Steeling Arts

Blacksmithing careers went out of fashion with swordfights to the death and horse-drawn carriages. But four local artists revived the tradition by hammering, piercing, and welding metal into exotic sculptures for the “Urban Metal” exhibit, on display through November 18 in the windows of the U.S. Post Office. The free public show includes large and smaller-scale works by John Tuomisto-Bell, Jose Benavides, Ryan Lamfers, and Joan Waters, whose organic metal sculptures are inspired by the painful African tradition of cutting the human body to create permanent scars.

"The process of developing a piece of art is analogous to the process of ritual scarification, and the process of life itself," Waters says in an artist statement. "All require sacrifice, pain, and loss in order to create something more beautiful." Hopefully in her case, that sacrifice didn’t involve singed fingers or missing eyebrows.

Viewing is available 24 hours a day.

Mondays-Saturdays. Starts: July 16. Continues through Nov. 18, 2010