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The Graduate Who Wouldn’t Go Away

Sculpture student Mallory Feltz finished all her course work last fall and could have graduated at that time. Instead, she formed another plan: Continue in class two extra quarters for learning and for art’s sake.

Date: 6/1/2006
By: Mary Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824
Photos By: Andrew Higley
UC ingot “It’s been fun.” That’s how Mallory Feltz, 23, of Waynesville, Ohio, describes her two “extra” quarters of classes filled with psychology courses, art history, sculpture, print making, photography and more.

Mallory Feltz with bronze figures poured in her foundry class
Mallory Feltz with bronze figures poured in her foundry class

“For once, I didn’t have to worry about grades. Instead,” she laughs, “I got to worry about the pressure of finding shows for my sculpture work!”

Mallory could have graduated with many of her friends last fall from UC’s top-ranked College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning. However, she instead decided to round out her education by taking two more quarters of classes. That’s why she’s graduating on June 10 instead.

She explained, “In retrospect, it was such a good decision. It’s helped me to continue with my art work, take classes that have always fascinated me – like psychology – and gave me a really good starting point – and portfolio – for graduate school.”

Mallory seems more than ready for grad school and for her planned future as the owner and operator of Mallory’s Gallery. (“Yes,” she claims. “With a name like mine, I just have to open a gallery.) Her sculpture work has already exhibited locally and as far away as Syracuse, N.Y.

Foundry pour
A bronze pour in UC's foundry. Mallory Feltz is at center holding the crucible.

In addition, a five-foot-tall, 500-pound concrete and bronze sculpture she created last year will, on June 2, be dedicated in Hamilton’s City of Sculpture. The piece, titled “Complexity,” will adorn the front yard of the Anthony Wayne Apartments on Monument Ave. in Hamilton.

That piece, a self portrait of Mallory’s own face, actually began as a “sheet” sculpture. It’s a technique Mallory has developed in which she soaks a sheet in salt water and then drapes the moist sheet over a figure or a face, either her own or that of a volunteer. The sheet then hardens as it dries, taking on the outline and form of the figure over which it was draped. 

“I find these pieces raise questions about self identity, self displacement, absence and presence. And,” she added in a practical manner, “I’ve also found that the pieces will lose their form in humidity or under the hot lights of a gallery, so I’ve taken to coating them with resin.”

This seeming mix of strenuous work and creative insight is what originally drew Mallory to sculpture. “I’m too impatient and restless for two dimensional forms like painting or drawing. I need something more physical and tactile to take on, and sculpture fits the bill. Also, it provides me the freedom to use so many different materials, as many as I could want.”

Mallory Feltz

She’ll continue in her art work, of that she’s certain after these two quarters of “unnecessary” education. Says Mallory, the best part of staying in school even when she didn’t have to, was finding out that she would and will continue with her art even when she doesn’t have to. She claims, “When the pressure’s off, you may or may not create. I found out that I will, and that’s the best part for me, knowing that this is what I want to do, that I love it, that I’ll continue to create no matter what.”


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