Rosemarie Oakman was born and raised in New York’s Hudson Valley. growing up she spent summers and winter’s in London England, where she attended several short courses at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. She is currently a senior at Alfred University pursing a BFA with a minor in Gerontology, the study of ageing. Rosemarie is concentrating in Metal Casting with a passion for cupola cast iron. At the 2013 National Conference on Cast Iron she was the recipient of the Paige Wainwright scholarship. Rosemarie has also interned as an Emerging Artist at Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham Alabama. Additionally she has assisted Coral Lambert with iron workshops at the Nor’Easter conference in Buffalo New York and the International Sculpture Symposium in Miami Florida.
Her artwork is characterized by cutting-edge conceptualizations united with the provocative exploration of the relationship between religion, self and society. Her love of metal casting and the elderly was the genesis for the “Alzheimer’s Glass and Iron Project” (a cross generational community arts project benefiting the Alzheimer’s Association).She is founder and director of this multifaceted, landmark program. In summer 2014 Rosemarie will travel to Latvia where she is presenting a panel about the Alzheimer’s Glass and Iron project at the The 7th International Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron. When she returns to the states she will begin a fellowship at Salem Art Works where she hopes to establish the Alzheimer’s Glass and Iron project as a non for profit.
My artwork is a result of my inward eye, the conduit through which I see my inner self, examine my opinions and beliefs, solidify them and return them to the world reflected in the pieces I create. It is a therapeutic process, an outlet that encourages deep reflection on who I am and, more importantly, why I am. I consider the effect that the major influences in my life and my general upbringing have had on the many ways I see myself. There is almost no act as personal as producing sculpture. It is a private event, reflecting personal values, views and experiences.
I create sculpture primarily out of sweets, slag, glass, meats and metal. The ephemeral quality of food and the eternal mediums of iron and bronze heavily contrast each other. The use of pure bronze paired in sculpture with slag or impurities is endlessly fascinating. I am drawn to the process of cleaning and purifying metal only to return impurities to it.