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Visiting Artist Program brings sparks, molten iron to St. Kate's

Sculptor Harvey Hood.
Sculptor Harvey Hood.
Photo supplied by the artist.

The 2011 Dale and Mary Mrnak Memorial Visiting Artist Program at St. Catherine University welcomes sculptor Harvey Hood, from Cardiff University, Wales, and founder of the Berllanderi Sculpture Workshop, May 2-7.

Hood will give a public artist talk at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 5, in the lecture hall of the Visual Arts Building and will lead the third annual St. Kate’s Mother’s Day Iron Pour Sunday, May 8, behind the building on the University's St. Paul campus.

The events are part of the "Year of the Liberal Arts" celebrating the launch of the new School of the Humanities, Arts and Sciences.

Hood will share his deep and diverse expertise in iron work with sculpture students in the art studio and meet with graduating seniors.

About the artist

Harvey Hood was born in Staffordshire, England, studied at Birmingham College of Art and earned his master’s of art degree at the Royal College of Art, London. He joined the sculpture faculty of Cardiff College of Art (now University of Wales Institute) and subsequently became head of sculpture.

Working in iron and many other materials, Hood’s recent work incorporates digital modeling. He has pursued numerous conceptual and material directions, often intimating cultural, political, celestial and artistic associations through symbology and metaphors.

Hood has had numerous exhibitions and commissions in the United Kingdom and internationally and has also completed residencies in Norway and Finland.

He is a fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptors and now devotes all his time to his own practice and directing visiting artist projects at the Berllanderi Sculpture Workshop that he founded.

In his words: "When it comes to making sculpture I trust my instincts. I focus on my intentions rather than examining solutions. I might prescribe an arch or take a shape through 180 degrees to make a form. Making the sculpture is a journey of making decisions every step of the way: working with the material and the process, exploiting imperfections in the media."

About the Mother’s Day Iron Pour

The Third Annual Mother’s Day Iron Pour will be held on Sunday, May 8, 1-6 p.m. in the parking lot behind the Visual Arts Building on St. Catherine University’s St. Paul campus. The team will pour molds made by Harvey, art students and visiting regional artists, who will also assist with the pour.

There will also be 20 scratch blocks, or open-face molds, into which any interested student can carve directly and have cast on the day of the pour — first come first served. The general public is also invited to watch and participate in the sculpture casting process, something rarely seen outside the studio. 

About the visiting artist program

Dale Mrnak was a custodian at St. Kate’s from 1994 to his sudden death in 2005. He was responsible for maintaining the Visual Arts Building, where he had become an integral member of the Art and Art History Department and the Catherine G. Murphy Gallery. Mrnak was also a custodian of those who worked and learned in the building. He was always available to lend an ear to students, to help faculty and staff with their programs and to pitch in wherever he saw a need.

So engaged was he that Mrnak was known to give tours of the Visual Arts Building to prospective students when no one else was available. It was his wish to support the mission of the University’s art programs, and his family has made this possible through the Dale and Mary Mrnak Memorial Visiting Artist Program. 

For more information about this year's residency, e-mail Assistant Professor of Sculpture Tamsie Ringler or call 651-690-8626.  

April 26, 2011 by Tamsie Ringler

See also: Arts, Liberal Arts, Students