks for itself. Some works are conceptual, some reflect the artist's cultural heritage, and others are universal in expression. Collectively, the sculptures are a powerful commentary on the state of humankind at the end of this industrially and technologically driven century. Artists have used almost every imaginable medium to create their sculptures including cast metal, carved wood, blown glass, woven fiber, handmade paper, molded clay, desiccated vegetables, found objects, shaped lead, and human hair. Visitors can easily find more than one favorite work, and some have been inspired to make their own sculptures.

After its initial showing at The University of Hawaii Art Gallery, 82 works from The 9th International Shoebox Sculpture Exhibition are scheduled to travel to 11 venues. Its final showing will be at the Maui Arts & Culture Center, in October/November 2008. Previous Shoebox Sculpture exhibits organized by the University of Hawaii Art Gallery were shown in Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, Canada, and Guam as well as the U.S. mainland.


Since the origins of the International Shoebox Sculpture Exhibitions in the early 1980s artists around the world await the opportunity to participate in the exhibitions. Beginning as an idea that would permit within our island location the viewing of sculpture created by international artists, the exhibitions have generated an audience well beyond Hawaii’s shores. Museums and university galleries throughout the United States, Taiwan, Guam, Japan, Canada, and Mexico have presented the traveling exhibitions and they continue to enthusiastically anticipate hosting the next. By the close of 2008 The International Shoebox Sculpture Exhibition triennials will have been presented at 126 venues.

The small size of the works in the traveling exhibitions, with their ease and economy of handling, provides ready exposure to a broad spectrum of contemporary sculpture. This format encourages more careful observation than one would give to a large-scale sculpture. But for some artists, the diminutive scale often presents a challenge. While many find it extremely difficult to make something so small, the size limitation almost always helps to generate a sculptural art rich with intricate detail. The array of ideas, styles, and media is vast. Without technical and financial restrictions, concepts become preeminent and formal integrity need not be compromised as most structural concerns are eliminated and artists use any material with practicality.

While the International Shoebox Sculpture Exhibitions have contained the work of artists who have attained widespread recognition, the work of important regional sculptors continues to provide an element of excitement. For the curators of this invitational exhibition, the search for artists who are expressing new and personal ideas is constant.

University of Hawai‘i professors Mamoru Sato and Fred Roster developed the exhibition concept. They and professors Pat Hickman, fibers; Rick Mills, glass; and Suzanne Wolfe, ceramics; helped in the curatorial selection of artists and in the determination of works to be included in the traveling exhibition.

One of the important educational advantages of an exhibition organized within a university context is the opportunity it provides for students to learn the processes of preparing and presenting an exhibition. Erika Johnson, as exhibition coordinator, worked on many aspect of the exhibition that include serving as registrar, writing artists’ catalogue biographies, and assisting in the design of the installation at the University of Hawai‘i Art Gallery. Her concern and dedication are gratefully acknowledged.

Matt Spencer is to be praised for the sensitivity of design evident in this catalogue and the exhibition announcement. As a teacher it is rewarding to see the development of our students and witness the professionalism of their endeavors. Spencer did this work as an internship recipient of a Watumull Grant for Museum Studies in the Arts. Gulab and Indru Watumull are to be commended for establishing the internship program based on their concern for training students who aspire to museum-related professions.

Photographers Hal Lum and Paul Kodama are acknowledged for the quality photographs in this publication. I am grateful to my wife, Delmarie Motta Klobe, for proofreading the catalogue. Sharon Tasaka, associate gallery director, and Wayne Kawamoto, exhibit designer, have been indispensable in helping to coordinate important details of this exhibition and overseeing the development of the catalogue.

The continuing help of students makes the presentation of the University’s exhibition program possible. Thanks are extended to gallery assistants and attendants Aaron Andrews, Jesse Clark, Ruthie Coleman, Kent Dumlao, Kristin Heath, William Kealamakia, Katelyn Kiyonaga, Clare Mamura, Nichole Myers, Amanda Ryan, Alexei Samimi, Kamran Samimi, Stephen Skoch, Lindsay Taguma, Elizabeth Uryase, and Tyler Wolff; Art 360 Exhibition Design and Gallery Management students Jesse Clark, Ruthie Coleman, Patrick Dieudonne, Casey Flahaven, Tomoko Hirukawa, Katelyn Kiyonaga, Dawn Krause, Chelsea Maemori, Katherine Manganaro, Christine Noyes, Natalia Park, Winifred Patterson, Sean Rivera, Christina Rutsch, Jill Sommer, Denyne Troy, Akito Van Troyer, William Williams, and Sibyl Wong, and the many other students and volunteers, among them Linda-Mei Jaress, David Merkel, Robert Molyneux, and Anne Smoke who have worked on the preparation of this exhibition.

I am especially grateful for the support of the Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, without which The 9th International Shoebox Sculpture Exhibition could not have occurred. The Foundation’s concerns that these international sculpture exhibitions continue in Hawai‘i, that quality publications document the exhibitions, and that the exhibitions have broad exposure beyond our island state is testimony to the commitment to the arts within the State of Hawai‘i.

Finally, I want to thank the sculptors who, through their work, make The International Shoebox Sculpture Exhibitions possible.

Tom Klobe
University of Hawaii Art Gallery


Traveling Schedule


March 5 - April 13, 2006
University of Hawai'i Art Gallery // Honolulu, Hawai'i

May 5 - 26, 2006
East Hawai‘i Cultural Center // Hilo, Hawai'i

July 21 - August 26, 2006
Olive Hyde Art Gallery // Fremont, California

September 10 - October 29, 2006
Murray State University // Murray, Kentucky

November 14 - December 17, 2006
University of Mississippi // University, Mississippi


January 8 - February 23, 2007
Lee Gallery, Clemson University // Clemson, South Carolina

March 20 - May 5, 2007
Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art // Logan, Utah

May 20 - July 1, 2007
Bob Rauchenberg Gallery, Edison College // Fort Myers, Florida

July 22 - September 2, 2007
University of Tennessee Downtown Gallery // Knoxville Tennessee

October 3 - 31, 2007
University Art Gallery, California State University, Dominguez Hills // Carson, CA


February 2 - March 9, 2008
Sarah Spurgeon Gallery, Central Washington University // Ellensburg, Washington

April 1 - May 3, 2008
Wright State University // Dayton, Ohio

June 3 - July 4, 2008
East Carolina University // Greenville, North Carolina

August 3 - September 14, 2008
Las Cruces Museum of Art // Las Cruces, New Mexico

October 5 - November 16, 2008
Maui Arts & Cultural Center // Kahului, HI



To see the artists' profile and works, please click here.



Other Information:

Co-sponsored by
The State Foundation on Culture and the Arts
The Watumull Grant for Museum Studies in the Arts

Other Shoebox Exhibitions
The 10th International Shoebox Sculpture Exhibition
The 8th International Shoebox Sculpture Exhibition