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Gallery Lecture Highlights Cast Iron Art

The art exhibit “Liquid Earth: Contemporary Cast Iron Sculpture” is on display through Oct. 5 at the University’s Hope Horn Gallery in Hyland Hall. The exhibit is free of charge and open to the public during gallery hours. Pictured is “Chinese Potted Landscape,” a cast iron sculpture by Changzhong Shao.
September 11, 2018
By: Anastasia McClendon ’20, student correspondent

On the first Friday of September, the Hope Horn Gallery held a lecture, entitled “Liquid Earth: Contemporary Cast Iron Sculpture,” that invited students and community members to learn about what goes into creating cast iron art, and, in particular, about creation of the pieces that are featured in the current gallery exhibit.

According to Darlene Miller-Lanning, Ph.D., director of the Hope Horn Gallery, some of the inspiration for the exhibit came from a week-long event that happened in May and early June of 2018 in Scranton, The International Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art (I.C.C.C.I.A).

Dr. Miller-Lanning first explained that Scranton’s history with iron casting existed long before conference. In the 19th century iron casting was a daily occurrence in Scranton and, at one point, Scranton had the third largest iron manufacturing plant in the United States. Situated near the University’s Fitzpatrick field at 159 Cedar Avenue, are the remains of the Lackawanna Iron and Coal Company furnaces, which is now a historical site.

Today, iron casting is becoming a lost art, according to Dr. Miller-Lanning. She said one of the goals of the I.C.C.C.I.A. is to promote iron casting as an art medium.

“For artists who are using [iron casting] in a creative way, to pass down that knowledge and transform that into a vision is important to them. It also – on a really broad level – provides an international platform that fosters innovation and creative practice and sustains relevancy in the context of the contemporary art scene,” Dr. Miller-Lanning said. 

The spring conference was attended by nearly 300 people from all over the world who had one thing in common: their interest in iron casting. Dr. Miller-Lanning said that this medium of art has a way of bringing people together. 

During the lecture, Dr. Miller-Lanning showed images of many of the art pieces that are featured in the Hope Horn Gallery exhibit “Liquid Earth: Contemporary Cast Iron Sculpture,” which is on display through Oct. 5. Gallery hours are Sunday through Friday from noon to 4 p.m. and Wednesdays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

Following the lecture, reception was held in the Hope Horn Gallery in conjunction with downtown Scranton’s First Fridays. The reception included live music and refreshments.  

Anastasia McClendon ’20, Chinchilla, is an English major at The University of Scranton.
Anastasia McClendon ’20, Chinchilla, is an English major at The University of Scranton.
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