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2016 International Sculpture Conference
Sculpture in Context: Tradition and Innovation
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From October 15-18, 2016, about 300 arts professionals gathered in Pittsburgh, PA, for the 26th International Sculpture Conference - Sculpture in Context: Tradition and Innovation at the August Wilson Center. Delegates traveled from countries around the world, including Argentina, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Peru, United Kingdom, as well as from across the US, to attend the ISC's second conference in the Steel City.

Attendees experienced dynamic panel discussions, mentoring sessions, ARTSlams, tours, and social events. Guests participated in free workshops: The Rivers Speak: Earth Casting Workshop lead by Christopher L. Williams, in which workshop participants assisted casting text written by a local writer, Sharon Dilworth using soil from the rivers; and You, Me, and the DeVille Makes Three, led by Christopher Olszewski, where participants had the opportunity to paint their "demons" on the car "skin" displayed on the sidewalk outdoors. That evening, the conference opened with the littleSCULPTURE Show reception at the August Wilson Center, located in Downtown Pittsburgh. This annual conference tradition showcased the talents of conference attendees, with 40 small sculptures on view that were restricted to the 8" x 8" x 8" size constraint.

Breakout sessions, workshops, and tours were held at Carnegie Mellon University, as well as passes given to the exhibition Helio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium at the Carnegie Museum of Art. That evening, keynote speaker, Diana Al-Hadid spoke about her work and her practice, followed by a small reception in the Miller Gallery at the Purnell Center for the Arts. There was also a reception at the Mattress Factory, where attendees enjoyed food and music while checking out some new works on view in the Factory Installed exhibition, including Dennis Maher's A Second Home, as well as the permanent collection. The conference concluded with an iron pour at Carrie Furnaces, where artist Ed Parrish and the staff of Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area and Rivers of Steel Arts cast artists' molds into solid iron.

Throughout the event, attendees had the opportunity to hear more than 40 stimulating conference speakers, share their work with others for peer critique, discover unique and experimental cultural sites, and experience the rich arts community in the region. Other highlights included tours of local artists' studios; tours of Carrie Furnaces; walking tours of public art sites around the city; lunch and trivia at Conflict Kitchen with founder Jon Rubin; and workshops including a cast iron workshop from Rivers of Steel Arts, a glass blowing workshop at Pittsburgh Glass Center, and a raku workshop at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts; among other activities.

We would like to thank everyone who joined us in Pittsburgh. We also want to give a special thanks to the many collaborators and sponsors who made the conference possible: , The Andy Warhol Museum, Carnegie Mellon University, Carnegie Museum of Art, Digital Atelier, Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, Mattress Factory, McKay Lodge Conservation Laboratory, Inc., NOVA Chemicals, Office of Public Art, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Pittsburgh Glass Center, Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area and Carrie Furnaces, Seward Johnson Atelier and University of Pittsburgh. This program is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts and by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Finally, we would like to give a special thank you to Diana Al-Hadid, the workshop leaders, and all of the panel speakers for sharing their knowledge, insight, and time.

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