Thursday, April 26, 2012

why sculpture is awesome

Over the last several weeks my advanced sculpture students transformed this:

Into this:

Their assignment was to create anthropomorphic flowers, to research flowers and to find human characteristics in blooms and or plants. This was a public sculpture project so they used steel to create their forms and they had to design and build anchors to secure the sculptures to the ground.  The installation site is the "Art Corner" in Greenwood, SC provided by master photographer Jon Holloway who owns Meridian gallery and studios just down the street. 

These students learned to weld a bit in their first sculpture class and this project allows them to learn different types of welds and to really stretch the material to make the desired forms.

There are some things that metal workers know steel does not normally do well.  I've learned that if you do not tell the students it wont work, they can generally find a way to make it happen.  That is, if they don't know it's impossible, then it's not.

"Nero" by Vince Wald
I just realized that Vince escaped my photo opp.  Someone needs to make him pose beside his sculpture and photograph it for me.  "Nero" is a habanero plant tearing his own tongue out because he can take the heat no longer.

"Old Man Orchid" by Melissa Humphries
Not so loosely based on a family member, this guy stands on the corner with his huge Polident smile and waves at the ladies.

"Serendipity" by Ali Hammond
Would you believe a flower truck crashed and spilled flowers on the road and her boyfriend picked up some roses and gave them to her?  It happened and it became the narrative for this hollow form sculpture.

"Tongues of Fury" by Jermel Kennedy
Jermel is not from around here.  He's from America's hat (Canada).  He's also 10 feet tall and a basketball superstar....and pretty good with a grinder.  His flower petals are made of tongues.  Furious tongues.

"Mommy's Little Peapod" by Adri Diaz
Inspired by the impending birth of a new family member, Adri created two different flowers in one composition.  The larger mother flower cradles the newborn smaller flower.

"Eyesee Kudzu" by Jensea Barker
This large flower becomes figurative and is covered in shiny silver eyeballs.  The afternoon shadows will be amazing.

"Blooming Birth" by BJ Johnson
Also a basketball superstar, fresh from the Elite Eight this year (even though she's exactly my height) BJ formed a flower that mimics the form of a pregnant female figure complete with a little bloom in the oven.

"Emotional Stems of Life" by Corey Benjamin
An autobiographical work for the artist depicting the two sides of his struggle to keep up his trademark smile under the weight of the stresses and pressures of his final year of undergrad.  There's a smile on one side and a frown on the other. 

The official group photo.  That's what Vince looks like...amazing beard.

We also made over 50 small steel flowers of various types and various levels of quality.  The students took great joy in mocking my lame flowers while they turned out much better pieces like this one....

Vince made this one.  Did I mention his amazing beard?

Looking through "Old Man Orchid"

This is an excellent group of students and we all had a blast making art this semester.  This installation is really great and it's a wonderful thing to share with the Greenwood community throughout the summer.   

Come out to the SC Festival of Flowers in Greenwood this June and visit Meridian gallery before you walk across the street to eat pizza at the Millhouse or wings at Kicker's.  Right there on the corner of Maxwell Ave and Edgefield St you'll see some fine work made by some fine students. 

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