Dr. Kaz Kitagaito has taken first place in the annual wire sculpture contest conducted by the School of Dentistry’s Department of Orthodontics. Dr. Kitagaito won with a sculpture of a sword-wielding Japanese warrior titled Way of the Sword.
Dr. Jason Johnson’s Temple sculpture was voted runner-up in the contest, which has been held since 1966 for the department’s first-year residents. Other entries were submitted by Dr. David Gu, Dr. Timothée Cousin, and Dr. David Shin.
The contest was inspired by the late Dr. Ben Moffett, a department faculty member for three decades. After taking a UW art class in form and function, he suggested having weekly lectures on the topic at the school. The interest the lectures generated led to the contest.
Entrants must use orthodontic materials such as wire, rubber bands and dental acrylic. Their submissions are judged by a vote of faculty, staff, and students in three categories: most esthetically pleasing, most innovative design, and highest technical competence.
Previous contests have featured a geisha figure, a model town, the Eiffel Tower, the Golden Gate Bridge, a strand of DNA, and the Lion King. In 2010, one contestant created an aquarium that included a wire starfish and anemone plus acrylic portrayals of coral and seaweed – and live goldfish.