Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Monday, February 20, 2012

Alumni Feature: Stephen Coles

Stephen Coles graduated from Alfred University with an MFA in sculpture in May 2010. Born in the United Kingdom, it was through a series of conferences and symposia based around cast iron art that led Coles, to the United States, and eventually to Alfred University. Having always had a keen interest in creative practices Coles started his artistic career by enrolling in a National Diploma in Fine Art at Arts University College Bournemouth, Bournemouth (UK). This then led to Coles studying his BFA in sculpture at The West Wales School of the Arts, Carmarthen (Wales). It was whilst studying at his BFA that he first came into contact with metal casting, and more importantly, attended the 5th International Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron art in Ironbridge (UK) in 2006. This conference instilled an appreciation of cast iron as a material within his own sculpture practice, and furthermore led to his interactions in the United States.
'Lobsters and Gentleman' Cast Bronze Iron Cupola during MFA performance at Alfred Univeristy 2010
Artist Statement

My work and its concurrent themes are often changing, especially when I consider the various bodies of work throughout my artistic career to date. It is true to say that in more recent investigations the work has developed more of an ambiguity. This being said there are some recurring issues that appear to underpin the work such as ideas surrounding humour, absurdity and identity.
I have always responded more to art that has tried to convey a message without preaching or approaching the subject in a condescending manner. I find that humour is one method of playing off of the publics’ emotions that can really generate a conversation, and dare I say, even bring around action albeit indirectly. 
Secondly and I feel this is far more prevalent is that of the idea of absurdity in my artwork and how I try to reflect the absurdity of the culture in which its inception has come about. After all we’re all told that our current lifestyles are unsustainable, and yet people seem happy to try to keep the status quo and ignore the white elephant (polar ice cap) in the room.  I find the whole futility of this paradox a fascinating one and if I can draw attention to it, and instill some sort of debate about it, then perhaps something may come about through those actions, otherwise I say I may as well enjoy the ride whilst it lasts.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Alumni Feature: Liz Helfer

Elizabeth Helfer graduated from Alfred University in May 2010, she was born and raised in New Durham, NH. Liz developed a love for sculpture early on, working with modeling clay and paper. Named "Most Artistic" throughout her elementary, middle, and high school years; Elizabeth attended the New Hampshire All-State Art Festival and the St. Paul's School Advanced Studies Program for Studio Art. It was her St. Paul's School experience which guided her toward a continued art education. She has continued her artistic development through her travels, including a trip to Wales representing Alfred to participate in the 6th International Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art and work at Franconia Sculpture Park in Minnesota.

'Beauty and the Bees Bronze' 12½”x 13”x3”   2010

'Selkie'  Bronze and glass 10”x4”x3½”  2009
Artist Statement
I want my sculptures to tell a story. I began in this vein by literally translating western folklore into cast metal and glass sculpture. My artwork has grown to include personal narratives and explore the idea of location in history. Recently, I realized that the viewer’s interpretation of the story does not need to relate directly to the original. I simply want the audience to experience a sense of narrative that feels familiar and significant.
Within the realm of metal casting, I prefer to create complex patterns for the lost wax process. Although I may create several pieces related to a central theme, I prefer to use molds only once. This parallels the telling of a story, where each interpretation contains its own nuance and subtlety. When seen together the sculptures may seem to relate only through material choices. I use titles to give the viewer clues to the original story and links between sculptures.
I am beginning to look outside of metal but the casting process, from conception to product, seems fitting to the concept of history. The length of the metal casting process allows outside forces to manipulate the final product, which has interested me as the element of history beyond human control.

This past fall Elizabeth exhibited in All Fired Up: Contemporary Iron Art at the Peninsula School of Art, Fish Creek, WI. She is currently working on a public sculpture with cast iron elements for a sculpture walk in Rochester, NH, coming this summer. She will be back at Franconia Sculpture Park as Program Assistant in the spring. She is in the process of applying to grad school and hopes to begin her MFA studies for sculpture in fall 2012.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

USUK International Iron Symposium


Congratulations ! Bonny Crowl, soad senior and Andrew Dean school of business senior start work assisiting with the planning for USUK 2012.
USUK IRON Sculpture Symposium was founded in 1996, with a mission to provide a vital platform that pushes the bounderies of contemporary cast iron sculpture. Dialogue between artists, curators, historians and the host site is created throughout the Symposium to examine the nature of iron via discussions, presentations, sculpture exhibitions, demos, mold making, and iron pouring.

USUK facilitates this exchange of ideas and process by bringing together artists across disciplines and cultural borders for an intense residential period.

Founding Director Coral Lambert



Come on by the Career Centre to Find out more on

Thurs Jan 19th @ 4.30 + 5.30pm

Two Positions Available : As an assistant marketing manager for the USUK Cast Iron Sculpture Symposium you will help oversee the production of a catalogue and website as well as assist with administration involved in the general organization and promotion of the symposium. USUK is an International Sculpture Symposium which will be held in the summer of 2012 between Salem Art Works, New York and Scottish Sculpture Workshop, Scotland.
Qualifications include marketing, design, website, administration. The successful candidate must demonstrate good organizational and communication skills as well as reliability.

