The Metal Masters are heating up the winter at the Kenai Visitor Center in Kenai.
The metal stylings of three local artists are now on display at the visitor center, the main room lined with work forged or welded.
Cam Choy, Dave Emery and Scott Hamann each have numerous pieces on display, all of which are created from metal.
Choy is a professor at the Kenai Peninsula College and holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts and a Masters of Fine Arts in sculpture and drawing.
“Metalwork lends itself to the type of description of the human form that I create,” Choy said. “I’m basically modelling form with either clay or wax, but they are very temporary mediums. So, the idea is that you want to take that image or that form and reproduce it in a material that’s much more substantial. Foundry work allows me to do that.”
By casting the metal through the foundry process, Choy is able to recreate the subtleties of the human figure despite the fortitude of metal. Choy’s artwork on display is part of a series of hybrids that combine tools with figures. They are the result of forms being modelled in clay or wax, the molded before being poured in metal.
Dave Emery’s life took him from art student to welder.
“I was born into a tool using family, so the urge to build things is just a natural part of me,” Emery wrote in his artist’s statement. “I am a former art major that ended up as a welder for the oilfield. Apparently the artistic bent has been resurfacing of late.”
Emery said that his work is inspired by fun, he doesn’t attach a deeper meaning to them. His artistic playfulness is evident in “Toms Mantis,” a larger
than life bug donning sunglasses.
Scott Hamann’s pieces cover the gamut of metal work, just as one would expect from someone who has been working closely with metal for over 40 years.
Hamann is the owner of Magic Metal in Kenai, and uses many metal techniques in his art and business including forge, foundry, welding and cutting all types of metal.
“There’s a lot of different stuff on display and different stages of my artistic endeavors from over the years,” Hamann said. “…When I’m inspired, I make a piece but 99 percent of what I do is industrial stuff, for oil companies or just contractors. It’s stuff that not necessarily artistic but I like doing artistic things every once in a while.”
Hamann said his art emphasizes functionality and hopes that his work, along with Choy’s and Emery’s, can help to inspire others to get involved in metal work.
“A lot of young people are getting excited about metal work and I think that’s really cool,” he said. “Hopefully if young people get in there (to the visitor center) they’ll get inspired by the possibilities.”
Metal Masters is on display throughout the winter at Kenai Visitor Center at 11471 Kenai Spur Hwy. It is free and open to the public.