ABANA Exhibitions

The Exhibition Committee was formed as an outreach initiative in support of ABANA’s mission to perpetuate the noble art of blacksmithing. As such, ABANA’s Exhibition Committee is committed to touring art exhibitions that expose the public to the art of blacksmithing. For more information, please contact the Exhibition Committee

Current Exhibition

From color contrast to play with shadow and light to conceptual representations of darkness and light, this exhibition offers a lot of variety. Featured artists include:

Kirsi Vahtera, Germ Logan, Bruna D’Alessandro, Bowen Beaty, Jeffrey Jubenville, Annie Higgins, Joe Whisonant, Max Reed, Jessica Adams, Mike Mumford, James Weir, Lonnie Alverson, Gus Baldwin, George Bandarra, and Addison de Lisle.

Featured Forgings: Darkness & Light will be on view through July 1, 2024.

View Exhibition

2024 Exhibitions

The ABANA Featured Forgings: Favorites of 2023 online exhibition showcases the selected artist’s favorite pieces from 2023. We’re delighted to feature the work of the following makers:

Jessica Adams, Roy Adams, Drew Alexander, Patrick Beck, Sean Berube, Simon Connett, Chris Crevelts, Brian Donahue, Luc Fiedler, Joshua Gilbert, Andrew Good, Jeffrey Jubenville, Randy McDaniel, Antti Nieminen, Jennifer Petrila, Adam Plater, Owen Riedesel, Robert Sigafoos, Chris Spilak, Mason Weems, and Anton Yakushev.

Featured Forgings: Favorites of 2023 was on display March 15, 2024.

Previous Exhibitions

#366Hooks Exhibition

In 2016, Matt Jenkins of Cloverdale Forge in the Manitoba province of Canada challenged himself to design and forge a different hook for each day of the year. Being a leap year, Matt created a total of 366 hooks.

From start to finish, the process averaged an hour each day. The forms and designs created in #366Hooks utilize a mixture of techniques and approaches — ranging from primary blacksmithing skills to inspirational details found in masters works.

Setting a long-term goal, a daily time allotment, and using materials and tools on hand, Matt discovered seemingly endless inspiration for hooks, including the metal scrap bin. During the course of the year, the #366Hooks project amassed a following of creative tastemakers, including professional and hobby blacksmiths.

#366Hooks is an ideal exhibition, as it will spark the interest of artist-blacksmiths and the general public alike. All viewers will appreciate the design and creative forms coaxed from the metal, while artist-blacksmiths will undoubtedly contemplate and attempt to decipher the starting stock and methods used to create each piece.

Touring Schedule

#366Hooks is curated and produced by Cloverdale Forge and the Manitoba Craft Council, Manitoba, Canada and toured in the USA by the Artist-Blacksmith’s Association of North America (ABANA).

Jun 21 – Aug 15, 2022: Sculpture Tucson – Tucson, Arizona

Sep 19 – Dec 2022: Buffalo County Historical Society Trail & Rails Museum – Kearney, Nebraska

Jan – Mar 2023: APEX Gallery – South Dakota School of Mines – Rapid City, South Dakota

Apr – Jun 2023: Touchstone Center for Crafts – Farmington, Pennsylvania

Jul 2023: Return to Canada for the 2023 CanIron in Fergus, Ontario, Canada

Images courtesy of Manitoba Craft Council,
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

#150mm Challenge

The #150mmchallenge is a celebration of process, material, creativity and ingenuity in forged metal that began with a student project in the UK. The exhibition displays a curated collection of 150 metal objects, selected from over 400 pieces created by amateur and professional blacksmiths from around the world. 

The #150mmchallenge has its origins in the charming, historic cathedral city of Hereford, UK. With around 55,000 inhabitants, it is surrounded by the green rolling hills and hedgerows of traditional English agricultural land and the distant Welsh Mountains. It’s a fitting setting for the blacksmithing capital of the UK and is home to the country’s only Artist Blacksmithing degree course at Hereford College of Arts, where the #150mmchallenge was first conceived. 

Tutor, Ambrose Burne gave his students a ‘warm-up’ challenge to create something interesting out of a small rectangular piece of steel, 150mm x 20mm x 20mm (5.9 x 0.79 x 0.79 inches). They each had three weeks to make something out of the piece, without adding anything else, and they posted photos of their completed work onto the course Instagram account, @herefordanvils, using the hashtag #150mmchallenge. 

The challenge ‘went viral’ – catching the interest of blacksmiths from around the world, resulting in an exhibition that toured Europe to much acclaim. The artworks vary from playful figurative models to functional tools and abstract sculptures, demonstrating a diverse, creative and technical exploration of form and concept made in response to the challenge.

“By bringing this to venues across the United States, ABANA is providing opportunities for the public to see firsthand the #150mmchallenge’s myriad of forms coaxed from a uniform piece of steel. This exhibit speaks to the endless creativity and skill of modern-day artisans who use traditional blacksmithing techniques to manipulate steel to magnificent effect.”

– Leigh Morrell, President of ABANA

The #150mmchallenge continues to connect an international community of blacksmiths; revealing a rich diversity of practice and highlighting the value of social media in developing discourse across a dispersed making community.

The #150mm Challenge was curated and produced by Delyth Done, with project concept by Ambrose Burne, Hereford College of Arts, UK. Toured in the USA by ABANA – Artist-Blacksmith’s Association of North America.

Jan 8 – Mar 12, 2021:  Appalachian Center for Craft – Smithville, Tennessee.

Mar 27 – Jul 3, 2021:  Metal Museum – Memphis, Tennessee.

Aug 1 – Oct 16, 2021:  Heritage Discovery Center – Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Sponsored by the Johnstown Area Heritage Association.

Nov 1, 2021 – Jan 31, 2022:  South Dakota School of Mines, APEX Gallery – Rapid City, South Dakota.   

Feb – Apr 2022:  American College of Building Arts – Charleston, South Carolina.