Iron Pour Jamboree at sculpture park offers unique opportunity

2012-09-30T00:00:00Z Iron Pour Jamboree at sculpture park offers unique opportunityFor The Times
September 30, 2012 12:00 am  • 

UNIVERSITY PARK | Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park at Governors State University is hosting a full day of exciting activities at its inaugural Iron Pour Jamboree, a family event from 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6.

The Iron Pour Jamboree is a unique opportunity to see how metal sculptures are created, to produce your own art, and to witness spectacular results when fire and iron come together. It takes place in and around the nationally renowned Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park, a collection of 27 extraordinary works of art placed amid GSU’s prairie landscape, and at the height of the park's autumn color.

As night falls,the sculpture park will present the Iron Pour Spectacle, a once-in-a-lifetime visual display commemorating the 141st anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire. The Iron Pour Spectacle will be offered free of charge.

“This is a very exciting event for us,” said park director and curator Geoffrey Bates. “We’re pleased to have several prominent artists helping to guide our first-ever Iron Pour Jamboree. Anyone who has ever attended an iron pour knows they have been part of a remarkable experience. By presenting these elemental, powerful aspects of the creative process, we are offering a rare and unforgettable look at how metal sculpture is made.”

From 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., participants can join artists and students as they create sculptures by using scratch molds, small molds for making simple relief sculptures. Carolyn Ottmers, Chicago-based sculptor and chair of the sculpture area at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, will supervise the melting of 5,000 pounds of iron for pouring into scratch molds, which will be available for purchase.

Members of the International Sculpture Center, students from Governors State University and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and friends of the Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park will also be taking part in the Iron Pour Jamboree.

Tickets for the Iron Pour Jamboree are $25 before Oct. 6 and $35 on the day of the event. Scratch molds cost $20. For more information, to make reservations, or to buy tickets, contact Bates at (708) 534-4486 or

The Iron Pour Spectacle takes place from 5 to 7 p.m. Boston-based artists Marjee Levine and Dan Kendall will pay homage to the Great Chicago Fire, whose anniversary falls on Oct. 8. Spectators will see Levine and Kendall fire up an iron foundry and then tap it to create orange ribbons of molten iron that will flow across the landscape in wooden troughs, dripping gently onto a large-scale leather map of the city of Chicago.

Other activities at GSU and the sculpture park are also scheduled during the Iron Pour Jamboree. From 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., the sculpture park is hosting a closing reception in the GSU Visual Arts Gallery, located in E-Lounge, for “Ways of Making: Sculpture,” an exhibit featuring the work of Chicago-based sculptors Juan Angel Chavez, Barbara Cooper, Bob Emser, and Vivian Visser. It is free and open to the public.

Food will be available after noon and throughout the rest of the afternoon. And an autumn afternoon is a perfect time to experience the monumental art and rolling Midwest landscape at Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park.

Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park is located at Governors State University’s main campus in University Park. The park is free of charge and open from dawn to dusk 365 days a year. For more information about the sculpture park, visit or call (708) 534-4486.

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