The Western Cast Iron Art Alliance, Incorporated is a 501 C3, non-profit organization and consists of iron casting artists in the western states that have existed since 2008 to educate, demonstrate and exhibit cast iron art in the region. This group of sculptors creatively focuses on a variety of art forms ranging from installation to performance works utilizing cast iron as their vocabulary.
All of the founding members of the organization are employed at universities or community colleges and have a sincere investment in education in the arts. We have pooled our resources to get iron to melt and fuel to fire the furnaces in the past. In some cases, we have had exhibitions of our work in conjunction with our casting activities. Tax exempt status allows us to offer tax incentives for donations of space, material and conference support. We are certain that our casting events help to stimulate the economy of the communities where we work.
Much of WCIAA’s structure for the conference is modeled on existing formats such as the National Conference on Cast Iron Art held in Birmingham, Alabama; however the Western conference travels to a different location with each meeting. The Alliance has designed a conference as a biennial that falls on the alternate year to NCCIA. The audience and participants are of similar demographics, groups of artists, professionals and students from the states and abroad. In offering a western based conference WCIAA is building on the tradition of iron casting as an art form in this region, formalizing the existing “underground” art form and process, and paying tribute to an even older history of technology and foundry presence in the region. The conference is conceived to communicate, educate and celebrate while facilitating and inspiring art lovers to gain a better understanding and appreciation of cast iron as a sculpture medium. It allows a symposium of focused discussion on equipment design, mold building, and the endless connected experiences that are shared when practitioners convene. Casting iron has grown in popularity as a community has built up around the new found custom designed furnaces pioneered since the 1950’s. WCIAA seeks to link and celebrate the art and technology of casting iron.