BMCC student Evelin Silva was in art class one morning recently when Lynda Caspe stopped by on an unusual recruiting mission.
A highly regarded artist and sculptor who teaches in the Department of Music and Art, Caspe explains: “I was casting some sculpture at the Modern Art Foundry when I noticed a class there, which surprised me.”
Located in Astoria, the Modern Art Foundry has cast the works of many of the world’s foremost sculptors since 1932. Caspe called the Foundry’s vice-president and learned that scholarships provided by the Fantasy Foundation Fund enabled a select group of New York City art students to study at the Foundry and have their pieces cast in bronze, a complex and costly process that would otherwise be beyond the means of most students.
Caspe contacted the Fantasy Foundation Fund to ask if BMCC students were eligible for the scholarships. “They told me it was late in the selection process, but there were two openings left,” she recalls. “I had 24 hours to get them two students.” And that brought Caspe to Evelin Silva’s art class.
“I was extremely intrigued,” Silva says. “While I’m an art student, I’m more of a sketch artist, but I’ve always wanted to study sculpture, work in clay and get my hands dirty. I knew I had to take advantage of this opportunity, even if it meant missing work,” says Silva, who was one of the two students selected for the scholarship. The other was Vanessa Medina.
The scholarship, Caspe is quick to note, isn’t about financial aid. “The students don’t receive money. The Fund underwrites the hiring of a teacher, the use of classroom space, and the bronze-casting of the students’ sculpture, which they create in clay. It’s an exceptional opportunity.”
In sculpting a mother and child, Silva shunned a literal approach.
“I deliberately made the mother imperfect, because that’s what mothers are—imperfect, unique, and gentle,” she explains. “I feel proud of what I learned from the experience—and proud of what I was able to produce at the Foundry.”