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Professor's art lifts the spirit


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Carefully remove the stoppers from the highly polished jars of brass, fine silver and copper, and absorb the contents of each – energy, confidence, determination, even anger. That’s the idea behind the Spirit Jar series by Daniel Frye, chair of Sacramento State’s Art Department.

Spirit Jars

Daniel Frye's Spirit Jar series (pictured) is part of the Sacramento State Art Department chair's Interpreting Metal exhibition, which runs July 12-29 at The Temp Gallery, 1616 Del Paso Blvd.

The series is one part of the Interpreting Metal exhibition by Frye, running July 12-29 at The Temp Gallery, 1616 Del Paso Blvd. The show also includes pieces from some of Frye’s other series, such as the Lying Vessels, and some of Frye’s jewelry. Gallery hours are noon-8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday. An opening reception will run 6-9 p.m. Thursday, July 12. There will also be a Second Saturday reception 6-9 p.m. July 14.

Other metals, such as gold and sterling silver, and some Japanese alloys that Frye made from scratch are used in the spirit jars. Different-colored metals are layered, forge-welded, worked with a hammer and then sanded down to create a color pattern.

Frye says the series was inspired by our desire to have a little something special in our lives to take care of issues that arise in our daily routine. While we can’t rub a lamp and produce a genie, we can open a jar of confidence, chant our personal mantra, then stand up to the challenges of the day.

“The spirit jar helps center us on those qualities that we might need at a given time,” Frye says.

Even anger is needed from time to time, although it is the smallest of the jars. “Every now and then, we need just a little bit of anger to move us to the next stage of what we may need to do,” Frye says.

For more information on the gallery, visit For media inquiries about Frye and his work, call Sacramento State’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156.

– Craig Koscho