Minnesota Sights and Views

Artist Iron Pour July 7 – 10 in Lanesboro MN

Lanesboro Arts Center will host the 2011 Iron Pour in Lanesboro, Minnesota’s Sylvan Park on Saturday, July 9, from 1-6 p.m.  This is a free public event for all ages.  The pour will be led by nationally-acclaimed local artist Karl Unnasch, and is held in cooperation with the City of Lanesboro.  Bar-b-que food and beverages will also be available during the Pour, and a live band will play onsite after the Pour beginning at approximately 6 p.m.

Lanesboro Iron Pour Art Demonstration

Melting the iron in the "furnace"

Folks might be wondering, what exactly IS an Iron Pour?  It is a FREE “Public Art Event” where people can enjoy the excitement of “Art in the making.”  Artists, community members, and workshop participants will have prepared sand resin molds ready to transform into iron sculpture.  Artist Karl Unnasch and his crew will stoke the furnace, and melt iron(hundreds of pounds of old radiators and brake liners) to the hot, hot temperature of 2700 degrees Fahrenheit.


Lanesboro MN Iron Pour Art demonstration

Pouring the iron into the molds

Then, throughout the afternoon, the hot molten iron will be poured into the molds and allowed to cool overnight.  The next morning at 10 a.m. will be the unveiling of molds, clean-up, and patina/surface work.  As soon as the crew turns the furnace blower off, at the last tap, the live music will start (around 6 or 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 9).  Molly Maher and Paul Bergen and their band will perform.

There are two free opportunities during the week of July 4 where folks can find out more about the iron sculpture process.  First, the public is welcome to come and watch “Open Studio” as lead artist Karl Unnasch works on the community medallions.  People can stop by the shelter at Sylvan Park anytime Monday, July 4 – Friday, July 8 between 12 – 4 p.m.  Also, in another free public event, theCommonweal Theatre Company will host Karl Unnasch in an Artist Talk on Thursday, July 7 at 6:30 p.m. in their events hall.  This precedes the Commonweal’s performance of the “Little Shop of Horrors” performance at 7:30 p.m.; for tickets to the play, call 800-657-7025.

The public will have a chance to make their own 6” round Iron Plaque

Minnesota art demonstration

Workshop participants making their own mold

in a workshop.  Workshop participants can choose from one of two sessions:  Thursday, July 7 from 5-7 p.m., or Saturday, July 9 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.  The workshop will be held at Sylvan Park in Lanesboro and is open to all ages.  Participants will carve a reverse relief design into a pre-made sand mold to prepare it for the iron pour (any imagery or text is possible, and tools & professional assistance will be available).  Finished works can be taken home on Sunday, July 10 at 10 a.m. — that will be the unveiling of molds, clean-up, and surface prep/patina finishing on the plaques (otherwise, participants may pick up their plaque at a later date at the Lanesboro Arts Center).  The workshop is $25 per mold, with registration in advance or day of each workshop.  Scholarships are available; call 507-467-2446 for more information or to register for the workshop.

The Lanesboro Arts Center serves as a regional catalyst for artistic excellence and educational development in providing diverse art experiences for people of all ages.  For more information: 507-467-2446 / info@lanesboroarts.org/www.lanesboroarts.org.

While visiting Lanesboro, stay in one of the MBBA member inns.  A stay at the Hillcrest Hide-Away Bed and Breakfast includes a just-baked loaf of bread delivered to your room followed by a hearty breakfast.  Our gardens are in full bloom with day lilies, honeysuckle, calla lilies, mullein, and many more.

Lanesboro offers plenty to do for a multi-day visit.  During the week is a great time to ride the Root River State Trail where you can enjoy the serenade of many birds that surround us.  Eagles cruise overhead riding the updraft of the currents that rise from the bluffs along the trail.  Kayaking and canoeing is available on the Root River every day.


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