Each year for the past twenty years, as many as 50 artists from around the United States have convened in the small town of Tucumcari, New Mexico to engage in a weeklong workshop making cast iron sculptures at Mesalands Community College (MCC). Artist and MCC foundry director D’Jean Jawrunner, one of several women leading the iron sculpture movement in the U.S., began inviting artists to Tucumcari for an annual iron pour in 1999. The labor-intensive workshop engages an entire community of artists in building patterns, constructing molds, and breaking down and melting several tons of recycled scrap iron in handmade cupola furnaces. The culminating activity is the Iron Pour; a visually exciting, open-to-the-public event where glowing molten metal is dispensed into large ladles and poured into molds to create cast iron sculptures. Artworks created in Tucumcari have been exhibited in museums and galleries from New Mexico to Japan.
The Mesalands Iron Pour is distinctive for its inclusivity, connecting a diverse group of artists across gender, age, and level of experience. Perhaps, the most important part of the Iron Pour are the numerous students and faculty from universities in New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Michigan, as well as independent artists from Alaska, Georgia, California, Ohio and New York. This exhibition will include artworks from a number of these accomplished artists and students who have participated in the workshop. The majority of artworks will primarily be three-dimensional cast iron objects, but the exhibition will also include additional artworks in a variety of media, such as photographs, prints, and sound installations representing the artistic extensions and uses of the medium. Video documentation of an Iron Pour in action will be included in the exhibition as a media component.
October 26 at 6:30 PM
TOM JOYCE Guest Artist, MacArthur Fellow
Free Lecture | 7:30 PM
"Before iron passed into the hands of artists, it made a long and circuitous journey; from its explosive origins in dying suns; to its emergence as nanoparticles in soil, plants, animals and every other living thing; from microscopic bacteria to the largest mammals inhabiting Earth. Iron in blood and the oxygenating properties it facilitates in our bodies not only sustains life as we know it, but also acutely affects our immune system; brain development; learning capacity; memory; metabolism; motor skills and manual dexterity. How is it that iron emerged as such an indispensable ingredient and building block in our solar system and in galaxies far beyond; inside ourselves and in the objects passed from a maker's hands into the hands of others?" TOM JOYCE
Formally trained as a blacksmith, Tom Joyce is widely acknowledged as one of the foremost practitioners in the field for his early contributions to the art and science of forging iron. Apprenticing as a teenager in the early 1970s, and now working from studios in Santa Fe, New Mexico and Brussels, Belgium on forged sculptures, drawings, photographs, videos and mixed media installations, Joyce continues to examine the environmental, political and historical implications of using iron in his work. Incorporating industrially forged remnants and byproducts of large scale manufacturing, Joyce's sculptures reference this material's former life as an indispensable component used by multinational corporations, governmental agencies, and military forces around the world.
Joyce was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 2003; and later that year an Aileen Osborn-Webb Award from the American Craft Council's College of Fellows; he was inducted into the Smithsonian Institution's Archives of American Art in 2004; and in 2006, received the Distinguished Artist of the Year Award from Rotary International's Foundation for the Arts; he was honored with a Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts in 2009; was a recipient of a United States Artists Windgate Fellowship in 2011; and in 2014, was given an Honorary Doctorate from Santa Fe University of Art and Design. Joyce is a 2002 and 2013 alumni of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Art/Industry Residency program, and in 2008 was a lithography resident artist at Tamarind Institute.
Want to know more about iron casting? The Amarillo Museum of Art, Amarillo Art Institute and Arts in the Sunset are offering an iron casting sculpture workshop and iron pour.
Carve Your Own Mold Workshop
Amarillo Art Institute @ Arts in the Sunset
3701 Plains Boulevard
Saturday, October 20 from 10 am to Noon
Saturday, October 27 from 10 am to 2 pm
A limited number of molds available to purchase for $20.
Iron Pour: Watch the exciting process of melting and casting iron into sculpture.
Arts in the Sunset, East Parking Lot
3701 Plains Boulevard
Saturday, October 27 from 3 pm until all molds are filled
Beginning at 3 PM and continuing into the evening until all sculpture molds are filled with molten iron.
Rachelle and Jake Tuls
First Bank Southwest
Kent Roberts and Ilene Roberts Balliet Foundation
Total Allow Foundry
SEASON EXHIBITION SPONSORS
Dr. and Mrs. Michael Engler
Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Smith
Mr. and Mrs. Stuart West
AMoA can be reached by calling: 806-371-5050 or 806-371-5392, or
Location address: 2200 S. Van Buren Street, Amarillo, TX, 79109
Mailing address: P.O. Box 447, Amarillo, TX, 79178
The Amarillo Museum of Art is open:
Tuesday through Friday from 10 am - 5 pm.
Saturday and Sunday the Museum is open from 1 pm - 5 pm
(except for exhibition installation weeks)
CLOSED on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
There is no admission fee.
The Amarillo Museum of Art publishes and distributes numerous fine art catalogues and posters. Southeast Asian and East Indian artifacts are featured as well as renowned modernist artists such as Georgia O'Keeffe and John Marin.