The Classic Foundry
The Classic Foundry is a premier fine art foundry serving artists, architects, and museums throughout the Pacific Northwest. They specialize in fine art bronze casting and fabrication and sculpture enlargements using traditional techniques and state-of-the-art digital technology. One of their latest projects is the Bronze Casting of Three Unique Totem Poles, each measured at 8 Feet Tall. Transported from Alaska to Seattle, the totems were carved out of Cedar by three separate artists, all collaborating to create the beautiful sculptures as a landmark for Sealaska Heritage Institute in Juneau, AK. The photos demonstrate a step-by-step process, beginning with preparations of the wood, mold making, waxwork, and followed by bronze casting, metal work, detailed chasing, and patina. The totems will be installed at the end of August and revealed at the Celebration of Southeast Alaskan Native Culture Ceremony.
Collaboration between The Classic Foundry and the Valdez Community
For our project, artist Gar LaSalle has flown to Valdez to meet with community members and project managers to ensure both artistic and cultural expectations are aligned and recognized from beginning to end. To ensure that the Native Alaska perspective is accurately depicted and to prevent any historical inaccuracies or cultural appropriation issues, The Classic Foundry (CF) collaborates with a prestigious Native Alaskan artist, Preston Singletary. Singletary has a standing and successful collaboration with CF, consulting on not only on our Valdez Project, but on many CF projects over the years. Singletary is a world-renown glass and sculpture artist, teacher, and collaborator. Both of his grandparents were also full descendants of the Tlingit tribe. LaSalle, along with the CF team, Gegham, Grigoriy, and Tsovinar, has researched, discussed, and will incorporate the historical, cultural, and environmental aspects of the founders, their guide, and themes that embody the town into our three 4 by 6-foot panels of bronze fixed to 6 by 12-foot vertical stones sculpture. Their conceptual designs are already in progress, and fabrication has begun.
Grigoriy will continue working on panels one and three. LaSalle will determine which Russian presence was in the Valdez area so that he can incorporate that in Panel one. He will also gather more feedback from the Native Alaskan Chugach tribe to ensure that the panel’s historical details are accurate and acceptable. Gegham will continue working on the second panel. His design will certainly include a good depiction of the arduous ascent up the very steep Valdez glacier by Hazelet and Meals and their Native Alaskan guide, Tl’ Adet. Gegham will also be certain to do accurate and large-scale recognizable representations of all three men.
The installation will provide a virtual portal connecting visitors with the city’s community, businesses, and tourism industry. It will also merge its community with the founding history of the town that is so well displayed and presented at the Valdez Museum & Historical Archives and at one of the world’s largest collections of native Alaskan art at the Maxine & Jesse Whitney Museum. By connecting visitors to the history and modern features of the city, we can celebrate both the past and present, showing community engagement in the spirit of collaboration with a look to the future.
Any amount of donation is welcomed. $25, $50, $100, $250, $500 or other.
Your support is very much appreciated. This public art experience will be magical and one to come see!
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