You know when you meet someone who has worked harder than most and exudes a tenacity that is inspiring? This past year we were quite lucky to meet someone who is exactly that individual. We run an artist’s residency program where we meet a wide range of talented artists who want to learn about how digital fabrication technologies can be adopted into how they make their art. Asheer Akram joined our residency last year, inspiring other residents and our own thinking about making with his hard working dedication to his art and community, all while continuing to grow his own fabrication business.
We welcome you to join us this Saturday, November 14th for our Speaker Series streaming online event presenting Asheer Akram, an innovator and catalyst in Kansas City for art, technology and culture colliding in new ways. We have included below some tidbits from one of the projects he will be discussing, his Pakistani Cargo Truck Initiative.
Asheer Akram is based out of Kansas City running a full time fabrication company Kansas City Metalworks. His dedication to his art in addition to his entrepreneurial enterprise is a fast standing reason why Kansas City is earning it’s reputation as a creative entrepreneurial hub in the US. In the past few years, Akram’s art has taken many directions anchoring in experimental ceramic processes and thriving from his expertise in metal fabrication.
One of Akram’s largest successes to date is his collaborative Pakistani Cargo Truck initiative begun in 2010 when he traveled with the help of a grant from the Linda Lighton Grant and the Kansas City Artist Coalition to journey to Pakistan in part to connect with his paternal heritage and learn more about the culture.
Akram’s deep seeded understanding of engineering structure and studio arts were deeply inspired by the colorful flamboyant trucks often seen in Pakistan. The trucks are competitively tricked out in elaborate designs that combine complex patterns and materials to glitter and win potential paid riders in Pakistan. The truck has shown locally at The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, the Nerman museum of Contemporary Art and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and the Lawrence art center. The showings have been tremendously successful in terms of public attendance and discourse.
It is no quagmire to understand why this symbol of visual feast is a perfect metaphor for a host of interpretations. Akram’s cargo truck involved the participation of many professional and personal acquaintances from local Kansas City ceramicists to woodworkers and woodblock printers to name a few who all contributed to the compilation of visual delight that the fully operational cargo truck encompasses.
Pulling up grassroots support from a Kickstarter campaign to grants, the cargo truck was completed and has since toured a host of museums and art institutions raising awareness, sparking dialogue and acting as a literal vehicle for Akram’s interest in multi-cultural understanding and engagement.
The Digital Fabrication Residency (DFR) Speaker Series is an ongoing project for fabrication company Art Design + Fabrication that hosts the DFR program. Digital Fabrication Residency is a small private program that educates artists in the ways of making art, working directly with fabrication experts specializing in how technology can inform and transform concept into 2D, 3D and 4D art forms.
Asheer Akram will be presenting Saturday, November 14th at 1 PM EST. Click here to join
DFR will be using Fuze to connect. To learn more about Fuze visit www.fuze.com