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See “Rekindling,” an exhibition of Sloss Metal Arts sculpture, at UAB’s Art Lab

  • February 10, 2022
Works by the artists from Sloss Metal Arts are on show through Feb. 23, culminating with a reception from 4:30-7 p.m.

Elliot WorstedVirginia Elliott, "Worsted," cast ironArtists from Sloss Metal Arts will present an exhibition of sculpture at the University of Alabama at Birmingham

The exhibition, “Rekindling,” is on view at Art Lab, an exhibition space operated by and for the students and faculty of the College of Arts and SciencesDepartment of Art and Art History. On show are works by artists Ajene Williams, Odette Blaisdell, Alex Tucker, Alair Wells, Alexandra Rose, Casey Tesmer, Dave Matson and Virginia Elliott.

A free reception will be from 4:30-7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 23, at Art Lab, in Room 100, on the first floor of the UAB Humanities Building, 900 13th Street South. For spring, the Art Lab is open to the public on weekday afternoons until 5 p.m.

Sloss Furnaces was once the largest manufacturer of pig iron in the world. It stands today just as it did in the late 19th century — a monument to the Industrial Revolution. With its web of pipes and towering stoves, this unique National Historic Landmark provides visitors a glimpse into Birmingham’s rich industrial heritage. Sloss Furnaces operated from 1882-1970, making it the longest continually running blast furnace in Birmingham’s history.

Today iron is still poured through the Metal Arts program housed within the historic structures, keeping the tradition and history alive. Since initiating the program in 1985, Sloss has offered workshops, exhibitions and conferences on all aspects of metal working — forging, fabricating and casting — but focuses primarily on the use of cast iron as a sculpture medium.

Sloss hosted the first and second International Conferences on Contemporary Cast Iron Art, in 1988 and 1994, and continues to organize the biennial National Conference on Cast Iron Art. Open studios give a regional audience of professional artists access to the foundry facilities needed to cast their own work, while regular sculpture workshops in casting, welding and forging are designed for people with no metalwork experience.

Art Lab is a space for innovation and exploration in art and art history. Art Lab exhibitions emphasize artwork and art history research created by undergraduate students in the Department of Art and Art History, plus exhibitions from guest artists and scholars whose work complements the educational programs in the department.