Special to the Journal
On Thursday, Oct. 7, the Albany State University Visual Art Learning Community unveiled a sculpture the students dubbed “Book of Knowledge.” The cast iron sculpture, approximately 17 inches by 11 inches, sits atop a 3-foot concrete pedestal. Project director Scott Marini, associate professor of fine arts, supervised the sculpture’s production.
The sculpture was created in large part on March 21, 2009, when the fine art students casted iron with the help of visiting artists Steven Torres, Ira Hill, Cassia Reimer and Jeremy Colbert in front of Orene Hall. That day the students and artists displayed the art of melting scrap iron in a furnace called a copula at 3,000 degrees and casting the molten metal into a mold.
ASU fine arts faculty members Charles Williams and Joe Sweeney also participated in the project. Students who worked on the project include: Sandra Anderson, Carina Maye, Natasha Edwards, Rashad Clark, Alphonso Edwards, Shree Brown, Fred Whitley, Samatha Miller, Andrea Collins, Eddie Swan, Ashur Bates, Dametric Lang, Adriell Hawkins, Shequlia Taylor and Sophia Barksdale.
Anderson, a senior from Moultrie, Ga., who has been named ‘Emerging Artist of the Year’ for two consecutive years, believes the sculpture will bring attention to visual art at ASU.
“We just wanted something to display to let the campus know that the ASU Fine Arts Department is more than performance art,” she said. “Visual arts do exist on this campus.”
Ranisha Roby, a junior art major from McDonough, Ga., said, “The ‘Book of Knowledge’ symbolizes education and wisdom, everything the university stands for.”
Marini said the sculpture brought a lot of people together from various parts of the community.
“We were helped by the Facilities Management Department, a casting company in Tallahassee, Fla. and others,” he said. “It was part of our objective to expose students to artists working in the field.”
The students who participate in the Visual Fine Arts Learning Community are fine arts majors working toward the Bachelor of Art Degree at ASU. The fine arts majors who participate have been admitted through an established portfolio review process. The learning community includes a diverse group of students, including upper and under classmen. The inclusive nature of this community increases the natural process of mentoring and broadens influences through communication.
The structure of the Visual Fine Arts Learning Community consists of workshops, tours of museums and commercial galleries, study groups, guest artist lectures, visits to working artists’ studios, studio events, and career exploration inside and outside of the academic institution.
Joining students in the Albany State University Visual Art Learning Community in the sculpture unveiling on Thursday, Oct. 7, are Dr. Leroy Bynum Jr. (far left), dean of the College of Arts and Humanities; Dr. Marcia Hood (fifth from left), chair of the Department of Fine Arts; and Scott Marini (sixth from left), associate professor of fine arts.