SPRINGFIELD'S SCULPTURES,            Carl and Roberta Volkmann
MONUMENTS, AND PLAQUES              cvolk@aol.com
www.arcadiapublishing.com
Educational Institutions
L. Brent Kington's Icarus
Icarus, a forged steel structure by L. Brent Kington, stands in
the northwest corner of the courtyard at the Southern Illinois
University (SIU) School of Medicine in Springfield, Illinois.  A
trained silversmith, Kington discovered blacksmithing in 1964.  
Subsequently, he developed a model metalsmithing program at
SIU  Carbondale where he taught and has become a national
leader in blacksmithing as a contemporary art form
.

The Illinois State Museum Chicago Gallery presented a
retrospect of Kington’s work April 24 to August 1, 2008 entitled,
“L. Brent Kington: Mystic Metalsmith.”  The exhibit followed the
artist’s forty year progression from whimsical toys for his
children through exploration of movement in his weather vanes
and Icarus series on to his spiritual crosiers, spires, and
crescents. In an interview by Mary Douglas for the Smithsonian
Institute
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project, Kington
discussed his intentions when he created the Icarus works:
“I used the title Icarus because of it's a name, a word that is a
symbol for man flying. Of course, I'm not really referring to the fact
that he disobeys his father and gets too close to the sun and does
the stupid teenage typical trip and melts his wings and falls to his
death. I'm referring to the persistence of tribal early man and his
persistent dream of flight. … I'm referring to that and referring to a
lot of cultures and times and places with the work. And, of course, it
is very, very important to me that they were kinetic and that it looked
like flight, or that they could take on motion.”
In addition to establishing at SIU Carbondale the only available Masters of Fine Arts
degree in blacksmithing in the United States, Kington was among the founders of the
Artist Blacksmith Association of North Ameica and the Society of North American
Goldsmiths. Because of his remarkable contributions to the American Studio Craft
Movement, L. Brent Kington is the recipient of many honors.  He is one of thirty-nine
Americans who have received the prestigious Gold Medal from the American Crafts
Council (ACC).  He has been awarded fellowships from both The National Endowment
for the Arts and the Illinois Arts Council.  In 2006 a one million dollar endowment by an
anonymous donor established a permanent L. Brent Kington Chair at the School of Art
and Design at SIU Carbondale.  Retired from teaching, Kington continues to work as an
artist from his home in Makanda, Illinois.
Complete Kington Interview