Few will ever have the privilege of standing eye to eye with a full-grown bull elephant, and while the life-size gathering of bronze elephant statues at Norman’s The Crucible Bronze Foundry might not be alive, the close replicas could easily fool a distant onlooker.
The statuary family of five will be on display 6-9 p.m. April 14 at the foundry, 110 E. Tonhawa St., during Norman’s 2nd Friday Art Walk.
The father’s tusks are long and mighty. Each elephant’s trunk is wrinkled and dotted with precise detail. It’s easy to get lost in the innocent eyes of the calves.
Stephanie Enouen, assistant to the owner at The Crucible, said Washington-based wildlife sculptor Jocelyn Russell subcontracted the foundry to construct the collection for New Orleans’ Audubon Zoo. The foundry does not always have works to display during 2nd Fridays, but the statues’ scheduled departure aligned perfectly with this month’s event.
“[The elephant statues] will be outside because they’re going to be shipped out just a few days after that,” Enouen said. “It’s really coincidental that the timing works out just right for that.”
The Crucible is contacted by artists from across the globe for assistance casting and constructing large-scale bronze statues and sculptures.
The foundry’s broad appeal stems from its large size, which gives it the capacity to accommodate larger-than-life works. The Crucible also has a central national location, which is convenient for transporting works that can often weigh thousands of pounds.
The completed elephant statues will be transported to Louisiana fully assembled and strapped to a truck bed.
Enouen said they estimated that it has been about two years from the time Russell completed her first miniatures to the fully completed, full-size elephant family of today. The Crucible has been casting the elephants in metal for the last year.
“For five full-size elephants, that’s actually a pretty short time,” Enouen said.
Though details of The Crucible’s 2nd Friday showcase were still being finalized at press time, Enouen said it is working on bringing in an elephant expert from Oklahoma City Zoological Park and Botanical Garden in addition to drink samples from Oklahoma’s Prairie Artisan Ales and Success Vodka and African fare by chef Andrew Black from Norman’s Meatball House.
Her goal is to offer an educational experience through a hyperlocal lens.
“We try to keep it all homegrown,” she said.
Enouen said she wants locals to take pride in knowing landmarks and monuments that become very important to people in other places often got their start right here in Oklahoma.
“The effect that we have on many other people in different places can be very profound,” she said.
2nd Friday Norman Art Walk
6-9 p.m. April 14
Walker Arts District
Print headline: Stoic family, A Norman foundry unveils a family of elephants for 2nd Friday Norman Art Walk.