Saturday, January 31, 2009

Sculpture on Campus?

Next year USM will celebrate its centennial. The Centennial Celebration will have a number of interesting events associated with it. One thing that is being spearheaded by the College of Arts and Letters is an outdoor sculpture competition. Right now it is just in the planning stages, but it looks like it will happen. Faculty and staff from the College of the Arts and our Department will facilitate the competition, selection, and installation of four to six works. They will be installed in 2010 and would stay on campus for two years. There is hope that this would not be a one time event and that it will act as model for future competitions on campus and also around the town. These large scale outdoor works would represent a variety of styles and mediums and hopefully be draw for visitors.

It is my opinion that more sculpture on campus could be nothing but good for our 3D area. I am hoping that we might also get some of the artists to do lectures and maybe workshops. We are planning to have a number of opportunities for sculpture students to participate in in
stallations or help out in other events.

Many, many colleges and universities across the nation have regular outdoor exhibitions and I think it’s about time we did as well. Some of us, me just a bit and James Davis a lot, have experience in outdoor shows and would encourage all you to consider how the out-of-doors may be considered a context for your work. One great example of a preeminent national exhibition is the Rosen Show. It is considered “the best” by outdoor artists. You should check it out; James has been in it-

Making work suitable for outdoor exhibition is no easy task, but, in my opinion, very worth the effort. Typically these shows can have from $500 to $2000 stipends, for delivery of work, and some have even bigger awards (if you win one). Sculptures must be available from one to two years and must be made of durable, weather resistant materials, able to withstand high winds, inclement weather and be vandal proof as well as safe! Talk about a lot of prerequisites! To top it off the work has to be interesting, challenging and well made. These are some things to consider when you head into your next work. Conquer all these tasks and you may be able to compete in the exciting world of out door exhibitions.

Images on this page- James Davis' work, This is Something We Had to go Through. Steel and Cast Iron, 7' x 14' x 1'.
All images from "The Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition and Exhibition".

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

This Week in the Studio...

News to Know

Some new crit dates for Torres' sculpture class-
February 5th - ART 362
February 10th - ART 363, 461, 462, 463 and grad students.
Everyone comes both days.
See ya.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Why Go to Sloss?

I asked my self the same question years back when I first went. What could possibly be so important about this place and event? I could never get a real answer from anyone just simply, "Trust me, you got to go." Iron pouring is iron pouring right? I mean how different can it be from one place to another? Boy, did I have a lot to learn.

First of all Sloss Furnaces is a National Historic Landmark, one that, not only preserves structures and buildings of the most magnificent, but also because it reminds us of the not so distant past when some men, because of the color of their skin, were considered disposable in the name of business. People died in this place and it is a sobering reminder of all that we have to lose and one reason why I go back year after year. But besides all the historical functions of this place, there is a creative endeavor that goes on day after day with the resident artists that ply their trade and teach others the skills we need to be creative. Then once every two years a whole huge bunch of artists convene for a national conference of the most unusual agenda; get dirty, pour iron, make art, and drink beer, not necessarily in that order. This 'agenda' happens for days as schools, artist collaboratives, and individuals, deliver cupolas from around the nation to partake in a multi-day long celebration of fire and elements. There are lectures and talks about every thing from how to put together a portfolio, to how not to incinerate your self while poring iron. I learned about 3D imaging for sculptors, different ways of making molds, and how to make a cupola out of a trash can and a vacuum cleaner motor.

Some of the best people come to this place to share what they know, people who over the years have turned out to be best friends and supporters. This year Deborah LaGrasse will be the key note speaker, a truly talented artist and a wonderful human being as well, who I met a an iron pour years ago, go figure.

There are several interesting workshops; large mold making, wax working, ceramic shell mold making. All of these happen earlier in the week before the main event opens on April 1st. There are a half a dozen different and individual iron pours every day for 4 four days, there are talks and lectures during the day and performances at night along with lots of eating and drinking (at your own expense of course). Hotels are available for old folks like me, and rough camping for anyone who can stand it (don't plan on sleeping much). And in between all of the activities, day and night, is the exploring. Sloss has numerous amazing structures, buildings, tunnels and other guests (the ghosts of those who died here) to keep you occupied for hours. I've been here many times and I still am climbing on stuff.
So check out the conference web site and send in your reservation before it's too late! You will be so happy you did, and you can come home with some new castings as well.

Friday, January 23, 2009


This is a brand new blog for the USM (Southern Miss) Sculpture Program. My hope is that it will host valuable info for the student artist or any artist, and perhaps be a conduit for interesting conversation and thought provoking art. It will take some time to get things going so be patient. More great stuff coming soon!