University of Minnesota

Department of Art celebrates 45th Annual Iron Pour, organizer's retirement

Professor Wayne Potratz will lead his final Iron Pour, which will feature recycled materials of old radiators from Northrop's revitalization.

April 23, 2014

The 45th Annual Iron Pour is scheduled to take place on Friday, April 25 from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m., at the Regis Center for Art Foundry, University of Minnesota. Students and visiting artists will work together to perform an aesthetic, athletic, pyrotechnic event, pouring molten iron into sand molds to make cast iron sculptures.

More than 30 tons of cast iron radiators were donated through the Northrop revitalization to be melted down for iron pour events over the next 10 years.   

The Annual Minnesota Iron Pour began in 1970, organized by professor Wayne Potratz in conjunction with his metal casting class, which is taught by professor Chris Larson and teaching assistant Chris Groth this semester. This will be Potratz’s last pour before his retirement in July. Commemorative T-shirts - along with Iron Pour shirts from the past 44 years - will be on sale during the event. Proceeds go toward the Wayne E. Potratz Scholarship Fund for sculpture students. 

Potratz is a distinguished artist and educator who has taught in the Department of Art at the University of Minnesota for more than 40 years. Potratz’s work has been included in numerous exhibitions worldwide. He has won many awards, most recently the Outstanding Educator Award from the International Sculpture Center for his creative work and life-long commitment to the education and advancement of young artists.

Visiting artists of the 45th Annual Iron Pour will include:

Professor Kurt Dyrhaug, Lamar University, Beaumont TX

Professor Tobias Flores, Fort Hays State University, Hays KS

Professor Emeritus Thomas Gipe, SIUE, southern Illinois U, Edwardsville

Professor Emeritus Jenny Nellis, U of MN Morris

Professor Cliff Prokop, Keystone College, La Plume, PA

Professor Emeritus Jim Swartz, S.W. State University, Marshall, MN 

Professor Tamsie Ringler, St. Catherine's University, MN

Professor Irve Dell and students from St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN

Tom Christiansen, Lutsen, MN

Bill Malo, Martinez, CA

Department of Art Mission
The Department of Art provides an introduction to the practice of art for all students as well as immersive training for emerging artists.  We promote creative expression and conceptual development through a broad range of art disciplines and practices. Initial experiences emphasizing traditional methods are supplemented at intermediate and advanced levels by experimental processes. We offer courses in painting and drawing, photography, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics and experimental media (EMA). Students pursue their work in our state of the art facilities, mentored by our faculty, with all artists recognized in their fields. Visit us at

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