Photo by Sean Weaver/NMHU
New Mexico Highlands University art student McKaila Dorman walks in front of a fire burst during the performance casting in 2009’s Iron Tribe event.
HU Iron Tribe Art Exhibit Opens Feb. 14, More Iron Art Events in March
New Mexico Highlands University presents Iron Tribe, a contemporary iron art exhibit featuring local, national and international artists, Feb. 14 through March 4. Other public iron art events are scheduled for early March.
The Iron Tribe exhibit will be in the university’s Burris Hall Gallery, 903 National Ave.
Fine arts professor David Lobdell established Iron Tribe, a biannual Highlands event now in its sixth year. He is teaching a class this semester, Exhibit Design — Iron Tribe, that is organizing the exhibit and the other iron art events.
“The work of more than 70 professional iron artists is included in the Iron Tribe exhibit,” Lobdell said. “There’s a huge variety of ideas, emotions and techniques expressed through media like forged steel sculpture, traditional cast iron sculptures, iron paintings, and large-scale photographs and videography that depict iron art production.”
International artists featured in this year’s Iron Tribe exhibit hail from Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Stateside, artists from California to New York, and many states in between, are showing work in the exhibit.
Lobdell said Iron Tribe offers the university’s fine arts students a chance to broaden their horizons by networking with artists and students from across the country. He said Iron Tribe also educates and entertains the public about iron art.
“Iron Tribe has helped put the Southwest on the map as part of the growing iron art movement in the U.S.,” Lobdell said. “With Iron Tribe, we have created a learning center for cast iron.”
Lobdell said the March 3 evening performance casting session will be dramatic.
“When you pour 2200-degree metal into a wooden mold it sputters and spits,” Lobdell said. “Performance casting is an industrial dance of movement and fire, with music.”
All the March Iron Tribe events are free and open to the public:
Art Foundry Performance Casting Session, March 3, from 5 – 8 p.m. in the parking lot across the street from the university’s new art foundry, at 914 11th St. A blast furnace will be used to melt scrap iron that will be poured into molds.
Iron Art Symposium, March 4, from 1 – 3 p.m., Burris Hall Room 129. Guest speakers include art professors from nine universities who will talk about their MFA sculpture programs.
Iron Tribe Exhibit Closing Reception, March 4, from 3 – 5 p.m., Burris Hall Gallery. Local restaurants are donating food for the reception.
Production Casting Session, March 5, from 9 a.m. until completion, at the Highlands University art foundry.
Past Iron Tribe events at Highlands helped sparked the formation of the Western Cast Iron Art Alliance in 2008. It is composed of higher education arts professors. Lobdell co-founded the Alliance and serves as its president.
For more information about Iron Tribe, contact Lobdell at 505-454-3570 or firstname.lastname@example.org