Indiana State University Newsroom

Birds of Indiana sculpture coming to HHS Building

June 9, 2021

A birds of Indiana sculpture by Fort Wayne artist Sayaka Ganz is scheduled to be installed in August and unveiled in October at Indiana State University’s College of Health and Human Services.

Ganz, who grew up in Japan, Brazil, and Hong Kong, takes discarded plastic objects common to households and creates “animal forms with a sense of movement and self-awareness,” according to her website.

She says she wants to “provoke a re-examination of our relationship to the natural world. I also believe that when we can find beauty in one unexpected place, it carries over to other areas of our lives and helps us also find good in things, events, and people that we had not considered before.”

The sculpture is funded through the Passmore Permanent Art Collection endowment established by Drs. Barbara and Laurence Passmore, who served in faculty and administrative roles at ISU from 1968 to 2004.

Ganz was selected from more than 20 artists around the world. The selection committee consisted of ISU faculty, staff, students, and community artists. The art will be installed at the grand staircase of the Health and Human Services Building.

“Ms. Sayaka Ganz is a nationally known artist working in a wide range of media,” said Caroline Mallory, Dean of ISU’s College of Health and Human Services. “Her previous experience, unique art work, and strong interest in the College of Health and Human Services elevated her proposal. I am very excited about how her work makes us think about humans, the natural world, and our built environment.”

Ganz was born in Yokohama, Japan, and came to the United States to study art. She earned an MFA in 3D Studies with a concentration in sculpture from Bowling Green State University and a BFA in Printmaking with a minor in Theater and Drama from Indiana University.

“I'm especially excited about this opportunity to create a site-specific installation for Indiana State University because they have such a wonderful art collection and art is woven into everyday activities in the university community,” she said.

“I have spent more than half of my life in Indiana now and feel that the state has helped shape my artistic career in so many ways, so I am happy to be making birds of Indiana for this space.

The Passmore endowment supports a curated collection of professional and student art that provides aesthetic and educational benefits for students, faculty, and guests of the College of Health and Human Services. The new sculpture by Ganz will be the second commissioned piece in the HHS building funded by the endowment.

“Drs. Barbara and Laurence Passmore’s gift for new art in the Health and Human Services Building helps engage students, faculty, staff, and visitors in a conversation about how human health and our sense of well-being are connected to our physical environment,” Mallory said.

Photo of outside of Health and Human Services Building

Photo of grand staircase at the Health and Human Services Building 

Media contacts: 

Mark Alesia, Director of University Communication 

(O) 812-237-3837 

(C) 812-229-8020 

Dianne Powell, Associate Director of University Communication

(O) 812-237-8764

(C) 812-878-2131