#150mmchallenge: Art & Steel

Apex Gallery, Events

How many unique creations can be made from one small piece of steel? The #150mmchallenge asks this question and answers it with a traveling exhibition of 150 metal objects, selected from over 400 pieces created by amateur and professional blacksmiths from around the world. This exhibition is on display at the Apex Gallery now.

Artwork by Anton Yakushev (Russia). Photo credit Oliver Cameron Swann.

The #150mmchallenge began in Hereford, UK, the home of the country’s only Artist Blacksmithing degree course at the Hereford College of Arts. There, tutor Ambrose Burne gave his students three weeks to create something interesting from a small piece of rectangular steel (150mm x 20 mm x 20 mm) without adding anything else. They posted their work to the course Instagram account (@herefordanvils) with the hashtag #150mmchallenge. This challenge caught other blacksmiths’ attention and led to an exhibition that toured Europe and that is now touring the US.

“By bringing this to venues across the United States, ABANA is providing opportunities for the public to see first-hand the #150mmchallenge’s myriad of forms coaxed from a uniform piece of steel. This exhibit speaks to the endless creativity and skill of modern-day artisans who use traditional blacksmithing techniques to manipulate steel to magnificent effect.”

– Leigh Morrell, President of ABANA

Curated and produced by Delyth Done, the #150mmchallenge exhibition is currently on display in the Apex Gallery, presented in partnership with the Metallurgy Department and the Blacksmithing Club.

Artwork by John Switzer (USA). Photo credit Oliver Cameron Swann.

The exhibition is open to visit in the gallery now, and the opening reception will be held on Friday, November 19th, from 3-6 pm. The reception will feature a live blacksmithing demonstration by master blacksmith Jack Parks, sponsored by the South Dakota Mines Blacksmithing Club. Look for more news about future #150mmchallenge events here on campus in the future, too!

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