Art Show Features Giant Labyrinths

By Julie Z. Lee on October 5, 2010

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Artist Michael McGinnis talks about his work at the show's Opening Reception on Saturday night.

It was an unusual scene at the Rasmussen Art Gallery on Saturday night, October 2, as groups of people huddled around the main show room, shoving and rolling expensive pieces of art. The creator, Michael McGinnis, stood casually by as people of all ages took turns handling his work.

The show, “Superplexus: Sculptural Labyrinths,” is meant to be tactile as it features a series of three-dimensional spherical mazes navigated by a ball bearing. The largest sculpture, the Superplexus Vortex, is nearly 4 feet tall and is priced at $30,000, and the smallest is 8 inches in diameter and available for purchase where toys are sold.

Also accompanying the Superplexus are prototypes and drawings, showing the creative journey from idea to completion. McGinnis estimates having spent more than 500 hours on the Vortex.

McGinnis, who teaches sculpture and three-dimensional design at Santa Rosa Junior College in California, began designing complex and intricate mazes as a child. He designed and built his first three-dimensional puzzle—a rough ancestor of his acclaimed Superplexus—as a high school junior in Petaluma in 1979. It took over 20 years of numerous revisions to turn that early maze into a marketable form and eventually a stunning work of art. Meanwhile, McGinnis attended Santa Rosa Junior College, earned a bachelor of arts in sculpture at Sonoma State University, and a master of fine arts from the University of Kansas.

RAG featured McGinnis and his work at a special preview showcase for President Heather J. Knight and invited guests on September 30. The show opened to the public on Saturday night, October 2.

Rasmussen Art Gallery will show “Superplexus: Sculptural Labyrinths” through October 23. The gallery is open Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. and admission is free.