I, and a team of other women, are starting a non-profit fine art foundry in the state of Arkansas that focuses on two goals.
1. Providing metal working resources and art enrichment for the local communities in Arkansas and
2. Creating opportunities for female metal workers from all over the nation to support their careers as professional artists.
The FEmale Foundry became the solution to a problem I noticed once my friends in the sculpture program at the University of Central Arkansas graduated and found themselves being in limbo. There is no public art foundry in this state and they no longer had access to the facilities that fostered their talent in metal work. Therefore the choices they had were to either move away and take their talents with them, create in mediums that are more accessible materials from hobby stores, or ultimately stop creating artwork and finding a different career path.
This transition is especially difficult as a female sculptor. It is extremely difficult to be taken seriously by those outside of the art educational sphere. This is a ever growing movement of women taking on metal working careers because of the opportunities that have been presented to them. We want continue this movement and be a source of learning, support, and empowerment for female metal workers all over the nation.
Currently, the foundry has no location, no furnace (we team up with UCA to have iron pours, but that can't last forever), and no major funding (Right now its funded by students and recent graduates). But it has been creating interest in the iron casting community and with local artists that are excited to play with fire and metal.
Funded by Awesome Without Borders (September 2018)