KENNESAW, Ga. (CBS46) – Colorful benches, decorative manhole covers, a sundial and an archway.

Those are just some of the unique public artworks students in the Kennesaw State University Master Craftsman Program are creating thanks to a partnership forged with the City of Kennesaw.

As part of the project’s third phase, a sundial, shade structure and a large archway sign created by the students were unveiled at the corner of Sardis and South Main streets.

“What an opportunity for the Master Craftsman Program students at Kennesaw State University to be recognized for their creativity and talent,” Kennesaw Mayor Derek Easterling said in a press release.

The program, open to anyone with an interest in art, is designed to give students real-world experience.

“Non-sculpture majors love it because you don’t have to have sculpting skills to take it,” Sculpture Lecturer and Master Craftsman Program Coordinator Page Burch said in a press release. “We draw our students from across many disciplines.”

Burch said one of the reasons so many students are attracted to the program is because it’s such a drastic departure from what they do. “When we do an iron pour, it’s an exciting spectacle, totally unlike anything we do in the traditional sculpture program, and the students love it,” Burch said.

In fact, the class plans to hold an iron pour on Saturday, July 20 on the grounds of the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History. The community is welcome to attend the event which runs from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

“This will be our second year doing the Railroad Rendezvous,” Burch said. “For this, we build resin-sand scratch blocks that participants can carve into their own design. We then cast them in iron, and after they cool down, people can take them home. Each block is just $10, and all the money goes towards art scholarships at KSU. We also do this activity on campus in April during our Spring Arts Festival.”

Some of the program’s first installations included benches resembling large railroad stakes on the Southern Museum walkway and custom-designed manhole covers installed at City Hall Plaza.

“We’re keeping pretty busy,” Burch said. “We’re getting ready to do a bench for the Zuckerman Museum, and we’re doing a project nearby for the Town Center Community Improvement District’s Aviation Park. Next spring, we’re looking forward to starting work on a project with the Acworth Police Department.”

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