Clarksville, TN — 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 as far back as 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 collectables. 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.”
“It is something that will grab your attention when you first walk into a room,” said Crnkovich. “A good piece of artwork will continue to pull you in. As you get closer you become more and more intrigued.”
That is what Andrews‘ “New Old Stock” does. As an observer is drawn further into the piece, the sculpture continues to reveal seemingly hidden and intricate details.
A preview of the “New Old Stock” sculptures can be viewed online at http://clarksvillefoundry.com/andrews.
The “New Old Stock: Carvings, Castings and Constructions” exhibit will be open to the public from May 17th – August 31st, 2013, at the Customs House Museum and Cultural Center at 200 South Second Street, Clarksville, Tennessee 37040.
About Mike Andrews
Mike Andrews 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.
About the Customs House Museum
Located in the heart of historic downtown Clarksville, Tennessee, the Customs House Museum and Cultural Center is the State’s second largest general museum. With over 35,000 square feet of the region’s best hands-on activities and special events…people of all ages agree – the Customs House Museum is well worth the stop!
The Explorer’s Gallery is packed with fun, learning and fantasy in Aunt Alice’s Attic, McGregor’s Market and kitchen, and of course – the Bubble Cave! Finally, get “all aboard” to see our fantastic model trains. Our volunteer engineers “ride the rails” every Sunday afternoon from 1:00pm to 4:00pm.
Regular museum hours are 10:00am to 5:00pm Tuesday through Saturday, and 1:00pm to 5:00pm on Sundays. Adult admission is $7.00, Sr. Citizens and College ID $5.00, Ages 6 to 18 $3.00, and under six years and Museum members are free.
The Customs House Museum is located at 200 South Second Street. For more information, call 931.648.5780 or visit their website at www.customshousemuseum.org