Sparks Will Fly at Genesee's Arcade Campus Center

May 1, 2009 will be a big day at the Arcade Campus of Genesee Community College. The first event of the evening will be a Student Art Show featuring the work of the 3D Design class, and the second will be a live molten metal pour. Throughout the semester, students have been working with the molding process, creating 3D work in plaster and wax from molds they have designed using various techniques. The students’ hard work and new skills will result in a final piece or sculpture molded in metal. The student art show will begin at 6:00 PM, while the metal pour will begin at approximately 7:30 PM.

During a recent field trip to the Essex Art Gallery in Buffalo, director Simon Griffis performed a metal pour illustrating to Genesee students the technique involved in the metal molding process. Students primarily created molds in the traditional method of having two halves that form a single object. However, for this project they used an open face mold, where there is only one side to the mold, much like candy or Jell-O molds. The mold is made from compacted sand with an “activator” that keeps the sand together. Once they received their molds they took their design and scaled it to fit inside the mold, addressing any issues that could cause the mold to ‘blow out’ of the molten metal. Once the design was recreated on the mold, students then carved the mold using a nail, taking care not to dig too deep and leaving enough material between objects.

“There are several factors that go into the outcome, such as weather, humidity and the design itself,” Simon Griffis said. “No two pours are ever the same, even when done in the same day.”

It was at this time that a special piece of work was started for the Arcade Campus Center’s Memorial Garden. This Garden is dedicated to all students, instructors and community members who support the Genesee Community College at Arcade. The piece will be mounted on a boulder and will be the center piece for the garden. It was designed by Kate Stevens, after the Campus Center community collectively agreed her design reflected the shared sentiment everyone hoped to convey. The design of the sculpture will be revealed at the May 1st event.

Adding excitement and drama of this event, the metal pour will be conducted after sunset and is open to the public. With the pour being at night, spectators will be able to see the sparks, watch the molds go from glowing red to cooling, and share the anticipation of the artists as they see their hard work and the extended process come to life in a metal sculpture.

This event is free and open to the public. For further information, please contact David Sink, Arcade Campus Center associate at 585-492-5265.