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Groundwork September 19 - October 20, 2014
Reception: September 19, 2014, 5pm – 9 pm
Hours: Fri 5pm – 8pm; Sat/Sun 11am – 3pm
Location: Pullman Clock Tower 11057 S. Cottage Grove Ave.
"Groundwork" - Carrie Iverson, Kelly Ludeking, Nathan Sandberg, Jeremy Scidmore
With thanks to Kelly Ludeking and Eric W. Stephenson for their help organizing and running the iron pour.
Groundwork is a reflection on history, labor, industry, boundaries and growth. Working together, the artists presented new works in a variety of materials on the grounds of the Pullman State Historic Site.
The exhibit is in two parts: Part 1 an iron pour on the factory grounds where members of the community were invited to participate by creating tiles. Part 2 is a site-specific art installation within the Clock Tower and Administration Building.
“The iron pour brings to life the community and foundry history of the factory in a dramatic and fiery way- an exciting chance for the public to participate in and learn about the processes that used to happen within the factory. Remnants from the pour create a site-specific installation within the factory, supplemented by other found and existing works. This more reflective installation offers an outside perspective on the spirit that built Pullman and the events that lead to its present state.”
Community Iron Pour/Groundwork I
While researching the history of Pullman I realized that I wanted to bring the foundry/assembly line process literally alive instead of just referencing it in an abstract way. The idea of a community iron pour felt right because it resonated with both Pullman’s strong tradition of community and its industrial past. I also loved the idea of a group of artisans working with people in the neighborhood and sharing the experience of creating together.
After the iron pour I then gathered the left over remnants – drips of metal, coal, debris on the ground- and assembled them into a site specific installation within the clock tower. I consider these elements a poetic and eloquent trace of the event- by drawing attention to them I hope to emphasize the beauty within the industrial and create some uncertainty about what was found and what was made.
When photographing the factory I was repeatedly struck by the beautiful patterns created by the crumbling bricks within the architecture. Strata references those patterns, and attempts to stratify/make solid the layers of dust that fall through the space through the interaction of glass and light.
The end of the Pullman line is near my studio in Oakland- this piece was made by taking a mold of the ground there and casting it in aluminum. The repetitive work of manufacturing tends to leave consistent marks and traces on the ground- by casting these I wanted to draw attention to these usually invisible patterns.
The pickets are meant to reference the quaint fences that surrounded many of the original houses in Pullman while at the same time quietly calling attention to the labor struggles of the era/town. The Pullman Strike of 1894 turned the area around the factory and many other related sites around the country into a battle zone between the picketing strikers and, eventually, 12,000 federal troops
White pickets are ubiquitous in front yards and bring to mind thoughts of family, protection, and imply success and stability. In war, pickets stand guard. Posted ahead of the main offensive, ready to give warning of an imminent attack. A pointed picket fence could also surround an encampment for protection.
While personally manufacturing ~160 white pickets with cast concrete bases I was attempting to emulate the mass production/manufacturing spirit of the original workers in the factory. With the time I had, over the past 12 months, this was as much as I could physically produce, even with helpers.
The reflective nature of many of the surfaces that makeup my contribution to this exhibition are meant to catch peoples attention, and hopefully make them look and think twice about where they stand.
Hopefully the reflective qualities bring up internal images and thoughts of oneself navigating the modern world (think walking down the street in a city) and help people safely/efficiently get to where they want to be in life.
These spatial interventions use neon to highlight found objects and rearrangements in the space, raising questions about what was already there and what was added and altered. Using debris from the iron pour, they draw attention to the beauty of those objects as well as the intrusions from nature such as plants and the crumbling floor.
More about the Artists...
Carrie Iverson is a printmaker and glass artist who often combines both media into multipart installations. She received her BA from Yale University and her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work is in private and public collections including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY), and the Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago, IL). She has taught at NorthLands Creative Glass (Scotland), GlassForum (Norway), Creative Glass (Switzerland and UK), as well as private studios throughout the US. Her current focus is adapting and translating her extensive knowledge of printmaking processes into glass through research and experimentation. website: http://www.carrieiverson.com/
Kelly Ludeking has been casting and fabricating metal (aluminum, bronze, & iron) consistently since graduating in 1997 from the Minneapolis College of Art & Design. He has worked for a range of clients from large companies (building larger-than-life sculptures on billboards in Times Square) to small one-of-a-kind custom furniture pieces for interior designers. Along the way he found that he also likes teaching, so he also teaches as much as he can. He is currently setting up his farm in Iowa to be a studio/classroom in foundry and fabrication. website: http://www.krlmetals.com/
Nathan Sandberg is an artist and educator living and working in Portland, Oregon. His primary material is glass although his installations commonly make use of other materials like wood, metal and concrete. Aside from relentlessly producing artwork he has made a name for himself as one of the top kiln-glass educators teaching today. When he can't be found in his studio where he focuses on kilncast glass he can be found presenting fresh, innovative curriculum at a wide range of studios, schools and art centers around the globe. website: http://www.nathansandberg.com/
Jeremy Scidmore earned a BFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and later returned to SAIC in order to study Arts Administration and Policy. While in Chicago, he owned and managed a public glass-arts resource center, collaborated with youth arts educators, completed private and public sculptural and architectural art commissions, and taught glassblowing and kiln-forming. Scidmore currently directs and manages his own teaching and fabrication studio, IV Designs, based in Oakland, California as well as maintaining his personal studio practice. website: http://www.jeremyscidmore.com
Mosnart is an ongoing art project by JB Daniel (http://www.jbdaniel.com/) The main focus is bringing artists to Pullman and Pullman to artists through mini art residencies housed in an original Pullman workers flat. Working with various organizations and individuals in the community, mosnart encourages interesting interactions between our visiting artists, historic architecture, and the community at large. Ever expanding venues include; the mosnart transom and hall space, the Hotel Florence, Pullman Factory and site, Market Square, public spaces, private residences and more. Website: http://www.tallskinny.com/mosnart
The Pullman State Historic Site
Fifteen miles south of the Chicago loop, at the center of the historic planned industrial Pullman community, the Pullman State Historic Site uses historic structures and public programs to showcase 19th and 20th Century Industrial society. The signature Clock Tower Administration Building and Assembly Shops and the grand four-story Hotel Florence give tangible evidence to the national and international influences of Pullman—on transportation, industrial design, architecture, labor, urban/ town planning and landscape design – in the contemporary context of America’s post-industrial economy, where much of the evidence of the industrial age has already disappeared. Today public programs at the Pullman State Historic Site serve broad local, regional, national and international audiences with tours, lectures, seminars, special events, field schools, archives, and online resources that appeal to both children and adults. Website: http://www.pullman-museum.org/
The mission of this nonprofit organization is to protect, preserve and promote Pullman as a unique artisan neighborhood, and also as a city, state and national treasure. In partnership with Artspace, Inc. and Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives, PullmanArts is working to build a major artist live/work space in Pullman. The project will entail a combination of new construction and adaptive re-use of historic buildings. Website: http://www.pullmanarts.org/
Special thanks to:
The Iron Pour
Kelly Ludeking (KRL metals)
Eric W. Stephenson (Lunarburn Studios)
The community tile makers
Beverly Ash Larson
Mary Jo Nasko
The Chicago Fire Department
And of course the entire Pullman community for letting us play