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Legacy of an Artist Brought to Life

Hay Foundry Invitational Exhibit Runs through September 10

LegsOnly the imagination of an artist could produce a world where fish fly through the sky, geese wear bikinis and rhinoceroses double as tanks.

Curious souls interested in entering into such a universe need only venture to Millersville University’s Sykes Gallery and enjoy the current Ike Hay Foundry Invitational Exhibit. This exhibit, which runs through September 10, contains the works of past and present students and professors, showcasing the influence of late MU Professor Ike Hay.

During his time at Millersville, Hay built the Art Foundry program, which was continued by current associate professor Line Bruntse and has now been in existence for 45 years. This program challenges students studying in the sculpture studio to experiment with the medium of bronze, widening artists’ experience with this industrial material while also calling on them to solve problems creatively and think critically. Past sculpture students now working in the art field attest to the relevance of the skills gained through bronze casting in their careers, even in roles not directly related.

Line1 (2)The pieces currently on exhibit at Sykes Gallery reflect the successes and longevity of the Foundry despite rising costs of materials, shipping, tools and operations. The exhibit features cast bronze and one aluminum piece, which were created by Hay and his students, as well as Bruntse and hers. Also included are visiting artists who worked with students to cast their work. Fellow artist and wife of the late professor, Teri Hay, and their two daughters Mariah and Mistral also contributed to the collection currently on display.

FishSimilar to the innovation illustrated through his construction of the Art Foundry, Hay initiated a relationship with the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, when his team built a full-size triceratops skull cast in bronze. That relationship continues today. Hay is remembered by those who knew him not only as a talented artist, but also as an admirable man.

“I am honored to have my work included in this show, as Ike was much more than a teacher to me – he was a mentor, a father figure, a model human being and a great friend.  I think that it is only fitting to have a scholarship and facility named after him, as he touched many lives during his tenure at Millersville University,” says Howard Myers, one of the students of the late professor.

A fundraiser will conclude the exhibit in an effort to raise money for the Ike and Teri Hay Sculpture Fund, a fund which finances an annual scholarship awarded every spring to a student at the Juried Student Exhibition. Additional funds raised will help with increasing costs and allow the Foundry program to continue providing artists with the valuable skills acquired through bronze casting.

MU’s Sykes Gallery is located off the main lobby of Breidenstine Hall and is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. over the summer. As illustrated by the current Ike Hay Foundry Invitational Exhibit, the ‘teaching gallery’ features work enhancing the curriculum of the Department of Art & Design. From now through September 10, this exhibit will transport visitors to another world made possible by the innovation of Ike Hay and the MU Art Foundry program.

An artists’ reception and naming ceremony will take place Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016 from 2-5 p.m. in Sykes Gallery in the Department of Art & Design.

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