News & Notes
Clarksville Foundry and Local Artist Showcase History in Sculpture Exhibit
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — It may be unusual for an artist and an iron foundry president to join together in a unique cultural endeavor. Then again, there is nothing usual about Clarksville sculptor Mike Andrews’ “New Old Stock” exhibit at the Customs House Museum and Cultural Center.
The relationship between Andrews and the Clarksville Foundry began in 1983 after he visited the historic manufacturing company as a student of Tennessee artist Olen Bryant.
I had learned about lost wax casting and was interested in industrial casting,” said Andrews. “I met with Mr. Charles Foust Sr. and he encouraged me to do some castings in iron and aluminum.”
As Andrews progressed from art student to professional sculptor, he continued his working relationship at the foundry with Charles and his son Charlie Foust, who has been president since 1981. A unique relationship, built on mutual respect, history and a love of art has developed over the years and is now culminating in a joint sculpture exhibit.
“‘New Old Stock’ is the beginning of a new chapter in my art that has come about with the gracious support of Charlie and the Clarksville Foundry,” Andrews explained.
Andrews has designed a unique series of industrial assemblages using wooden foundry patterns that were originally used for metal castings since the foundry was established in 1847. Charlie has kept the molds in foundry storage for more than 30 years, and he is very happy to watch Andrews breathe new life into the pieces.
“The patterns are unique and precious in terms of the quality of woodwork, the skill and the history and heritage they represent to the Clarksville Foundry” expressed Charlie. “Many of the pieces are works of art themselves and could stand alone as collectibles. To see them used in such an unusual art form is incredible.”
The retired antique patterns have provided Andrews with an exceptional supply of “New Old Stock” that has become his parts inventory.
“Some of them are over 100 years old,” Andrews observed. “There are amazing shapes and they are beautifully crafted.”
Design and fabrication take on new meaning as Andrews employs innovative dimension and scale for powerful and visually engaging sculptures. He carefully selects each piece, regarding its shape and character before incorporating it into a sculpture.
According to Ruth Crnkovich, President of CRN Fine Art Services, the result is a unique work of art with “wall power.”
ws is both artist and educator. He has been a public school art teacher with the Clarksville Montgomery County School System for more than 20 years.
Andrews’ work is best described as: Monumental Outdoor Artworks; Industrial Assemblages; and Carvings and Castings. Fine art galleries throughout Tennessee and Kentucky have exhibited his works and some have been publicly commissioned.
His recent public commissions include the “Water Wall” at Spaces Spa at Belle Meade in Nashville, and the “Vertical Fold” at the Customs House Museum and Cultural Center and “Celtic Cross” at Trinity Episcopal Church in Clarksville. Following the exhibit, Andrews’ sculpture “Tom’s Piece” will be hung at the newly remodeled Vanderbilt University Alumni Hall in honor of his friend Tom Brumbaugh.
A preview of the “New Old Stock” sculptures can be viewed at http://clarksvillefoundry.com/andrews. The “New Old Stock: Carvings, Castings and Constructions” exhibit will be open to the public May 17 – Aug. 31, 2013, at the Customs House Museum and Cultural Center at 200 S. Second St., Clarksville, Tenn. 37040.
Sculptor Mike Andrews (left) and Clarksville Foundry President Charlie Foust sort through antique foundry pattern pieces for the “New Old Stock” sculptures. The exhibit is open to the public May 17 through August 31, 2013, at the Customs House Museum and Cultural Center in Clarskville, Tenn.
A business steeped in heritage, Clarksville Foundry is one of the oldest foundries in America. With roots dating back over 150 years, the foundry withstood civil war, depression, technological changes and environmental mandates thanks to the owners’ unique vision and a strong desire to not merely survive – but thrive. The foundry has been in the Foust family for over 100 years.
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