PowerPoint presentation about USUK and Application Forms available at the Informational Meeting.

Senior Spotlight: Zach Stork

Artist Statement
An interest of the natural world, entropy of existence and landscape provoke my attention wherever I roam. Wonderment of what is happening within an environment and the materials it is comprised of influence my artistic practice. The use of symbols, whether in material or object are found within my works to convey the configuration of the world in my eye.

Much of my work has been an investigation of cultural relativism within the quandaries of self-bearing and the fa├žade of American society. These examinations of ideas are then synthesized, transforming into a matrix of ambiguity that alludes our societal time and era.

An investigation into the nuclei of societies and ethics of authority and there relationship to nature and its inhabitants are a focul point of my creative material interactions. Specifically the disintegration of agriculture, business, and construction professions. My interests are manifest in objects and installations.
I find the confines of our society instill a distress within the nature of my work; I attempt to make this apprehension ardent, virtuous and authentic in essence.

Zachary Thomas Stork 2012

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Monday, February 6, 2012

Senior Spotlight : David Holub

Artist Statement
Public bench people watching, country creek living organism stirring, my work is like an innate glare, an observation provoked into a personal reflection locked in the Ivory Tower.
I grew up with an overlapping understanding of the world, by relating biological elements from childhood explorations: I’m still just an over grown child.  I like to examine personalities, by turning the contrast volume up on a character’s inner workings, including self.  For me, manipulations of mediums is an investigation, instigating anthropomorphic imagery and form.  Through these processes of art, the end results are ideas expressed by seizing moments as sculpture, stark and quirky.
I work with casting materials; metals, glass, and found objects. The use of different materials helps me create a vocabulary that when it all boils down in 2D &  3D, I edit,  chop them up and put it all back together like a mad scientist.
My recent work delves into the idea of self-deconstruction.  I have been finding myself going back and working with a hand modeled self portrait bust, redeveloping a past self perception physically by subtle destructions and cycles of opposites.  Like a natural forest fire’s self-deconstruction of the old school to create that, “New New”, untainted and naive. By exploiting these juxtapositions I’m searching for a balance that struggles.

David Holub 2012

Nor'easter Iron Preconference Workshop at Alfred

'Environmental Foundry Workshop : Clay Molds For Cast Iron, A Sustainable and Viable Practice.

This Nor'Easter Pre-conference Workshop will be held at The National Casting Center Foundry, Alfred University, New York.


Led by Professor Coral Lambert, Director of the National Casting Center Foundry the workshop will cover African Ashanti and Japanese Sogata Clay molding. Participants will learn recipes, techniques and produce molds to be cast in iron at the Nor'easter conference in Buffalo.  http://digitalcommons.buffalostate.edu/noreaster/
The 'Environmental Foundry Workshop' will run from  Fri Nov 9th - Tuesday 13th 2012
Each day will consist of a morning Demo and an afternoon Lecture. Particpants will have full access to the facilties at The National Casting Center Foundry for hands on mold making. Charcoal firing of the clay molds will take place at Alfred and be transported to the conference in Buffalo byTuesday 13th Nov.

Spaces are limited to the first ten to sign up. Deposit $50.
A total cost of $120 will be for materials, and transport of molds to the conference which is about a two hour drive.

Lodging as well as travel to and from Alfred and Food will the the responsibility of the individual. We will be more than happy to arrange pick up and drop off at the local airport/bustop/Amtrak can be arranged.

Checks payable to Alfred University : We have no payment online set up so please mail your chack payable to Alfred University to Professor Lambert, Chair of Sculpture Dimensional Studies, Alfred University, 2 Pine Street, Alfred, NY 14802.

For further information please contact Professor Coral Lambert at lambertc@alfred.edu


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Pour Your Heart Out

Senior Spotlight: Jeff Crawford

Artist Statement
Much of what we know about cultures is what its people have left behind; artifacts. My desire is that my work will one day become an art'in'fact, and my lineage will be carried on. My attraction to creating with metal and stone has to do with their inherent properties and capability to withstand the perils of time. Through the use of these materials I am becoming more intimate with my roots, using materials my ancestors manipulated to leave a footprint of their existence. The more I discover about my heritage, the more I discover about who I am. The work is an investigation of my Scottish genealogy; it is a reflection of where the surname Crawford came from, and who these people were.

Jeff Crawford 2012

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Senior Spotlight : Hannah 'Bonny' Crowl

Artist Statement
The codes of social expectations have influenced all individuals; relying on that influence to create the norms through repetition and ritual. These standards are often expected; individuals and the consequences for failing to meet these demands commonly result in discrimination and social alienation. My work reflects a fear of these rejections. Using metal my work portrays the resistance to change, permanency of social influence, and desperation caused by fear. Fear of social rejection can result in the modification of physical elements, some perceive these modifications as violent, others see them as necessary adjustments. All of my pieces reference the human body on a life-size scale, but have oppositions made in various other dimensions manipulating the body. The scale of my body castings are life size so they can instill the viewer with a sense of sympathy and self-reflection. My portrayal of the contradiction of humanity using mechanics to feel more “human” is indiscriminate, allowing the viewer have a personal interaction with each sculpture.

Hannah Crowl 2012