March 18, 2016
Mesalands Community College had 37 students from across the nation participate in last week’s 18th Annual Iron Pour. During this event, students made beautiful pieces of art out of cast iron. They poured over 6,000 pounds of iron in a little over five hours.
“I think the Iron Pour was very successful, we poured 6,117 pounds in five and a half hours with the assistance of the furnace named ‘Peechy Keen’ and our wonderful teams of students. Our students made it happen,” said Joel Kiser, Fine Arts Faculty at Mesalands. “We also have the support of our staff and our community”.
During the week of the Annual Iron Pour, Mesalands scheduled many fun activities for the students and the community.
The week started with the Art Show and Slideshow. Students brought artwork from previous iron pours and displayed them during the event. They also presented pictures of their artwork and explained the process and the meaning of their creative pieces. There were 88 attendees to the Art Show and Slideshow presentation.
There was also a special screening of the “Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Historical Odeon Theater.” A total of 41 students and community members had fun watching this classic movie.
For “Meet the Artists,” community members mingled with the artists and learned more about the process of creating cast iron sculptures, while enjoying popcorn and drinks. For the first time, community members also had the opportunity to make their own custom cast iron tiles. They carved their own design in the tiles, which was made out of sand. The tile was then poured on Friday, along with the other sculptures. Proceeds benefited the Hot Metals Club at Mesalands.
The week ended with the highly anticipated pouring of the iron, that began with the Opening Ceremony. Following the Opening Ceremony, “Peechy Keen” was then fired up for the pour. Another unique addition to the Iron Pour this year, was the “Art of the Rat Rod” Car Show, provided by the Team Cutters Car Club. Onlookers of the car show enjoyed studying the vehicles and the creative ways they were put together.
After a long-week of working on their sculptures and participating in the many activities of the 18th Annual Iron Pour, the artists broke their iron molds to unveil their works of art. The artists say this is like Christmas morning when they get to unwrap their gifts.
“I’ve come to the Mesalands Iron Pour for five years and it’s a very neat experience to be pushed to get everything done in just one week,” said Iron Pour student, Emily Grimes, from Dallas, TX. “My favorite thing about the Iron Pour is that we are a family and everyone understands each other’s weirdness.”
D’Jean Jawrunner, Fine Art Faculty at Mesalands and the creator of the College’s Iron Pour, says this event continues to be a success because of the continued support of others.
“The Iron Pour would not be nearly as successful at retaining students without everyone’s kindness and interest. Without so many returning students, we could not have such a large and safe pour. I want to thank the generous help, support, and time everyone has given to this Iron Pour, especially the support from our community,” Jawrunner said. “This workshop has kept the Fine Arts Department alive and growing and is an Iron Pour like no other.”