Iron Wills

The Western Cast Iron Art Conference takes over the town.

There is no fair description of what goes on at an iron pour. Sure, there are flames and sparks and glowing molten metal, seen through an aura of smoldering heat and acrid smoke, but heck, you’ve really just gotta be there. Even among the esoteric milieu of sculptors working in cast iron, it’s an anticipated event. And more so, as University of Colorado Denver sculpture instructor Rian Kerrane points out, it’s an act of community: “For us,” she says, “it’s a labor of love, and one that mixes a blue-collar ethic with the fine arts.”

Kerrane and her husband and fellow artist, Mark Guilbeau, hold down the local branch of the Western Cast Iron Art Alliance, a loose coalition of casting artists from Colorado and neighboring Western states; with a committee of their cohorts, they’re hosting the first Western Cast Iron Art Conference, an inaugural biennial event patterned after a similar get-together in the South. Workshops, which cater both to beginners and old-timers, began Monday and conclude today at UCD on the Auraria campus, and a series of panels, pours and exhibit openings begin tomorrow and continue through Saturday, June 7, at Demiurge Design at Taxi, 3505 Ringsby Court, and around town. Participants can register for the whole conference for a fee or opt to visit galleries and see iron-cast works for free. Openings include Tiny Iron, a show of small cast works at Downtown Aurora Visual Arts, 1405 Florence Street in Aurora, and a juried student exhibit at Edge Gallery, 3658 Navajo Street, on June 5. Three more shows — Iron Tribe, a WCIAA boardmembers’ show and Pieces and Parts — and a performance pour by local artist Joe Riché also open at Demiurge on June 6.

Full conference registration is $50 to $85, plus $10 to $25 to participate in a pour; for more information, visit www.wciaa.org.
June 2-7, 2008

 
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