The Ashford Hollow Foundation has been teaching youth the skills of metalworking for many decades now. Currently, our
outreach goes beyond the Essex Art Center and heads all the way into classrooms across WNY. Last week, we kicked off a program with the Williams Street School in Lancaster. The program headed off with a Plasma Cutting and Welding demonstration for all 500 6th graders at the school. The Ashford Hollow Foundation’s teaching artists Zack Boehler and Sarah Fonzi gear up to give each student an insight into the world of metal sculpture. The demonstration shows the students exactly how each and everyone of their sculptures will be created and helps them get excited about their opportunity with the Griffis Sculpture Program.
In the Collaborative Large Sculpture Program every student designs their own sculpture as intended for the large version. All of the many ideas are taken into account when designing a collaborative sculpture for the school. Every student receives their own metal sculpture and leaves a legacy at the school through the monumental steel sculpture they helped design.
Later that week, a group of students from St. Paul’s School in Niagara Falls, Ontario come for a two day experience with the AHF. They begin their trip with a tour of the facilities at the Essex Art Center. They all hopped back in the bus to drive out to Griffis Sculpture Park for a beautiful afternoon hike. After their hike, everyone settled down into our cabins tucked in the woods and prepare for the evening festivities. Once dusk hits, we have a bonfire, a delicious dinner and live metal casting where each student had designed a relief to be filled with molten aluminum. It is a truly extraordinary experience for these high school students. Mark Griffis, their art teacher has been bringing groups like this for over 10 years.