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Iron Pour to Highlight Dowd Exhibition


Ten sculptors who are geographically linked by the SUNY Cortland studio where they forged their work will hold a group exhibition titled “Coordinates” starting on Monday, Feb. 29, in the College’s Dowd Gallery located in the Dowd Fine Arts Center.

The GPS coordinates 42.589° N x 76.198° W mark the exact location of the foundry furnace at SUNY Cortland. The foundry site beside the College’s Professional Studies Building also is where some works in the exhibition were cast in an iron pour there on Feb. 12.

“Coordinates” will include a selection of earlier pieces created on-site by each of the featured sculptors, who are: Kevin Dartt, Gavin Kenyon, Elizabeth Kronfield, Marie Lorenz, Lionel Maunz, Nikki Moser, Margherita Raso, Matthew Wicker, Vaughn Randall and Jeff Williams.

Nikki Moser sculpture

The exhibit incudes Nikki Moser's 2015 sculpture made of steel, cast iron and plastic miniature trees, titled "Jeffers Tree Farm Fracked and Piped." 

The exhibition, on display through Friday, April 15, is free and open to the public, along with all scheduled events related to “Coordinates.” Events and programs include:

  • An opening reception that will be held from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Thursday, March 3, at the gallery.
  • An artists’ talk by Lorenz and Williams will take place at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 22, at the Dowd Gallery.
  • An artist’s talk by Dartt will begin at 4:15 p.m. on Thursday, April 7, at the College’s foundry. The discussion will be followed by an iron pour and performance from 5 to 7 p.m. at the same location. The pour occurs outdoors, so onlookers are encouraged to dress accordingly.

“There’s an old art school adage that sculptors have friends because their works are heavy,” said Randall, an associate professor of sculpture in SUNY Cortland’s Art and Art History Department who helped organize the show and runs the iron pours.

“It’s a little bit true, especially in the field of casting iron — and a pour takes at least four people to accomplish safely,” noted Randall, who with the other artists shares a long history of creative collaboration.

The exhibition explores a wide range of concepts.

“I’m interested in failure and our deep-seated fear of it,” Randall said of his own pieces. “By intentionally doing things wrong, I’m attempting to redefine what is right.”

Moser, from Scranton, Pa., creates work that deals with “fracking,” the controversial hydraulic fracturing method of extracting natural gas from the earth.

“My work seeks to place you in proximity to my own observations while leaving you room to seek meaning, understanding and to potentially re-evaluate your response to the ethical battles we all face,” she explains.

Vaughn Randall
Vaughn Randall's 2015 cast iron sculpture "Fear," will be displayed.

In the ongoing “Tide and Current Taxi” project, New York City-based artist Lorenz ferries people through the region’s water channels in boats she builds. A Web-blog is published about each trip, through which she compares the ancient waterway networks to new digital pathways.

Several of the featured artists participated in a mini-residency program that took place from Feb. 10 to 14 in SUNY Cortland’s beginning and advanced sculpture classes.

“This program offered students a unique opportunity to observe the full arc of the creative process from concept to mold-making to casting and finishing,” said Dowd Gallery Director Erika Fowler-Decatur.

 The Dowd Gallery is located in SUNY Cortland’s Dowd Fine Arts Center, corner of Graham Avenue and Prospect Terrace. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and by appointment.

For more information or regarding group tours, contact Erika Fowler-Decatur, gallery director, at 607-753-4216 or