Earth, Fire and Water: Contemporary Forged Metal
An exhibition of hand-forged metal objects opened on December 15, 1999 at the Dubuque Museum of Art. Earth, Fire and Water: Contemporary Forged Metal showcases the work of 16 artists who use traditional blacksmithing techniques as a springboard for exploring the creative potential of forged iron. Over the past several decades, blacksmithing has enjoyed a revival among artists and artisans, and has increasingly gained attention from the public, academia and the professional art community. In response to this renewed interest in the medium, numerous organizations have been created across the country, perhaps most notably the American Blacksmiths Association of North America. The diversity of artists and objects represented in the exhibition confirm the accessibility and potential of forged metal for both formally trained and self-taught artists alike.
While traditional forged objects including architectural elements and hardware are included, the exhibition also features numerous less typical forms including furniture, vessels, sculptural forms and objects of adornment. Expression, however, is not limited solely to form, and these artists explore an equally diverse array of techniques and processes to embellish and enhance the 32 works in the exhibition. (left: hand-forged metal object by Nana Schowalter from exhibition)
Earth, Fire and Water: Contemporary Forged Metal is curated by Robert Logan, independent curator, Media Callery,
Garnett, Kansas. The exhibition is toured by ExhibitsUSA. The purpose of
Exhibits USA is to create access to an array of arts and humanities exhibitions,
nurture the development and understanding of diverse art forms and cultures,
and encourage the expanding depth and breadth of cultural life in local
communities. Exhibits USA is generously supported by the National Endowment
for the Arts Challenge Grant Program. Additional funders include the H&R
Block Foundation, Cooper Foundation, Richard Florsheim Art Fund, John S.
and James L. Knight Foundation, and Samuel H. Kress Foundation. Exhibits
USA is grateful for the past support of the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest
Fund, The Rockefeller Foundation, and Lannan Foundation, Santa Fe. Mid-America
Arts Alliance, founded in 1972, is a private, nonprofit arts organization.
Mid-America Arts Alliance is assisted by its six partner state arts agencies,
the National Endowment for the Arts, and private contributors.
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