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Sijan exhibit closing at MacNider Museum

MASON CITY, Iowa ó Hurry in to the Charles H. MacNider Museum to see the eye-opening exhibition, Marc Sijan: Being Alive, before it closes on January 8, 2011, at 5:00 p.m.

A visitor favorite, Marc Sijan: Being Alive features hyper-realistic human sculptures that appear to be on the verge of taking a breath. The sculptures are so intricately crafted that, at first glance, people often assume the figures are alive.

Wisconsin artist Marc Sijan has been creating sculptures since the early 1970s. His study of art and human anatomy allows him to design figures that are interestingly unique, yet familiar ñ often reminding visitors of a neighbor, classmate, or family member. It is the small imperfections distinctive of all humans that make Sijan’s figures so life-like.

The process of creating a sculpture has multiple steps and can take over six months. It begins with a photo session of a person the artist knows, followed by a full body mold created using plaster. After using tools and a magnifying glass to perfect the negative mold’s minute details, like wrinkles, bone definition, and scars, polyester resin is used to cast the figure. Over 20 coats of paint may be applied to the form to achieve the skin’s subtle coloring and translucency, creating realistic freckles, cellulite, varicose veins, and tattoos. Clothing, jewelry, hats, and wigs made of human hair are added to the figures to complete the life-like effect.

According to Sijan, “I am seeking to freeze motion rather than suggest life. The sculpture appears passive, but there is so much going on inside.” The figures on display at the MacNider are perfect examples of the artist’s philosophy.

Come see the exhibition everyone is talking about!

Marc Sijan: Being Alive is funded in part with a grant from the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and the National Endowment for the Arts; Alliant Energy Foundation; Principal Financial Group; and Visit Mason City.

The Charles H. MacNider Museum is located at 303 Second Street SE in Mason City. It is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, with extended hours until 9:00 p.m. on Thursday. Admission is always free. For more information about the Museum and its exhibitions, please call 641-421-3666 or visit

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