The Brockway Center for Arts and Technology (BCAT) is home to the newest Metal Arts Studio in western Pennsylvania. Part of the National Center for Arts and Technology system, which originated in Pittsburgh, BCAT is the first and currently only center of its kind with a metalsmithing program. The metals studio officially opened in June 2015, joining the then two year old Ceramics program and adult job training programs. Our state of the art facility was designed and run by current Teaching Artist Liz Steiner.
The BCAT Metal Arts studio serves both youth and adults, with our main focus being students in grades 9-12. Our mission is to inspire youth through the arts and provide active mentorship as practicing artists as well as instructors. Students are welcome everyday after school to come work in either the metals or ceramics studio, or both, as well as during our five week Summer Intensive. Students are provided with materials and individualized instruction and guidance on bringing their ideas to life. We also expose our students to the world outside the studio through field trips to colleges, museums, and conferences. Everything is at no cost to the students.
BCAT also has opportunities available for emerging and established artists though our exhibitions, residency and visiting artist programs. Residents are given studio access and living accommodations in exchange for 25 hours of volunteer work a week. Residents are also given the opportunity to teach adult classes and workshops for pay. Workshops vary by visiting artist, and are open to the public as well as our high school students. Visiting artists include Ken Bova (pictured at right), and Casey Sheppard, with Josh Kosker scheduled to present this June. Exhibitions rotate every 6-8 weeks, and include invitationals, themed juried shows, both high school and collegiate level student shows, and solo exhibitions.
The Metal Arts program is designed to expose students and the community to the broadest definition of art jewelry and metalsmithing. We instruct our students in all manner of traditional and non-traditional techniques from fabrication, casting, enameling, and forming to found objects. The studio is equipped with 15 individual student benches, each with its own set of hand tools. Students are welcome to make jewelry or objects from non-ferrous metals. We do our best to individualize instruction as much as we can so that the students are free to follow their own interests.
BCAT also engages in in-school outreach, collaborating with classroom teachers to design grade level appropriate in school projects incorporating curriculum from non-arts disciplines such as math, chemistry, history and biology. Some of our projects include clay and metal combination checkers, for an outdoor checker board, and pierced metal animal foodwebs, based on Earth’s seven biomes.
Still less than a year old, the Metal Arts program at the Brockway Center for Arts and Technology has made great strides in arts education in rural western Pennsylvania. Our hope for the future is to continue to develop strong programming, offer opportunities to emerging and established metalsmiths, and contribute to the future of the field by inspiring and encouraging youth to pursue their passion for the craft.
For more information on BCAT and their Metal Arts program, contact Teaching Artist Liz Steiner at 814.265.1111 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out BCAT’s Maker Profile on the SNAG website.
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