The Industrial Arts Workshop (IAW) empowers Pittsburgh-area youth and adults at the intersection of arts, community development, and workforce readiness. Through the creative process of hands-on sculpture design and welding, students develop skills and have experiences that help prepare them for the workplace – whether that be in welding, another trade, the arts, or some other field all together. Youth and adults who complete our programs will be stronger, more resilient, and prepared for a bright future.
Industrial Art Workshop's vision is comprised of these fundamental tenants.
The seeds of IAW were planted in the Summer of 2014 when founder Tim Kaulen, a professional artist specializing in the creation of large public sculptures, recruited a few colleagues to hold the first Mobile Sculpture Workshop at Carrie Furnace, a derelict industrial brownfield in Pittsburgh.
Together with community partners, Tim continued organizing Mobile Sculpture Workshops from 2014 through 2018 to engage residents, create public art from recycled materials, and install public sculptures in five neighborhoods around the city.
After five years of offering the workshop from our truck and trailer “lab,” we decided it was time to think about establishing some roots, and believed we could be more effective and have greater impact if we had a permanent home base.
In June of 2018, one of our partners, the Hazelwood Initiative purchased four connecting buildings, with one to serve as our new home. In 2019, our focus turned to establishing our program as a 501(c)(3) corporation, branding ourselves as the Industrial Arts Workshop, building a Board of Directors, completing demolition of the new space, and raising $220,000 for renovations.
The COVID-19 pandemic slowed construction work but renovations began in spring 2021, and professionally equipped welding booths are now available for training our students.
As a very young organization, we are still working to establish our identity and place within the region’s nonprofit sector. Our goal is that the young people we work with will learn hard and soft skills that will prepare them for jobs in welding or for further training in welding or related fields. But at our core, we are an arts organization. We teach welding through the lens of a creative arts process. IAW’s team of professional Teaching Artists and partners designed the curriculum and facilitate our programs based on universal Human-Centered Design concepts, Culturally Responsive Education standards, and most importantly, the creative process of making art.