Message in the Silence

Sachiko Akiyama’s figurative sculptures, carved from basswood and painted, are psychological portraits that shift from personal to allegorical and back. Her process is so labor intensive that it can take a year for her to complete a single piece. With the allure and economy of a Buddha statue Ms. Akiyama’s creations give the sense that there is more going on under the surface of each figure than the viewer could imagine.

“…the sculptor has created characters so absorbed in their inner lives that they simply don’t engage with the viewer the way we’ve come to expect in portraiture,” writes Cate McQuaid in the Boston Globe. “She uses the slow, meditative process of carving wood to great effect: revealing how none of us can ever truly be seen and known.”

Ms. Akiyama’s sculpture will be on display in the Mariboe Gallery at the Peddie School, Swig Arts Center,  201 South Main St., Highstown, through Oct. 4.  (609) 944-7500 or visit

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