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In Berlin, apprentice creates lifelong memories

By Savannah Smith

I am very thankful to the Metal Museum for the opportunity to go to and represent them at the International Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art in Berlin, Germany. I didn’t imagine going until I learned that there was a grant available to the apprentices here, without which I would not have been able to attend.

This was a very special trip for me and something I will never forget. I learned a lot over the week I spent in Germany:

I saw a sculpture by someone who influenced my path in metal work, expanded my community of friends and peers, was taken aback by the beautiful art in the gallery shows, listened intently during the theoretical panels, and was in awe of a fabulous bronze foundry where an iron pour was taking place.

Of course, more than just those things went on during my trip that made it memorable and thought-provoking. The influence that this trip has had will inspire my work and how I interact with learning, teaching, and making art for the rest of my life.

As artists who make heavy work, we know that it takes a team to bring our ideas into reality. The idea of helping, learning, and growing alongside one another was further galvanized by my experience in Berlin. Attending this conference ultimately made me more appreciative of the Metal Museum and other arts organizations like it. It is a place where everyone is welcome and wanted: artists and non-artists.

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