Sara Hanson | Visual Arts

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Sara Hanson | Visual Arts

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Sara Hanson is a public artist and cast metal sculptor that brings accessible, customized and hands-on arts learning experiences to learners of all ages and skill levels. She has worked in many different community and classroom settings. Her portable sculpture foundry allows participants to engage in the entire cast metal process from start to finish to create individual sculptures or community public art. Low toxicity of materials and minimal technology for the mold making and metal melting offer learning opportunities that are creative and science based.

Creating a cast metal sculpture is a powerful and memorable experience for participants.  From the beginning, the process piques curiosity and interest through the physical manipulation of materials/tools, the tactile experience of sculpting, the positive and negative space involved in the mold making, the generation of heat with fire and air, and the transformation of materials when a liquid becomes a solid.  Participants are amazed, excited and proud to see and feel their creations that they sculpted/built, now turned into metal.

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As a cast metal sculptor and teaching artist, Sara sees how the creation and exhibition of visual art empowers individuals and strengthens communities and can be the most accessible form of communication and expression. Sara works with communities to find the best way to access and accommodate learners’ curiosities, talents and potential. She offers concepts, materials and techniques that promote individual expression and community collaboration. 

Sara is a Minneapolis based sculptor, public artist and community collaborator that brings accessible opportunities to communities, public spaces and unexpected places. Hanson’s work invites exploration and discovery of identity, time and place while offering a connection to others and the universe. Her work has been exhibited locally at the Minnesota Museum of American Art, Walker Art Center, a TEDx Minneapolis event at the Cowles Center for the Arts, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and currently has installations at Lake Nokomis, Silverwood Park in St. Anthony, Midtown YWCA and several schools, businesses and organizations. She has been awarded grants from Forecast Public Art, Minnesota State Arts Board, Metropolitan Regional Arts Council and a commission from the City of Minneapolis for an Artist-Designed Public Drinking Fountain. In 2005, Hanson founded Broadcasting W.O.W. (workshop on wheels), a traveling sculpture foundry that creates community public art and also mentors individuals with (dis)abilities in her studio.

Sample Programs: Customizable To Site’s Needs

Residencies

Individual Cast Metal or Collaborative Public Sculpture

This 5-15 day cast metal sculpture residency can be designed to create individual sculptures or one indoor/outdoor public sculpture. Over the residency, students learn how to sculpt in plasticene clay/found objects or how to construct a pattern out of wood/foam, build sand molds and prepare them for the metal pour. Students also learn about the cast metal furnace and melting metal. They observe as metal is poured into their molds and then break open their individual molds revealing their sculptures. They finalize their sculptures with a surface treatment or coloration and polish their castings.

The cast metal sculpture process provides opportunities to engage participants with all skill levels, to build upon individual strengths and to experience a personal gratification and success.

Possible Concepts:

  • Time-Capsule Sculpture – learners express personal vison while exploring past, present and future reflections of society.
  • Personal Found Object Sculpture – learners use personal or found objects to create a sculpture that reflects identity and place.
  • Collected Impressions of Our Environment – learners create sculptural pieces by collecting and then pressing objects from their environment and community into clay, with possible exploration of community outreach, history, plant biology and architecture.
 

STEM, Foundations in Science, Basic Science Process Skills & Physical Science

Students learn how to construct a sculpture from start to finish. They create a pattern with plasticene clay, found objects, wood or foam, then build sand molds and prepare for the metal pour.  Students learn about the cast metal furnace, melting metal, observe as metal is poured into their molds and then break open their individual molds.  Optional surface treatment can be done with patina or inks. The cast metal process provokes participants to think while exploring and discovering self-expression and manipulating the physical world. I facilitate students to develop basic science process skills such as observing, inferring, predicting, asking questions, constructing hypotheses, designing experiments, applying concepts, and communicating.

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Wearable Charms, Pocket Amulets & Small Sculptures

Students carve original designs into a cuttlefish bone to create negative space. That space is filled with lead-free pewter to create small wearable charms, pocket amulets, or sculptures. The metal is melted on an electric burner inside the classroom and allows for more student involvement in the process. This five day cast metal sculpture residency can be customized based on age, curriculum connections, and abilities.

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