A massive blast furnace, a 40’ deer head, piles of found objects, firsthand insights from Pittsburgh salvage artists, and it’s all free – how AWESOME is that? For 12 students from community schools surrounding Carrie Furnaces, it will be an unforgettable experience in collaboration, art, and regional history. Using the same techniques that built the Carrie Deer, they will create the first sculpture for the on-site Sculpture Garden. Many of the materials they will use have been drawn from the site itself during the maintenance process. The workshop includes a docent-led family site tour; DVDs of the Carrie Furnaces’ History and The Carrie Deer Documentary; 3 on-site sessions with artists, materials, and tools; and a video of the student’s personal workshop experience. The resulting sculpture is the inaugural installation for the new Carrie Salvage Art Garden. Collaborative art is a unique experience requiring a collective focus on a joint goal; a challenging exercise for creative minds often used to working singularly. As a “new” collective, the students work as a team in designing and creating their sculpture. As aspiring artists, the opportunity to engage artistically with this remarkable site is exceptionally inspiring. The monolithic industrial structures of Carrie form a cathedral-like setting of abstract sculptural ruins. Photographers, artists, and filmmakers continue to seek out the site for artistic expression and inspiration just as the Deer artists did in the 90s. Students will learn the history of the site, the region’s industrial heritage, what inspired the Deer artists – all while working in this unusual environment to explore their own ideas of public art and salvage sculpture. Presentations by the Office of Public Art and the Sprout Fund introduce them to the complexities of large-scale works, public installations and community interaction with public works. We also hope this project will encourage other groups to engage the site in new artistic ways.
Funded by Pittsburgh, PA (May 2013)