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GERDAU HELPS UT ART STUDENTS TAP INTO ‘HEAVY METAL’ FOR CREATIVE PROCESS
April 29, 2014
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Sculpture exhibition showcases metal recycling to celebrate National Recycling Month and Dogwood Arts partnership
Six sculptures created by University of Tennessee art students and incorporating scrap materials provided by steel recycler Gerdau were unveiled at a ceremony at the historic Ivan Racheff House on Tuesday, April 29. The sculptures celebrate National Recycling Month and Gerdau’s partnership with Dogwood Arts.
In support of the project, Gerdau’s Knoxville steel mill opened its scrap yard March 8 to six UT art students – Battle Glascock, Cameron Kite, Rose McNabb, Lauren Sanders, Danielle Sumler and Veronica Castle – along with John Powers, UT assistant professor of sculpture, to provide an opportunity for the students to select pieces of scrap metal to be used in their works of art. At day’s end, the group took more than 3,000 pounds of scrap metal.
“This has been a wonderful experience from top to bottom,” Powers said. “The students have really enjoyed the opportunity, and Gerdau has been very accommodating. We hope to have the opportunity to do this again.”
This marks the fourth year that Gerdau has opened its scrap yard to area artists in partnership with Dogwood Arts and in celebration of National Recycling Month. In 2013, artists Preston Farabow of Aespyre, Zophia Kneiss of Burning Art and Matt Salley and Chris Szaton of Marble City Glassworks created a tree sculpture from discarded steel and new glass to thank Gerdau for its support of their work. The tree is now “planted” on permanent display at Gerdau.
“We’re in the business of recycling discarded scrap into brand new steel, so our employees see a value in scrap that most people don’t think about,” said John Miller, Gerdau vice president and general manager. “Similarly, these artists recognize a unique type of potential in our scrap piles. Seeing our steel recycled into art is always intriguing, and this year’s sculptures are exceptional.”
“Dogwood Arts is pleased to extend our partnership with Gerdau, who has a strong sense of corporate responsibility to our educational partners,” said Dogwood Arts Executive Director Lisa Duncan. “We are very pleased that Gerdau provides these students raw materials to produce a sculpture for display and that the University of Tennessee sculpture department is very involved in our public art program, Art In Public Places.”
Gerdau intends to continue the annual tradition of opening its scrap yard so that artists can acquire discarded steel and use it to create new works of art for the community to enjoy.
“Gerdau is excited to again have this opportunity to support the arts, celebrate National Recycling Month and share the message of how ‘green’ our business really is,” Miller said.
Gerdau is one of the largest steel recyclers in Tennessee and the largest in our area, recycling nearly 1.2 billion tons of steel in 2012. One ton of recycled steel saves 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,400 pounds of coal and 120 pounds of limestone.
Gerdau is the leading producer of long steel in the Americas and one of the largest suppliers of special long steel in the world. It has over 45,000 employees and industrial operations in 14 countries with operations in the Americas, Europe and Asia, which together represent an installed capacity of over 25 million metric tons of steel per year. It is the largest recycler in Latin America and around the world it transforms millions of metric tons of scrap into steel every year. Gerdau is listed on the stock exchanges of São Paulo, New York, and Madrid and has around 140,000 shareholders.
For more information, visit http://www.gerdau.com/longsteel.