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The Interface: Computers, 3-D Modeling and Women Sculptors
by Mary Visser (...continued)

engelstein1pup.jpgSharon Engelstein graduated with an M.F.A. in sculpture from Claremont Graduate School in California. Now located in Houston, Engelstein has been the recipient of a Mid-America Arts Alliance award and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Award. In the past she has created works based on her own body as well as nonspecific anthropomorphic forms. Her inspiration often came from objects as diverse as medical instruments, sex toys, and taxidermy forms. Engelstein uses 3-d modeling software as a way to prototype her biomorphic abstractions into real world objects. " Two years ago, I downloaded a free version of a 3-D modeling program from and found an ideal design process. I began to focus on what I love most--the invention and interplay of bubbly, growing, wandering forms. I have long been trying to achieve, in my work, a synthesis of organic and mechanical form--a merging of nature and technology. I found this to be an intrinsic quality of computer aided design. With this discovery and the mysterious language of coded geometry I came to revisit my earliest artistic interests--pure biomorphic abstraction. It was not long before I began searching for ways to get these forms out of the computer and into real space. From the drawings to the 3D prints, everything in my work comes out of this process of research and discovery." Sharon Engelstein


"My primary concern is to create a hybrid form that merges the mechanical with organic forms and thus, I find it ironic that the process of computer aided design (a mechanical process of drawing) is coming into play to design so many organic forms." ... Sharon Engelstein



Born and raised in Belén, New Mexico, Paula Castillo began sculpting with metal in 1990. She attended Yale University focusing on literature, received a B.A. in science from the University of New Mexico and her M..A. in sculpture from the College of Santa Fe. She was awarded research fellowships by the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Science Foundation to study various aspects of sculpture. Her work is in many public and private collections across the U.S. Castillo is currently completing a monumental sculpture commission in her hometown of Belén for the New Mexico Art in Public Places program. Recently she was one of 80 international sculptors selected out of a pool of 800 applicants to have her work shown as part of the International Sculpture Award in an exhibit in Milan, Italy. Castillo draws large scale metal forms in AutoCAD before construction. The use of this program has helped her to develop a dialog with the architects and engineers when working on public projects together. The concepts, scale, location and position of the work can easily be seen by the building designers which makes the process more cohesive. "I work with gravity, temperature and light," says Castillo. "They are as abstract as they are pervasive. When I create art everything is stripped to essentials…I continually look for things that surprise me." Paula Castillo

"As an artist, I use the computer daily. It is as essential to me, as my arc welder and other such tools." ... Paula Castillo

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