(HELENA) Art comes in all shapes and sizes, and in all materials. For 120 students at Helena High, those materials are welding rods and steel.

The Helena High welding shop is a busy place, with students polishing metal with grinders, heating parts with torches and welding any number of projects at one time.

“Anything you want to build,” said Landon Rivers, President of the Helena High Welding Club. “You can build it.”

“You go along with it, so if it changes, you change,” said Helena High Junior Dusty Dexter. “It’s not just set in stone the entire time you can change it. If it does not work out, or work right, you can change it, if it does not fit, you can change it.”

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When Cindy Galbavy is not supervising the 120 students of the Helena High welding program, she and her students are preparing for the 12th annual Helena High Metal Sculpting Show.

Dusty Dexter is fashioning a series of hearts made from horseshoes to hang in a garden.

“I’m going temper them into different colors,” she said.

While we might be tempted to think of welding as a, well, utilitarian trade, these students have found ways to express their creativity with heavy metal.

“Everybody makes a project and we can put them in the art show,” said Rivers. “If we want we can sell it.”

Rivers’ entry is a lamp, it is four sided shade has the outline of the state of Montana cut into it by a laser.

“My Dad needed a lamp. So I decided to build him a lamp,” Rivers explained.

More than 100 pieces of steely student art will be on display during this year’s show, when hours of hard work will pay off.

“Kind of a more calming aspect I like,” said Dexter. “You just kind of get to be and express yourself in a different way.”

“I don’t know if people really realize how much work goes into them,” said Rivers. “We work on them for a couple months, to get them perfect and how we want them.”

Creativity through flame, skill, patience and muscle and it will all be on display on Thursday the 19th at the Helena High Welding Shop from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

Proceeds from the show will benefit the student led Helena High Welding Club.



REPORTER: Dennis Carlson
E-MAIL: dennis@kxlh.com