Spring Break at Leland Iron Works
Five Applied Craft and Design students spend their spring break building a sweat lodge at Leland Iron Works.
Over Spring Break, five students in PNCA’s Applied Craft and Design Program (co-sposored with Oregon College of Art and Craft) spent three days and nights working and camping at Leland Iron Works, home and studio to Lee Kelly ’59. While there, they designed, sourced material for, and built a sweat lodge. Students worked closely with Kelly and with MFA AC+D alums Billy Rueck, Christina Conant, and Dave Boekelheide and also spent long hours preparing and enjoying delicious meals, engaging in informal and impromptu discussions and exchanges with visiting artists and faculty, and unwinding around the campfire. PNCA photographer and alumni Wayne Bund, MFA VS ’10 joined the crew on the last afternoon of construction, capturing on film the final touches to the sweat lodge and the long, laughter-filled celebration meal afterwards. The students involved included Meghann Gilligan MFA ’14, Brian Hustebout MFA ’14, Alyssa Kail MFA ’14, and Edward Key MFA ’14.
“It was really relaxing and productive at the same time,” said Alyssa Kail, MFA ’14. “I’d love to have a life like Lee Kelly has. To have a plot of land where you can just make and entertain. That was really the most significant thing about the experience, getting a peek into the life of a successful artist and seeing what’s possible.”
The final sweat lodge was 7ft x 7ft x 5ft tall and was built alongside the river that forms one border of the Leland Iron Works property. At the end of the last day (“There was a storm rolling in and the sun was setting. The light was fading fast. It was so picturesque.”), the students celebrated the finishing of the building with an inaugural sweat. They ran back and forth from the lodge to the river gathering water to help even out the pockets of extreme heat in the building. The next morning, after breakfast, they packed up their sleeping bags and headed up to Portland and back home.
You can read more about PNCA’s partnership with Lee Kelly and follow the developing art residency/enrichment program at Leland Iron Works on the Leland Iron Works UNTITLED blog and view more photos from the AC+D design build project on PNCA’s Flickr page.
All photos by Wayne Bund, MFA VS ’10. See more great photos from PNCA on the College’s Flickr site.