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Please Touch! The Art of Michael Naranjo

From May 14, 2022 to October 30, 2022

Location: Special Projects Gallery (Floor 2)

Artworks on exhibit in museums typically accompanied by signs that say, “Please do not touch.” Please Touch! The Art of Michael Naranjo, invites visitors to experience remarkable bronze sculptures that are touchable – created by a Native American artist whose compelling life story will inspire reflection about art and artistic inspiration.

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About the Artist

Michael Naranjo

Michael Naranjo (Santa Clara Pueblo) grew up in Taos, New Mexico, where his mother Rose Naranjo, a noted pottery artist, encouraged his interest in sculpting. During his Army service in the Vietnam War in 1968, Michael Naranjo was caught in an ambush and suffered near-fatal injuries in a grenade blast. He lost his eyesight and the use of his right hand. Working with clay during his convalescence rekindled his passion for sculpting and eventually led him to a career as a sculptor. Though totally blind and unable to perceive light, Naranjo sculpts by sense of touch with his left hand, and he is admired for his great ability and the beauty of his pieces.

Works on view are courtesy of Tia Collection, Santa Fe, New Mexico and Michael and Laurie Naranjo with special thanks to the Eiteljorg Museum.

This exhibition is made possible in part by the Community Foundation of Elmira-Corning and the Finger Lakes, Inc.

Special thanks are extended to Christopher Lomax and Kathleen Dinwoodie for their advice on accessible installations in the galleries.