The sculpture program in the ASU Herberger Institute School of Art is a spirited community of artists working in a dynamic range of media and approaches. Students have opportunities to work in neon, study electronics and kinetics in sculpture, and cast in iron, bronze and aluminum. Video installation, performance art and interactivity are combined with woodworking, metal fabrication and public art. These media and the ideas surrounding them are explored in a lively discourse that extends beyond formal classes. Visiting artists, off campus exhibitions, field trips and extracurricular clubs are important features of the program. Historical, political and personal context are all emphasized.
Personal studio spaces are provided for advanced undergraduate students and graduate students. The experimental systems component of the sculpture program is a notable highlight, being one of the few university sculpture curriculums offering courses exploring electronics, mechanical systems, kinetics, machining, video and computer systems as applied to the visual arts. The sculpture program has an active and nationally recognized foundry program. The well-equipped facility offers the opportunity to learn ceramic shell, and investment casting. Bronze, aluminum, iron, brass, pewter, copper and other alloys are utilized in work examining contemporary aspects of the foundry arts. The neon workshop is one of four neon facilities worldwide located at universities offering neon art programs at both undergraduate and graduate levels.
This program gives young artists a great opportunity not only to build neon sculptures, but also to exhibit their works professionally while still a student. In addition, the architectural sculpture program holds yearly competitions and commissions and has produced large-scale art works for many communities in Arizona. This, in conjunction with architectural sculpture courses, makes the Herberger Institute School of Art sculpture area an ideal place for young artists to develop their skills in large public artwork.