|Mr. Aren Skalman is an M.F.A. candidate in sculpture at San Diego State University, California where he also serves as a graduate teaching associate. He earned his B.A. in visual art from Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, California. He participates regularly in art exhibitions around San Diego, and has been the recipient of the Isabel Kraft Memorial Sculpture Award, John Rogers Sculpture Scholarship and Windgate Scholarship. In addition to making art, Mr. Skalman worked as a professional cabinet maker and an environmental and graphic designer, collaborating with people of diverse viewpoints by coordinating real-world projects from concept to completion. The integration of place, context and personal concerns has been a key factor in the success of these projects.
His sculptural work explores authenticity and artifice, direct perception and mediated experience through process-based experimentation with commonplace materials. He offers viewers a playful confluence of texture, color and pattern that hints at the familiar while presenting the unexpected. His recent sculptures investigate the physical and symbolic relationships between form and sound by incorporating electronics and acoustic instrument apparatuses. He has been a passionate player and listener of folk and rock music. Mr. Skalman spent several years learning Karnatak, South Indian classical music, both as a veena student and as an enthusiastic concert attendee in southern California’s thriving Indian arts community. He is inspired by the tradition of arts appreciation in Indian culture as an integral facet of life.
Mr. Skalman’s Fulbright project, “Contemporary/Folk Musical Sculpture,” is to design, create and install a contemporary, collaborative, site-specific sculpture in India. This piece will be influenced by modernism and informed by regional folk art practices. He intends to use locally sourced materials to produce an abstract work that draws on the local geography and cultures for its form. The sculpture will incorporate a minimal, interactive sound element inspired by traditional Indian music. It will be located outdoors, for a temporary showing up to three years, and will be slightly larger than human scale.