Art Show: Tom Sawyer Wears a Business Suit

Event Details

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6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Presented by ASU’s School of Art

Join Bobby Zokaites of ASU’s School of Art for his MFA thesis exhibition, Tom Sawyers Wears a Business Suit. 

Zokaites’s work investigates themes of adventure, childhood and play, while utilizing fabrication and assembly methods inspired by industrial processes. This combination of play and industry creates distinctive works of art that activate the surrounding industrial environment and encourage audience participation. In Tom Sawyer Wears a Business Suit, Zokaites has produced large-scale forms that simultaneously interrupt and compliment the Step Gallery’s industrial architecture. Unabashedly repurposing woven seatbelt webbing, Zokaites makes reference to pivotal industrial developments while presenting a circus-like environment that begs for playful exploration. If Tom Sawyer is to Henry Ford as a business suit is to a pair of stilts, then you can imagine the sort of opposites Zokaites is fusing together in this exhibition.

During this opening reception, gallery visitors will have the opportunity to experience the work with a live sound complement by international trombone player Russ Zokaites (twin brother of the artist). Russ will perform work from his current musical initiative, The Ghetto Blaster Project which is a series of performances combining classical music with recycled noise – appropriately for this exhibition, car horns and street traffic – played through re-purposed boomboxes.

Need help finding the Step Gallery? Visit this page for a map and directions. 

About the Artist

Bobby Zokaites is a visual artist working with large-scale kinetic sculpture and interactive architectural spaces. He earned his BFA in 2008 from Alfred University in western New York and moved to Arizona in 2011 to pursue his MFA at ASU’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. He has exhibited his sculptural work widely, including a recent public commission for IN FLUX Cycle 4 in Gilbert, AZ, and has produced recent collaborative projects in Kansas City, MO, Glendale, AZ, and Urbana, IL. His work utilizes a variety of design, fabrication, and installation processes that incorporate 20th century industrial techniques and 21st century digital technologies. Blurring the line between fine art, public sculpture, and collaborative practice, his work engages diverse audiences and encourages active participation with the larger-than-life artwork. Learn more at

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