Julie was an Artist in Residence at SLOSS from 2001-2008. Ward graduated from The Ohio State University in 2010 with an MFA in Sculpture. In 2014 Ward completed a second MFA in Electronic Media from the University of Cincinnati. Ward recently retired from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL, where she was an Associate Professor and Area Head of Sculpture. She now lives in the Tennessee Valley and works as a full-time artist.
Page Burch is a Lecturer of Sculpture and runs the Master Craftsman Program at Kennesaw
State University. He received his BFA in Studio Art - Sculpture from Georgia Southern University in 2007, an MA in Sculpture from SCAD-Atlanta in 2009, and an MFA in Sculpture from SCAD-Atlanta in 2014, because everyone needs three degrees and crushing debt. He is trained in foundry, fine woodworking, and metal fabrication. He prefers wooden patterns, cupolettes, botting with a stick, and believes that folks who make IPAs are too lazy to make good beer. He does not have a lot of time to make artwork, but when he does, it is usually pretty asinine. His spirit tool is a ¾” Stanley Sweetheart 750 socket chisel.
Ex Officio Sloss Representative
Virginia Elliott is a sculptor, weaver, and mold maker from Cincinnati, Ohio. After receiving her BFA from the University of Cincinnati, she completed multiple artist internship and residency programs through Josephine Sculpture Park, Sculpture Trails Outdoor Museum, and Sloss Metal Arts. She currently works as the Operations Manager for Sloss Metal Arts.
Jesse Blumenthal is an internationally exhibited, museum collected Artist and Educator residing in Missoula, Montana. In 2019 Blumenthal’s work received a permanent collection purchase award from The Yellowstone Art Museum, was awarded a Montana Arts Council Artists in Schools and Communities Grant supported by The National Endowment for the Arts, and received four separate regional grants to support community based foundry events. Recent public sites have included Salem Art Works, Bozeman Sculpture Park, The International Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art, Sculpture in the Wild, and Open AiR. Jesse was raised in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He attended UMass Amherst, earning a BFA in Sculpture in 2007, and completed his graduate work at The University of Montana, earning an MFA in 2019. Jesse's work will be featured as a fellow at Franconia Sculpture Park and Burning Man Arts and Music Festival in 2021 as well as a solo exhibition at The Holter Museum of Art in 2022.
David was born in Louisville, Kentucky, and raised primarily in the rural farm areas of the commonwealth. He is an explorer and maker of things. He received a BFA in graphic design from Western Kentucky University and a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture from the University of Iowa. An avid maker, builder, mold maker, and metal caster, his work has been exhibited in national exhibitions throughout the east coast and midwest. He has shown internationally in group exhibitions in Australia and Germany. His series, entitled Germination, was presented in a solo exhibition in South Korea. He is an Assistant Professor of Sculpture at his alma mater, Western Kentucky University. He is a board member for Sculpture Trails Outdoor Museum and founding mentor to the WKU League of Sculptors. David's passion for metal casting stems from his desire to connect to a larger art community.
Michael Baggarly is an Associate Professor at Middle Tennessee State University where he teaches Sculpture and Digital Fabrication techniques. He lives and works in Murfreesboro, TN with his wife (and partner in crime) Melodie and their two kids. Michael earned a BFA from Western Kentucky University in 1998 and MA and MFA degrees from University of Iowa in 2001 and 2002 as an Iowa Arts Fellowship recipient. Michael’s focus is often not focused, in that he is drawn to a variety of materials and actions. Currently he is utilizing 3D printing for fabrication and experimental casting.
Guest Furnaces Director
Alex “Al” Johnson was born and raised in Macomb, Illinois. After high school, he attended Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois, completing a Bachelors of Fine Art in Photography in 2010. During his time at NIU, he gained exposure to sculpture and metal casting, shifting his artistic interests. In 2012, he was accepted into the graduate program at Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi in sculpture. After completing his MFA, he accepted his current position at Collin College in Plano, Texas. As the Art Labs Coordinator, he oversees multiple studios in addition to the sculpture and foundry areas.
Kaleigh is a Chicago based Artist, working primarily in cast Iron and Bronze. She draws inspiration from her coastal hometown, and the movement of the ocean in correlation with human emotions. Kaleigh grew up in Destin, Florida and later moved to Chicago and completed her BFA from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago in 2017. For the past five years Kaleigh has worked as a Glass and Metal Artisan, at a Glass Shop and Bronze Foundry called West Supply, in Chicago.
Student Cupola Contest Director
Ivan is an artist and educator who’s main purpose in life is to help people make things that look cool.
After bouncing around colleges in the San Francisco bay area and Charleston, SC, he was awarded an undergraduate degree in studio art with an emphasis in sculpture after also completing a few lesser diplomas and certifications in industrial maintenance, machine, and welding technologies. Outside of his academic training, he has journey-level recognition as a Foundry Patternmaker from the California Department of Industrial Relations and the International Association of Machinists (IAM) following an 8,000 hour apprenticeship at a cupola iron casting plant in Oakland, CA. As a result, he’s achieved a well rounded skillset working with building materials and tooling while furthering his art practice and professional studio operations, manufacturing, and industrial arts faculty roles.
Between attempts at art making, Ivan manages the fabrication shops at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco in addition to his role as Foundry Department Head at The Crucible in Oakland, CA.
Robin Baker is an artist and educator working in Oklahoma. My explores the connection
between civilization and the planet. Through juxtaposition of human and natural forms using
industrial and natural materials, He investigates this disconnection and add to the
conversation about the destruction necessary to sustain the industrial way of life. Baker is
part of Green A Studios, a collaborative project with his spouse Christyn Overstake. They
create works elucidating the human actions causing the current mass extinction crisis as
well as efforts to mitigate humanity’s effect on planetary biodiversity. Baker has shown,
given talks, and taught workshops throughout the United States, and is currently Teaching
Assistant Professor of Art at Oklahoma State University.
Allison Denny was born in Independence, KY. She graduated from Western Kentucky University, holding a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture and a Bachelor of Arts in Ceramics. Her work explores different aspects of the human condition, such as mental illness and interconnection with others. She completed three internship tours at Sculpture Trails Outdoor Museum in 2018, 2019, and 2021. Her goal is to pursue a Master of Fine Arts further exploring sculptural mediums.
Exhibitions Co-Deputy Director
Rainey Rawles is an Atlanta based artist who explores the relationship between humor and the macabre within her sculptural work. She is currently the Preparator of Fabrications at the High Museum of Art, where she builds casework and installs a never-ending rotation of exhibitions. She received a BFA in drawing and painting from Kennesaw State University, where she also studied woodworking and sculpture. Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, Mason Fine Art, Kibbee Gallery, and OZ Magazine, and is featured in private collections throughout Georgia. She spends the majority of her free time cross stitching while watching horror movies.
Exhibitions Co-Deputy Director
Erika Ann McIlnay is an artist and educator working in Dallas, Texas. She is currently working at Collin College Wylie Campus as the Art and Music Coordinator. Prior to that she was an Adjunct Instructor at Collin College Plano Campus. Even though she is living and working in Texas her heart is still in the place she was born and raised; Illinois. She received her BFA from Northern Illinois University, and her MFA from Texas A&M Corpus Christi, both of her degrees have an emphasis in Sculpture and Studio Art. She has been casting iron for over fourteen years and is excited to be participating in NCCCIAP as a Co-Deputy Director.