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The sculpture program thrives on enthusiasm, hard work and passion. Students are incredibly flexible, working with great skill in diverse media, each creating their own unique definition of the field of sculpture.
The sculpture area recognizes the broad, transdisciplinary nature of sculpture today. A wide range of media now falls within an expanded definition of sculpture. Course work includes architectural sculpture, foundry, interactive and kinetic sculpture, neon, small metals, wood, video and sound installation. While classes run the gamut of the contemporary sculpture environment, there also is an emphasis on helping students put today's creations in the contexts of the history of sculpture and the larger field of contemporary art. Critical inquiry is augmented by courses in the art history program. Visiting artists, curators and critics connect students to the contemporary context.
Personal studio spaces are provided for advanced undergraduate students. The sculpture program has an active and nationally accredited foundry arts 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.
With facilities for working with wood, metal, neon, video, electronics and plastics, virtually anything can be made in the sculpture studios of the ASU Herberger Institute School of Art. The sculpture program has one of the best-equipped metal fabrication facilities in the Southwest, including an extensive inventory of tools and equipment with space for large-scale sculpture production. An outstanding woodshop includes a variety of stationary saws, planers and sanders. Specialized equipment for vacu-forming plastic, bending and filling neon and the machining of metal plastic and wood is also available. CNC plasma cutter, laser cutter and CNC router enable computer controlled production. Facilities for video production, and electronic arts, insure that every student’s vision can be realized.
The work of sculpture students is shown frequently at community, national and international venues. These include The Ice House, First Avenue Gallery, the Eye Lounge, 1505 Gallery, Monorchid Gallery, the Tempe Library, Wet Paint Art Gallery and Rezurrection Gallery.
Sculpture students have taken advantage of many opportunities to create public art and regularly receive grants through the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture, the City of Tempe and Scottsdale Public Art, as well as private sponsorships Valley wide. ASU sculpture students have been awarded numerous commissions through the inFlux and Platform competitions. They show regularly in the annual Arizona Student Sculpture Competition sponsored by the Spanish Village Sculpture Garden in Carefree, the City of Prescott Outdoor Sculpture Competition, the Pima College Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition and Galleries, and the Burning Man Festival. ASU sculpture students even created bicycle racks that have been placed in Tempe. The architectural sculpture course holds yearly competitions and commissions and has produced large-scale artworks for many communities in Arizona.
The ASU Herberger Institute School of Art sculpture program is engaged with the Phoenix community and with the national and international art community through a range of initiatives. Phoenix arts professionals collaborate with the sculpture program as exhibitors, curators, seminar guests, professional development panelists, graduate committee members. They work with our students on exhibitions, internships, employment, commissions, competitions in places of business and through the sponsorship of local arts and industry related businesses.
The neon workshop has shown at the Mesa Arts Center Sound in the Ground events and traveling exhibitions, including the Museum for Neon Art in Los Angeles and overseas in Japan, Taiwan and the UK. Sculpture students and program graduates have participated in exchange exhibitions with the University of Iowa and the Edinburgh College of Art and are in individual and group shows too numerous to mention.