Visual Arts

Art of Work in Madison County

David Sheldon, sculptor

Madison County Economic Development and Mars Hill University have teamed up for a collaborative project called Art of Work. “The collaboration has four parts that work to show the history, value and similarities between art and industry,” says Sara Nichols, Madison County planner.

As part of Art of Work, the first sculpture will be unveiled at the Manufacturing Art Park, a public art greenway project of Madison County Economic Development. “The sculptures were to be based, in theme or material, on a manufacturer in Madison County,” says artist David Sheldon, who was selected through a juried process to create the park’s first sculpture. Sheldon felt a direct connection with Advanced Superabrasives, this year’s selected manufacturer, when he learned that the company’s cutting wheels were installed on the Mars Rover, allowing it to pick up Martian rock and cut into it, looking for water or even life. “My current Skyworks series of sculptures has what I call a ‘NASA aesthetic,’ and directly addresses humanity’s interest in and exploration of space,” Sheldon says. “So the idea of doing something Mars-related immediately sparked my interest.” Sheldon’s piece, The Mars Cutter, will be unveiled at the park on Saturday, July 28.

Art of Work will also feature a show by manufacturer/ artist Nick Moen of The Bright Angle. His show will be installed at the Weizenblatt Gallery and a talk-back with the artist will be held on Sunday, July 15, at 5 p.m. Through July, the Ramsey Center will be displaying a photo journalism project that explores the history of manufacturing in Madison County. The fourth part of Art of Work will be the production of Working: The Musical at SART Theater from Thursday, July 12, to Sunday, July 29. “It’s important for the community to see the relationship between the arts and the manufacturing industry,” says Nichols. “They are both valuable pieces to our economic puzzle.”

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