Arts on Fire Festival in Scranton, PA

Spectators watching the Keystone Iron Works Iron pour with International Sculpture Center’s Jeannette Darr. Photo credit: Alex Seeley

On June 3rd, 2017, Keystone Iron Works participated in the Arts on Fire Festival along with Keystone College’s mobile glass studio, local artists, and the community. During the festival, Keystone Iron Works provided community members with the opportunity to create iron tile molds. These types of molds can be carved into and molten metal can be poured directly in. Several artists from the surrounding area also created larger molds to be cast in iron. As well as assisting with the iron pour. 275 iron tile molds were created along with 12 larger molds.

Photo credit: Alex Seeley

About Keystone Iron Works: “Keystone Iron Works engages at-risk youth in the activity of Iron Casting. Parallel to this we seek to invigorate and preserve the Historic Scranton Furnace and transform that site into a living museum encouraging the steward ship of its upkeep for generations to come. Mentorship, stewardship, respect for process and teamwork align with KIW’s goal to connect students to faculty, each other and the community at large. KIW’s high school students, college mentors, and professional faculty showcase their skills at the annual Fire at the Furnace and Arts on Fire Festival casting their own sculptures as well as over 200 cast iron tiles made by community members. Through direct access to the Historic Scranton Iron Furnace and the process of sand casting, we look to the past to create the possibility of a new future for our students., and produce work that interprets regional history through personal present experience in Scranton. Students give back to the community at the Arts on Fire Festival and by donating collaborative sculptural works to Confluence Sculpture Park. These works become a permanent part of the areas cultural landscape.”-Nikki Moser

Photo credit: Alex Seeley

About the Arts on Fire Festival: “The Arts on Fire Festival, launched in 2009, is a three day celebration of arts, heritage, industry and community held the first weekend of June at the Iron Furnaces in Scranton, a four acre site along Roaring Brook and managed by The Anthracite Heritage Museum and Iron Furnaces. The Iron Furnaces is a former working iron foundry, built in the 1840s, where many of the early immigrants to Scranton worked. Set against this historic backdrop, visitors to the Arts on Fire Festival can enjoy hands-on history and the best of contemporary art.” -Anthracite Heritage Museum Website.

Next year in 2018, the city of Scranton will be gearing up for the International Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art. The Conference theme is Post Industrial Iron, Divergence, Dialog, and New Directions. It will offer an opportunity to come together share conceptual ideas, discuss process and view finished projects. Conference workshops, panels, performances, demonstrations, and lectures invite the cultivation of aesthetic and conceptual dialog between practicing artists, students, iron enthusiasts, researchers, and art historians. As 21st century artists, how do we embrace the radical shifts in the contemporary field of sculpture?

By Katie Hovencamp

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