Karen Schmidt-Humiski
Castle, 1983.
Painted welded steel.
Base 8’ x 10’, height 11′
Dysart Road
Artist Statement

Ms. Schmidt-Humiski has gone on to become a teacher at Sturgeon Heights Collegiate and teaches the Jewellery and Metalsmithing Certificate Program for goldsmithing and jewellery making.  The following is a summary about the sculpture written by the artist and sent to me on March 9, 2014:

“The white castle sculpture was my thesis project for my fourth year Bachelor of Fine Arts Honours.   Professor Gordon Reeves worked with Russell Steel to have a thesis student sculpt a welded steel sculpture for the University of Manitoba campus.  My proposal was chosen.  I had made a small paper maquette of the castle with the scale of 1” equal to 1’.  

It was arranged that I would work at their facilities and weld the piece there.  I was no professional welder and the workers would come and watch me figure out how to approach the ¼” steel construction.  It was 1983 and not too many women were welding.  They were helpful and many of my welds had to be replaced.  I learned a great deal technically.

The top ‘crown’ part was four pieces cut by laser from a life size paper pattern drawn on the floor of my parent’s house.  It was folded on an enormous bending brake. I welded the four pieces together in the corners.  The walls were four separate pieces that bolted together over the doors.

Federal Pioneer took the steel pieces on a flatbed semi from Russell Steel and had them primed and transported to the campus along the river bank.  Simmons Rentals came with a big crane.  The local news station turned up.

The walls were put in place and the crane lifted the ‘crown’ off of the flat bed.  It was only at that moment that I had the thought” What if it didn’t fit?”, but it did.  I then returned to paint the entire piece by hand.

The day of my thesis crit was a beautiful sunny day.  Manitoba blue skies.  During our discussion, the daycare came over and the children began to run around and through the sculpture.  President Arnold Naimark looked at me and asked if I had arranged it.  I hadn’t and could never have conceived such an excellent explanation/example of what I had wanted to achieve with this work. The sculpture is open to the sky on the inside and is still a place for picnics by day, bonfires at night and even raves.  I was so fortunate to have this experience.”


3 Responses to Schmidt

  1. Asako Yoshida says:

    Thanks for the artworks documentation. I did not know that there are many public artworks that are worthy of our attention on campus. This project will definitely help bring out the artworks that many people may not have noticed before. I also enjoy some of the wall paintings that you find in underground corridor.


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