The mess of art

Published 4:09 pm Thursday, February 9, 2012

Fire Arts in downtown South Bend, Ind., is non-profit organization that offers artists, like Tuck Langland, a space to create their three-dimensional works of art. Off the Water photo/CRAIG HAUPERT

Janice Langland likes to separate art into two categories.

She refers to the first as the clean and quiet art. It includes drawing, painting, photography and the like.

The second category is the opposite of the first. It’s dirty and noisy and encompasses sculptures, welding and bronze casting.

Fire Arts Inc. in downtown South Bend, Ind., deals in the second option.
“We like to get our hands dirty here,” said Langland, president of Fire Arts board of directors.

Fire Arts is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the creation and appreciation of the three-dimensional arts of sculpture, pottery and jewelry.

It is a place where people can create works of art, and a place where people can view works of art. Fire Arts offers lectures, demonstrations and classes to artists of all levels. For a fee, artists can use the facility and its tools to create pottery, sculptures or whatever they wish.

Fire Arts was formed more than seven years ago by a group of sculptors that wanted to work together to create and teach art.

Langland was with Fire Arts in the beginning and has watched the organization grow into an important part of the local art community.

“Not everybody wants to bother with three-dimensional art because it is dirty and noisy and takes a lot of equipment, so it is important to have a place where people can learn about it,” Langland said. “Just judging from what visitors say, they are amazed when they go into a tour and learn what it takes to make something like a bronze sculpture.”

Fire Arts holds six or seven shows a year, each lasting around two months.

They are currently featuring the sculptural works of Tuck Langland, professor emeritus at Indiana University South Bend and one of Fire Arts’ founding artists. He is Janice’s husband.

Tuck’s sculptures can be found all over the world, including several in the Michiana area. His sculpture, Resting Dancer, sits in City Hall Park in Dowagiac.

Fire Arts also holds several community events throughout the year. Information about these events can be found on the organization’s website

Fire Arts is open from noon to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Fire Arts is located at 305 E. Colfax Ave. in South Bend, just east of the Colfax bridge.

2012 Exhibition Schedule

• Jan. 6-March 1: Tuck Langland “Recent Works, the Last 30 Years”

• March 16-April 27: Elfa Jonsdottir “Textiles”

• May 4-June 28: Eric Kaufmann “Pottery”

• July 6-Aug. 10: “Work by Fire Arts Artists”

• Aug. 14-25: “Work from Summer Studio Workshop”

• Aug. 30-Oct. 25: Rhonda Whitledge “Sculpture”

• Nov. 1-Dec. 27: Holiday Show “Work by Fire Arts Artists”