Eternal Iron is a project proposed by sculptors Jam Rohr and Danny Rohr in conjunction with archaeologist, Scott Warnasch. Artists are invited to create their own artworks of any medium inspired by Fisk’s Metallic Burial Cases written by Warnasch. Since the original Fisk Foundry was located in Queens, all works will be on display in New York in the Spring of 2022. Each artist will be invited to discuss their work at the opening reception for the exhibition.
Artists are invited to submit artworks of any media. There are no limitations or restrictions on the works. Artwork media may include but is not limited to cast iron sculptures, drawings, paintings, prints, poetry, fiber, video, performance, and more. There are no size restrictions to the work, but work that is not easily handled should be arranged for proper handling by the artist. Any artwork that will be cast in iron is encouraged to be ready to pour during the National Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art and Practices at Sloss in Birmingham, AL in April of 2021. More details on the conference are to come.
There will be a coffin crawl in the Fall of 2022. Multiple gallery and exhibition spaces in Peoria, IL will show various artworks that are participating in the project. During a Citywide First Friday event, the public will be invited to move to each gallery space to view the work. Every artist will be invited to attend the opening receptions and discuss their work with the public. Finalized dates for the exhibition as well as any further details will be released to all participants by Spring of 2021
The deadline to give notice of participation is Monday, June 1, 2022. Forward any questions, concerns, or comments to Jam Rohr at JamRohrArt@gmail.com.
Watch the PBS documentary Secrets of the Dead here
Fisk iron burial case
Scott Warnasch has been a professional archaeologist for over 25 years. From 2005 to 2015, he was the primary forensic archaeologist for New York City, spending most of that time leading the New York City Medical Examiner’s office’s human remains recovery operation at the World Trade Center site after 9/11. He was also Senior Anthropologist for the World Trade Center operations and managed the 9/11 victims’ remains repository at Ground Zero for its first year. In addition, he participated and advised in several crime scene recovery excavations, including FBI mob-related scenes.
Mr. Warnasch was a member of the OCME Mass Fatality Response Team and assisted in several large recovery operations including the Hurricane Sandy recovery effort. During his time at the agency, he was also an instructor at several buried body recovery courses taught in conjunction with New York Police Department and the FBI. His archaeological skills were often called upon to assess human remains to discern if they were historical or modern, and therefore, possibly of forensic significance. Prior to his work for the City of New York, Mr. Warnasch was involved in numerous archaeological excavations in the US, Italy, Belize, and Ecuador. He has taught excavation methodology at field schools for the British School at Rome, the University of Central Florida, Sonoma State University, and Columbia University.
Mr. Warnasch now runs his own consulting company, S.C. Warnasch LLC. In addition to his field and lab work, he is a frequent guest lecturer on forensic archaeology, mass disasters, the World Trade Center recovery operation, and 19th century American funerary customs. Mr. Warnasch has authored and co-authored academic articles, a textbook chapter, a field operating guide to mass fatality response and recovery, and an encyclopedia entry regarding the World Trade Center recovery operation and mass fatality management.
He is writing a book called American Mummies, which focuses on the three iron coffin mummies, as well as Fisk and Raymond and the role their coffins played in the 19th century. He also makes artwork as 2D and 3D constructions from found objects along with small sketches.
Mr. Warnasch received his M.A. from Hunter College, NYC, and lives with his wife in New Jersey.
Photograph by Gabriel Akagawa, The Foundry Tree, http://foundrytree.com/rohr/
Danny Rohr is a sculptor living in Peoria, IL. He owns Black Dog Metal Arts, LLC with his wife, Jam Rohr. Rohr is the Director of Programs at the Peoria Art Guild. He received his BFA from Southeast Missouri State University in 2013, MA from Eastern Illinois University in 2015, and MFA from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale in 2018.
Rohr has exhibited his work throughout the Midwest and travels the country to pour iron. In 2019 he was a volunteer for exhibitions at the National Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art and Practices in Birmingham, AL. He has received various awards including the Impressionist Painting Purchase Award in 2012 and the Student Show Purchase Award from Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, MO. In 2019 he made history by organizing the first artistic iron pour in Peoria, IL history for Big Picture Peoria.
He has had a notable career in the arts as the Assistant Preparator at the Tarble Arts Center in Charleston, IL, a Sculpture Assistant at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, MO, Director of the Surplus Gallery in Carbondale, IL, and a Foundry Technician at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.
Rohr has been practicing sculpture since 2009, and primarily explores methods in woodworking, metal fabrication, and metal casting. His favorite activities include traveling the country with his wife to participate in iron pours and spending time with his wife, their two kitties, and their dog.
Jam Rohr is a sculptor, writer, and curator. She owns Black Dog Metal Arts, LLC with her husband, Danny Rohr. She currently lives in Peoria, IL where she works as the Gallery Curator at Illinois Central College and Instructional Assistant Professor at Illinois State University. Rohr received her BA in Painting with a minor in Psychology at Illinois State University in Normal, IL in 2014. She received her MA degree in Visual Art at Eastern Illinois University in 2015 and her MFA in Sculpture from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale in 2018.
Rohr makes sculptures in a wide range of materials including cast iron, bronze, aluminum, steel, handmade paper, wood, and fiber. Her sculptures are visual representations of her poetry and explore human relationships. In recent years, she has created socially engaged performance works about strategies for breaking down barriers and deconstructing societal hierarchy by encouraging play among strangers.
Her work has been included in publications such as Expose Art Magazine, Studio Visit Magazine, Blue Room Magazine, Season 6 of Expressions on PBS, and the Studio Break podcast. In 2019 and 2021 she has served on the Steering Committee for the National Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art and Practices in Birmingham, AL. She was one of 22 artists featured in the 2019 Terrain Biennial in Peoria, IL. in 2019 she was one of 40 artists included in 40 Under 40: 40 Up and Coming American Metal Artists at the Metal Museum in Memphis, TN.
Rohr has received various awards including the Deb Marrow Scholarship in 2017, a grant from the Windgate Charitable Foundation in 2017 and 2018, and a grant from the Awesome Foundation in 2018.
She made history twice in 2019 by organizing Peoria’s First Artistic Iron Pour in October with the Big Picture Peoria festival and the First Iron Pour run by FEmale Identified Artists as part of the Citywide Celebration of Women in the Arts in November. Coinciding with the iron pour, she co-curated an international women in iron exhibition called Fierce: Women in Iron with Kristen Tordella-Williams at the Prairie Center of the Arts in Peoria, IL. She has exhibited her work nationally, including Las Vegas, NM, Chicago, IL, St. Louis, MO, Jackson, MS, and Scranton, PA.
For more information on Jam Rohr, her accolades, and her artwork, check out JamRohr.art or her instagram at Jam_Rohr