As you might remember, last spring I went to Atlanta to participate in Lead to Life’s Guns to Shovels. Using the iron casting process, we transformed guns to shovels that were then used to plant trees at sites of gun violence in Atlanta. Here’s a new article that just came out in Emergence Magazine about the event.
If you haven’t been out to Hopkins yet to see the new 8th Avenue ARTery, now is a great time to go! The Moline sculpture is situated at the corner of 8th Avenue and Excelsior Boulevard in front of the Moline Apartments. As you drive up, notice how the shape of the sculpture seems to transform before your very eyes. If you go during the day, you’ll catch the sparkle of the glass as it reflects the natural sunlight. Stop by in the evening to see the sculpture illuminated from within!
With each project, James Brenner Sculpture strives to make a piece that creates visual intrigue at all times of year. Aerosail, made in collaboration with Aaron Marx, is no different.
Here the stainless steel sculpture stands in stark contrast to the brilliant fall colors and beckons you closer.
We’ve been hard at work in the shop fabricating a steel, glass, and light sculpture for Edison High School.
Here’s a sneak peek of associate artist Michele Signorino welding steel to hold laminated glass in place.
If you stop by Edison High School, you can see the first few sections of the RiverFirst Water Sculpture installed!
Join me this Saturday for the unveiling of my new sculpture Moline at the Hopkins' Artery!
The Hopkins community is throwing a party to celebrate the new multi-modal connection on 8th Avenue! The family-friendly event will feature games, art and biking – all taking place in the street between Mainstreet and Excelsior Boulevard.
The event runs 11-3 between Mainstreet and Excelsior Blvd. I'll be giving artist talks and demos at 12 pm and 1 pm. Stick around for family-friendly fun that includes public art projects, music and other artist talks!
I've been commissioned to create a series of sculptures identifying the EDGE District in St. Petersburg, Florida!
"Downtown St. Petersburg's historic EDGE District is a global destination and ideal urban living place. Rooted in rich history of pioneering and industry, the district features restored buildings, landscaped corridors with majestic palms, public art, and eclectic shopping, dining, and cultural experiences. The district's authentic, safe, and beautiful environment promotes a connected, active community."
This project consists of multiple gateway markers utilizing one design. There will be two larger scale sculptures and six to eight of smaller scale spread through the district.
The designs incorporate sculpted jade green glass, Cor-ten weathering steel, LED lighting and stainless steel. These materials combine solidity with fluid mobility, shifting in mass and shape in response to the time of day and the viewer’s perspective. By day the steel has a warm natural finish and the sculpted glass plays with the light as it gleams through its hand chipped, jewel like texture. By night the illuminated glass elements create a dialogue of light and color. Through this dual sense of stability and motility, a transformative relationship between physical space and the diversity of individual reactions to that space is mirrored.
Here's a look at the new piece Aaron Marx and I unveiled last week in White Bear Lake. Stop by Boatworks Commons to see it for yourself!
Join James Brenner Sculpture at Franconia in the City @ Casket for Art-A-Whirl weekend. You'll have the opportunity to participate in a collaborative community art project "The Hydro Wish Tree" and have a first look at his new project "Hydro-Dynamics". Additionally, you'll have a chance to see the work recently cast in Atlanta as part of the commemorative ceremony honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. With so much to see, you won't want to miss this!
About "The Hydro Wish Tree": What is your wish for the health of the Mississippi River? What does the river mean to you and in your life? Drop in to contribute to a collaborative sculpture. Visitors are invited to add their own ideas of challenges facing the river and qualities needed to overcome these challenges by creating a unique mission statement, writing it on a colored leaf, and hanging it upon an artistic vision tree. In collaboration with Franconia Sculpture Park, visitors are also invited to create their own inventions to aid healthy water management to hang on the Wish Tree.
About "Hydro-Dynamics": James Brenner aims to create artwork with the research currently being conducted in the Hydrodynamics Laboratory at the University of Minnesota. He has worked out concept prototypes for a kinetic sculpture powered by turbine technology installed in the Mississippi River where it will collect information about the waters movement and translate data to a remote, onshore sculpture equipped with lighting that will rotate in color and speed to reflect the water’s current. The land sculpture will serve as a visual representation of scientific data at work in the arts.
