Sculpture Trails Outdoor Museum, located in Solsberry, assisted by a grant from the Efroymson Family Fund, will bring the reality of creating art from metal to area students this month.
“We want to reach out to all of the art teachers and their classes in Greene County and share a presentation created to show students what it is like to make art with molten metal,” said Sculpture Trails Founder Gerry Masse.
Masse, along with Sculpture Trails Artist in Residence Paul Watson, will visit Eastern Greene Elementary third, fourth and fifth graders, a sophomore sculpture class at Linton-Stockton High School and another as yet undetermined Greene County school, taking the students from start to finish on the process of iron casting art.
“Paul Watson is the perfect guy for the project,” Masse said. “He is really good at public speaking and he’s good with kids.”
Watson is from Boston and spent three summers as an intern at Sculpture Trails, qualifying him for his current position as Artist in Residence. Masse said outreach activities are designed around the artist, using their strengths to make each activity the best it can be.
The presentations will take students through every stage of the process from blast furnace to finished sculpture, Masse said, and will also teach teamwork, math, history and the importance of using safety gear at all times.
“We will show how the artist has to be able to calculate with math, how knowing the history behind the art enriches the experience and how full of holes a typical safety jacket is after a short time in use,” Masse said. “That will also illustrate how hot metal will burn through thick material easily,” he added with a smile.
Each class will cast a 12” x 12” relief sculpture of their own, using what they have learned to collaborate on the piece and add hands-on experience to reinforce the students new knowledge of iron casting.
“Paul (Watson) will pour the designs created by the students, and bring them back their finished sculptures in April,” Masse said. “The whole experience will be quick, fun and they will all learn a lot about making sculpture.”