Monica Coyne and Leslie Price


DECEMBER 1 - 29, 2018


The Black Faun Gallery presents “In This Moment” featuring abstract works by Leslie Price and forged steel sculptures by Monica Coyne from December 1st to December 29th. The Arts Alive opening takes place on Saturday, December 1st from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Leslie Price has been involved in Humboldt’s artistic scene for decades, teaching students at Humboldt State University for 34 years and exhibiting many successful shows in the area and beyond. Inspiration for his free-flowing abstract works comes from his observation of the abundant natural beauty found in our world. Nature is abstracted within organic forms and replicating shapes in Price’s work. He explains, “My aim is to make a painting that is dynamic and meditative simultaneously, which is similar to my experience of the source material.”

Monica Coyne is a contemporary sculptor and blacksmith who creates works that are unexpected of forged steel. From delicate ornamentation to traditional blacksmith techniques, Coyne creates works that challenge the limits of the material. Her art plays with the concepts of balance, function and form, and humankind’s place within the natural world. In Monica Coyne’s words, “I want to find answers with my hands in the metal. I am a human. I am complicit in the ugliness that we have created here but I am of this planet. The breathtaking beauty that I see around me everywhere, I come from that too. I should be able to be that too.”

Monica Coyne Statement

Parent Stock : The starting material. 3/4” and 1” square steel bar

I take a piece of cold hard steel bar and put it into a fire. At about 2000 degrees that bar softens enough to be formed and shaped with a hammer. Yellow hot steel moves like clay. I can not touch the material so I use tools such as tongs, hammers, fullers and chisels that I have also shaped out of steel. I shape each piece individually while it is yellow hot to the final form it will take as it cools.

Blacksmiths have shaped steel into forms for thousands of years. Most often into usable items from weapons to bridges. My training as a blacksmith gives me the skills to take advantage of the strength of the material. Steel can lend its strength to pieces creating balance. It can range from delicate to powerful. Watching the metal move I have been struck by the way that the material mimics the human form. It stretches and swells like skin. It can be hard and bony, fat or muscled.

As I work through the process of forging steel I find that the issues that weigh on my mind come through my hands to the work. I notice that when I analyze and understand the processes that humans have created and learned to accept I can begin to work outside of that accepted norm. I can begin to question. I start with a piece of cold hard steel. By understanding ancient processes I push it toward something new.