*James Brenner is a fiscal year 2017 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
Last week we had another successful sculpture install - this time in Hopkins, MN.
The city will be hosting a community-wide opening on June 2nd so stay tuned for details about that! In the meantime, here's a little background: Designed with a nod to the local history of Hopkins, the Moline sculpture subtlety references the Minneapolis Threshing Machine Company (later called Minneapolis Moline) that started the town in 1887. The front narrow tires on the Minneapolis Moline wheels are angled to help with steering in the field. This element is reflected within the Moline sculpture through sculpted glass forms that are interior lit with fiber optic light. Depending on the viewpoint, the internal glass structure transforms from a circle to two angled wheels and back again.
Come see it for yourself at the Hopkins 8th Avenue ARTery (the Northwest corner of 8th Ave S and Excelsior Blvd).
In collaboration with Lead to Life and blacksmith Mike Martin (director of RawTools), we led a commemorative iron pour ceremony honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. on the 50th anniversary of his assassination.
Community members, including Bernice King, MLK’s daughter, delivered disabled weapons into the fire to be transformed.
Together we melted down 50 guns to create 50 shovels that were used to plant 50 trees at sites impacted by violence across Atlanta. The community gathered in prayer, in grief, in praise, and in creative action to reimagine violence in our city, our country, and our world.
Here's an image of the peace sign we cast using disassembled gun parts. Stop by during Art-A-Whirl to see more of the work we cast in Atlanta!
We're headed to Atlanta to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr's assassination. On Wednesday, we'll be at the King Center along with Bernice King (MLK's daughter) to ring the bell at 7:01pm EST to mark the time of his assassination. We'll fire up the furnace and Bernice will ceremoniously deliver a gun into fire to be cast into a shovel. We'll continue the iron pour on Friday turning 50 guns into 50 shovels to be used to plant 50 trees. Hope to see you there!
The iron pour happening in Atlanta focuses on the possibilities of transformation. We want the community to witness iron casting as a transformative process, so we're bringing open-face molds in addition to shovel handles. These molds allow an emotional transformation to become visual and then tangible.
We'll be melting guns on April 6th. A full schedule of events can be found at Lead to Life
Don't forget to join the Facebook Event and get your tickets at Eventbrite
I'm excited to announce an iron pour in collaboration with Lead to Life. On April 6th in Atlanta GA, guns collected from the city will be melted and cast into shovels for tree planting. This event, along with a series of other events, honors the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr's assassination. Learn more about the upcoming Atlanta events here.
In 1996 I collaborated with Karen Sontag to produce a 4,000 pound sculpture created from melted guns obtained from a Hennepin County gun collection program. 6,109 guns had been collected in six days. The final sculpture, titled "Phoenix Rising, speaks to the transformative quality of melting and casting gun metal.
Gun violence continues to plague our society. In continuing this dialogue I hope that we can rise from the ashes.
Preparations for the iron pour are well under way!
Have you ever wondered how it all works?
THE DESIGN PROCESS:
The design process begins with a collection of ideas. These ideas are transformed and ultimately narrowed to produce a single concept. The concept is then developed into a series of drawings that undergo extensive revision to ensure the best possible sculpture.
Drawings courtesy of Aaron Marx of Marx Studio
THE FABRICATION PROCESS:
The fabrication process begins with a collection of materials. Each material is manipulated in preparation for the final assembly. This can involve cutting, fitting, welding, grinding, sanding, cleaning, stacking, glueing, painting, and much more. Once all the pieces are ready, they come together to form the final sculpture. This particular sculpture was built in parts. The central sphere was made in the studio while the surrounding sphere was constructed entirely on site.
The sculpture at Central Park West was completed just in time for the new year! The formal unveiling will be this spring. Stay posted for dates!
Rings going up at Central Park West
An annual children-guided powerful performance centered on overcoming personal challenges and performed in honor of each student’s internal transformation.
Following a parent and student ceremony, James Brenner Sculpture led the iron pour in creating five star constellations with fire lines connecting the glowing stars. During the previous month, the children worked on identifying their personal challenges and created images that reflect the qualities that are necessary to overcome those challenges. This imagery was carved into sand molds in the shape of stars that created the constellations. A large open faced community iron project culminated the pour.
Working on grinding benches for the Central Park West
The sculpture is out of the studio and on site!
Installing the last piece of glass: