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Women for Shepherd Metal Pour brings out the artist in participants

ISSUED: 29 October 2018
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — More than 40 alumnae, community members, faculty, and staff attended the Women for Shepherd Metal Pour and Art Exhibit on Saturday, October 20, at Shepherd University’s FASTEnER Lab. The event was sponsored by the Shepherd University Foundation in conjunction with the Department of Contemporary Art and Theater.

The Metal Pour and Art Exhibit, which was the 12th marquee event for Women for Shepherd, featured the team of recent graduate Alyssa Imes, whose monarch butterfly sculpture was installed in the gardens of historic Popodicon in the spring. Imes earned a Bachelor in Fine Arts in sculpture. Her work has been shown regionally throughout West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

Participants at the event were led through a tutorial of creating a scratch block mold of self-chosen patterns, which were in turn used to create a metal keepsake made from iron poured on site. Although some in attendance had previous experience with scratch block carving, most were novices when it came to the metal pour process.

“I’m not at all talented,” said alumna Anne Small, whose cat face design reflected her love of animals. “It was a lot easier than I expected and definitely a lot of fun!”

Women for Shepherd planning committee members Dr. Heidi Hanrahan, professor of English, and alumna Sue Mentzer-Blair were instrumental in organizing the event, which highlighted a unique collaboration between the group and Shepherd’s art department to expose technologies and creations of the FASTEnER Lab beyond the classroom.

“Who doesn’t love to see molten metal flow and have your artwork solidify right in front of you?” asked Kevin Dartt, 3-D fabrication manager for the lab.

“The WSU metal casting event was the first time the lab focused on pouring iron for the community,” Dartt said. “It was a great time bringing students, alumni, the campus, and community together to make art.”

For more information on the FASTEnER Lab, visit To learn more about Women for Shepherd University or to help plan future events, contact Meg Peterson at 304-876-5021 or, or visit

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