2017 Artist In Residence
Marquette metal artist Theresa Smith will be doing a residency at the Art Park this September. Her work draws strongly from nature—and plant life in particular—for inspiration.
Theresa’s passion for iron casting and dedication to the process was ignited in graduate school at the University of Minnesota, beginning a twenty-two year exploration of the material and process that has taken her to live and work in locations around the Midwest, New Orleans, Great Britain, Wales and New York. She has been involved in teaching and developing children’s arts programs and community projects through the years.
Her 20-day residency will include in-school workshops for area students, developing her own piece for our collection drawn from the park’s forest home, and a public iron pour event on September 28.
My work primarily draws on forms and imagery observed in plant life, while exploring the physical and non-physical realm of our world. Integrating elements of growth, division, fusion and containment, I mainly create with clay and cast iron. Both materials involve processes integral to the work, mainly transformation through fire. These earth materials become new objects with new meanings; metamorphosis through heat and flame.
Theresa will be leading educational workshops in area schools. Students will learn about the dynamic process of casting as a method for making art while creating their own scratch molds, which will be poured along with Theresa’s piece at the public event on September 28.
The public is invited an iron pour event at Crystal Mountain. This experience of an iron artwork being formed is an interesting and exciting opportunity to see inside the creative process of a professional artist-in-residence and to learn about how ideas and inspirations can be manifest into tangible form.
Iron Pour Event
Join us at 10:00am on Thursday, September 28 for a public event as Theresa Smith’s work comes to life. At this “iron pour,” scrap iron is melted in the 3,000° heat of a special furnace. The iron is then poured into the “scratch molds” created by students in their workshops, as well as into the form the artist has made based on her investigation of natural shapes in the Art Park.
It is an exciting display of art and craftsmanship and science brought together to create something new and meaningful.
Ramona DeGeorgio-Venegas is an environmental educator, with a love of both art and nature. She enjoys sharing ways for others to see, hear, touch, feel and appreciate the outdoors and make good memories of their experience. Prior to her retirement, Ramona was an outdoor recreation planner with the USDA Forest Service, where she worked with natural resources, trails and interpretation.
Ramona has served with the Peace Corps in three environmental education assignments to Chile, Peru and Guyana. Ramona also volunteered with the residential environmental education camp at Acadia National Park in Maine. She substitute teaches in Manistee County, and speaks fluent Spanish.
2017 Interpretive Workshops
This past summer, Ramona welcomed many guests to the art park for programs that offered the opportunity for children and adults alike to develop a more personal relationship with art and nature. Her wealth of knowledge on the environment and natural resources provided an interesting foundation for guests exploring the park.
On the Trail
Create a visual journal of your journey though the Art Park by capturing shadows of things in nature and the art work.
This activity booklet will lead participants on a scavenger hunt through the Art Park to discover artworks that connect to wildlife and the natural surroundings.
Create a Poem
Gather words that reflect the art and natural surroundings of the Art Park to create a poem about your experience by following a simple format.
At Discovery Grove
Create a bird from braches, batting, wrapped with yarn and other materials. These can be taken home and hung outside to provide nesting material for birds.
With Sharpies create an animal on a rock.
Write a poem on 2 post cards. One you can send to a friend. The other we will mail to you later in the year to remind you of your visit to the Art Park.