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Earthcaster: A Sculptor Collaborates With Mother Earth And Communities

A completed Earthcasting installation in Portland, Oregon by sculptor Thomas Sayre.
Courtesy of MINNOW MEDIA
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A completed Earthcasting installation in Portland, Oregon by sculptor Thomas Sayre.

Sculptor Thomas Sayre tackles work that is exceptional.

His giant sculptures use the earth as a casting mechanism. Although his art is unusual, it is not solitary.

Sayre is a self-described evangelist for public art. He says his earthcasting process is always collaborative, involving whole communities and many individuals who might not otherwise meet.

A new documentary film, "Earthcaster," traces Sayre's work, inspirations and connections to community. It also highlights the ways Sayre's lineage influences his artwork.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Sayre and Donna Campbell, a producer of the film. Earthcaster debuts on UNC-TV on Thursday at 10 p.m.

Here are some photos of Sayre's sculptures:
 

a sample of Thomas Sayre's Earthcasting sculpture
Credit Courtesy of MINNOW MEDIA
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FORUM is eight, earth-colored structures reaching to the sky, each weighing 16,000-20,000 pounds. It's located in Baltimore, MD.

a videographer shoots a Thomas Sayre installation in Baltimore.
Credit Courtesy of Thomas Sayre
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Ben Root, a Raleigh-based videographer, spent three years helping Thomas Sayre document the work. Ben said it was more like a construction site at times.

The Earthcasting Team in Portland, OR.
Credit Courtesy of Thomas Sayre
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Thomas Sayre and his crew dug shapes in the earth with backhoes and shovels. Here, they have completed the dig in Portland, OR and are preparing to pour concrete.

Dancers perform at an Earthcasting installation at GYRE 7.
Credit Courtesy of Thomas Sayre
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Dance at GYRE. Choreographer Michelle Pearson brought a dance troupe from Black Box in Raleigh to dance at GYRE, the earthcasting at NC Museum of Art in Raleigh. The dance sequences are used throughout EARTHCASTER.

Crews work on an Earthcasting installation in Raleigh, NC.
Credit Courtesy of MINNOW MEDIA
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Crews work on an Earthcasting installation in Raleigh, NC. The sculptures for FORUM in Baltimore were actually created in North Carolina on the grounds of Cypress Retirement Community in Raleigh. Once they were cured, the pieces were loaded onto to trucks and delivered to UMBC.

The "Flue" Project is sculptor Thomas Sayre's newest installation in Kinston, NC.
Credit Courtesy of MINNOW MEDIA
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The "Flue" Project is sculptor Thomas Sayre's newest installation in Kinston, NC. It's a tribute to the tobacco industry in Kinston.
A Thomas Sayre Earthcasting sculpture
Credit Courtesy of MINNOW MEDIA
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A Thomas Sayre installation in Portland, Oregon before crews lifted it to its final position.
An installation by sculptor Thomas Sayre in Denver, CO.
Credit Courtesy of MINNOW MEDIA
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The "Corpus Callosum" installation by sculptor Thomas Sayre in Denver, CO.

Laura Lee was the managing editor of The State of Things until mid February 2017. Born and raised in Monroe, North Carolina, Laura returned to the Old North state in 2013 after several years in Washington, DC. She received her B.A. in political science and international studies from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2002 and her J.D. from UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law in 2007.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.