Update: This workshop has been rescheduled for May 11, 11 am – 5 pm.
Have you ever daydreamed about being a metal sculptor? Saturday is your big day as Houston-based artist Jack Gron brings his mobile foundry to Sawyer Yards for Expressions in Molten Metal.
This exhibition workshop is an interactive experience that allows attendees to create their own designs in a resin sand scratch block that will then be turned into a cast aluminum block using a mobile foundry that Gron designed and built.
Made possible by a grant from the Houston Arts Alliance, the workshop will be held in conjunction with Sawyer Yards Second Saturday events.
Gron, originally from Steubenville, Ohio, which is well-known for its steel mills, has spent much of his life balancing a full-time career as an educator and working artist. He’s recently retired from teaching (and settled in Kingwood) to focus on his art and passions.
This isn’t Gron’s first appearance at Sawyer Yards. In October 2018, his 8-foot tall metal sculpture titled “The Visitation,” best described as an alien robot was revealed as part of Sculpture Month Houston on Art Alley.
Recently we walked the space in preparation for Saturday’s event, and Gron shared stories of similar workshops he’s conducted all over the U.S. and beyond. The process is simple and almost anyone can participate, though it is limited to 50.
“Throughout my professional career as an artist and educator I have been committed to building bridges in the community by collaborating with educational institutions, recreation centers, arts organizations and parks, and recreation centers through hands-on studio workshops,” Gron said. “These have focused upon casting of aluminum tiles on site utilizing a portable or ‘mobile foundry’ facility of my own design.”
Gron selected aluminum because it is a lightweight, safe material that is easily manipulated and lends itself to a wide range of individualized expression.
“Professional foundry art casting is quite expensive and usually associated with traditional and classical sculptural statuary as well as in jewelry and metalsmithing applications,” Gron said.
“The purpose of this workshop program is to allow people with all levels of talent and ability the opportunity to experience another aspect of art-making that is not widely available. The workshops will also provide the public with an outlet; the chance to express themselves through art. By creating an environment that channels an individual’s energies through this art-making experience, the program will, in turn, provide a better understanding and appreciation of the arts.”
You can preview the process in a video. Search for “Jack Gron’s Mobile Foundry Demo” on the Internet.
The workshop will take place Saturday, May 11, on Art Alley at Sawyer Yards in the “train shed,” under the former Success Rice grain silos and coincides with the Sawyer Yards Second Saturday open studios and my Market at Sawyer Yards, located at 2101 Winter St. The workshop is 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Come early and visit sawyeryards.com for event details and a parking map.
Cohen is an artist and founder of First Saturday Arts Market and the Market at Sawyer Yards. Find him at ArtValet.com.