For my engagement experience I fabricated and installed a large welded metal sculpture at a local sculpture garden. As a sculptor with both smithed and foundry-cast metalworking experience, I furthered my own skills in the area of welded metalworks by creating a site-specific large-scale sculpture to be donated and permanently installed within the Rhoneymeade sculpture garden. The piece explored conceptual notions of materiality in addition to the relationship between nature and so-called “industrial materials” (i.e. metal).
I feel that art is an important social and cultural facet; as such contributing to the local artistic community was of great importance to me. In addition, this opportunity allowed me to take the skills and knowledge that I have learned in the class, and apply those to an outside of class endeavor.
This experience is exactly what my class studies have been preparing me to do. I have studied aspects of outdoor installation, welding, and how to successfully develop and fabricate a work of art. This project allowed me to utilize all of those things and synthesis them into a beautiful work of art.
Through the course of this experience I learned how to trouble shoot issues in the fabrication of a work of art outside of a class room setting, and therefore without the resources of teachers and peers to give feedback and assistance. I gained experience communication with landowners about the potential for installing art on their property. A key thing I learn from this experience was that resources are available for artists like myself to access; grants and other funding can be obtained to assist in the creation of art. This grant gave me great insights into how to go about preparing a grant application and what might be involved in that process. I think all of this information is very applicable to my plans after graduation. Applying for grants, making art, and communicating with landowners and public forums are all skills that will greatly improve my success as an artist, outside of an academic environment.