Iron Light Sculpture Residency and Gathering

May 28 - June 20, 2021

CDC guidelines will be adhered to as related to COVID -19. Vaccinated individuals preferred. 


Established in 2019, The Western North Carolina Sculpture Center (WNCSC) invites artists the opportunity to live on site and create artwork. The work created through this residency program is intended to enhance our visitors experience to our sculpture park in new ways as relating to the WNCSC mission of connecting people with the arts.


2021 marks the inaugural iron light sculptor gathering. This group residency consists of pattern and mold making work time, iron pour preparation,  a community iron pour, finishing work, installation and reception. Each selected artist will have their completed work represented and exhibited in the sculpture park for one year! Each artist will be giving an artist talk at the exhibition reception to cap the residency. 

Iron casting experience is preferred.

Application Process and Materials Below. We strongly recommend reading the Residency Information below before applying.

Applications open April 1

Deadline April 25, 2021 at midnight

Applicants will be notified during the week of April 28, 2021.


Artists 21 years of age or older at all stages of their career are eligible to apply

• International Artists may apply

• WNCSC is unable to accommodate children at this time to join selected artists. Spouses may be a possibility.


• Access to all foundry equipment

• Access to select blacksmithing and metal fabrication equipment as needed and approved by WNCSC Directors

   click here for equipment list

• 24 hour open studio with approved equipment

• Studio Assistance by Iron Light interns and Site Managers upon request and pending availability. We will do what we can to provide studio assistance, due to the communal nature of the foundry process it is expected that artists help each other.

• The residency fee includes up to 300 lbs. of foundry sand, foundry chemicals and up to 150 lbs. of iron, to be broken by the artist. Additional sand and foundry chemicals will be available at a rate of $7.50 per 50 lbs and additional iron consumed will be the responsibility of the artist at current scrap value. 


• Artists are responsible for traveling to and from WNCSC. We may be able to pick up artists who are flying into Charlotte-Douglas International Airport. To inquire, please email inquiries to with "Airport Pick-Up" in the email subject line. We are happy to discuss transportation options for those unable to drive.

• A vehicle would be recommended if possible. We are happy to coordinate hardware store and material distributor runs as possible, expect a possible 24-48 hour scheduling. 

• Selected artists will be staying in personal tents. Camping accommodations are included in the residency fee. There are a number of camp site options, various distances and levels of seclusion to the studio. Should an artist be interested in staying in a dorm room with a communal kitchen space, an additional fee would apply. Email for more information with "Dorm" in the email subject line. 

• The WNC Sculpture Center features a communal kitchen space that doubles as the sculptor's lounge as well as ample restrooms and a shower. 

• WNCSC will provide meals for the day of the iron pour on June 12, 2021.

• Artists will have access to produce available at the sculpture garden. 


• Selected sculptors complete work that will be exhibited in the 2021-2022 Iron Light Residency Exhibition in the        sculpture park.

• Sculptors are expected to be actively working on a personal project or iron pour prep for the majority of the 3 week duration of Iron Light.

• Engage with the public, when necessary, in a cordial and professional manner.

• Participate in the Pecha Kucha artist talk to be held at opening reception for Iron Light Exhibition.


• No fee to apply

• Residency fee is $400. Half to be paid no later than 2 weeks prior (May 14) to the start of the residency (May 28), when the remaining fee is to be paid. Cancellations within 48 hours of May 28th result in 50% deposit return. 

Application Review Process

• After the application deadline passes, our panel of jurors will review all applications and will determine a total of 12 sculptors to participate in the Iron Light Sculpture Residency and Gathering. Applicants will be notified the week of

April 28. 

Juror Panelists

Frankie Flood - Frankie Flood is an Associate Professor and area head of the Metalsmithing and Jewelry Design area at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. Frankie Flood’s interest in machines and tools and the influence of his working class upbringing is a source of inspiration for the functional objects that he creates. Flood exhibits his work nationally and internationally and his work has received many awards and has been published widely.

 • Waylon Bigsby - Waylon is an artist, fabricator, woodworker, foundry nerd, sculptor’s secret weapon, surly head chef, reluctant consultant, canoe builder, bicycle mechanic, devoted trail shredder, retired bluesman, and giver of eternal piggy-back rides working in Greenville, South Carolina. Waylon currently operates a full-time studio and teaches adjunct at Furman University and is guest furnaces director for the 2021 National Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art and Practices hosted by Sloss Furnaces.

 • Kyle Van LuskLusk studied sculpture at East Carolina University, earning his BFA in 1995 and his MFA in 1998.

Since completion of his graduate work in, Lusk has created and exhibited work in galleries and public venues throughout the southeast. He served seven years on the Art faculty at Appalachian State University and has served as Associate Professor of Art at Brevard College in Brevard, NC since 2005.

 • Zachary Smith-Johnson - Founder and Director of The Western North Carolina Sculpture Center.

 • Joseph Bigley - Founder and Executive Director of The Western North Carolina Sculpture Center.

Application Materials

• Provide the following information in the body of the email:

          Address, City, State, ZIP




          Date of Birth

          Names, Email and Phone of 2 References

          (Optional) Please answer the question: Have you been vaccinated for COVID-19?

• CV

• Digital Portfolio, 5-10 images. (Links to specific pages of a personal website will suffice. Make sure all                       required information is provided on page or submit supplemental image key)

   Jpeg files required. Individual files not to exceed 1.5 MB.

   Files to be named, Lastname_01.jpeg, Lastname_02.jpeg, etc.

   Time based works not to exceed 3 minutes, .mov files only.

• Portfolio Image Key to include file name, title, medium, dimensions, year completed

Send all application materials to:

Subject Line: Iron Light Application

Deadline April 25, midnight

Late applications will not be accepted.