October 20-23 event invites visitors to bring in broken metal objects for mending, experience metalsmithing at Family Fun Day, join the Dinner + Auction to bid on one-of-a-kind art
For almost half a century—and at least as long as it has been open—the Metal Museum has made a Memphis tradition of bringing communities together in the most unlikely of ways: with broken objects.
From Oct. 20 – 23 the Museum will forge that togetherness once more at the 44th Annual Repair Days, its largest annual fundraiser.
This can’t be just any broken object—it needs to be one made of metal for a specialist to fix it, be that a fork that lost a fight with the sink disposal, a dented teapot, a missing drawer pull or dinged-up patio chair. It also can’t be just any specialist—dozens of volunteers from all fields of metalworking and from around the country will convene in Memphis for Repair Days to lend their time and talents to complete these restorations.
As an old Repair Days saying goes, “Don’t worry about a ding because we fix everything but cats, cars and broken hearts.”
Such will be the case for this year’s Repair Days, too. Part helpful service to the Mid-South community and part tradition to keep the embers burning in the metalworking community, Repair Days still bears the hallmarks of years past. Just like nearly 44 years ago when people came to the Metal Museum with items in need of repair for specialists using the tools of their trades to restore them to their former glory.
There have been adjustments over the years to streamline the workflow and accommodate the changing times. When COVID-19 brought the world to a grinding halt, the event had to be reconfigured to go virtual. This year, all events will happen in person with safety measures in place.
“The Metal Museum’s annual Repair Days has quickly become one of my favorite annual Memphis events. There is something so heartfelt and magical about seeing Memphians arriving at the entry tent and dropping off family heirlooms, old lamps, iron sculptures, and that treasured item that’s needed repairs large or small for a generation, knowing that their treasured piece will get special, intimate attention from a volunteer metalsmith. And the atmosphere itself, on a crisp fall weekend, fills the heart in a warm, wonderful way to begin the holiday season.” ~Mark Fleischer, StoryBoard Founder
Events taking place in conjunction with Repair Days 2022 include:
- Family Fun Day– Visitors of all ages curious about the art and craft of metal work can experience an afternoon of free family-friendly activities and interactive learning at the Metal Museum from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22.
- Iron pour – The public is invited to learn about the iron-casting process with a front-row view of an iron pour, which will get started around 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22. For the unfamiliar, an iron pour involves a giant furnace called a cupula producing molten iron by the ton, with temperatures reaching 3,000 degrees, and metal artists execute a carefully timed and choreographed movement to pour that iron into castings.
- Master Metalsmith gallery talks and introduction of the 2022 Master Metalsmith. The recipient of this year’s honor is California native Lynda Watson, who has spent her decades-long career creating exquisite jewelry and teaching aspiring artists at the university level. Watson will be giving two separate gallery talks during Repair Days; those talks are open to the public with an RSVP required because of limited space.
- Repair Days Dinner + Auction, a ticketed event, will be from 7-9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22. Tickets are available for purchase and selling fast. (Live auction Proxy Bidding is available for those not able to attend in person.)
Repair Days is not only an opportunity to bring in a broken metal object for expert restoration, it is a chance for visitors of all ages to learn how items we are around every day are made, from tools to kitchenware and ornamental objects. As the Metal Museum’s largest annual fundraiser, Repair Days helps support programming such as virtual exhibition tours, educational activity guides, demonstration videos, apprenticeships, and more.
About the Metal Museum
The Metal Museum is the only institution in the United States devoted exclusively to the preservation, promotion, and advancement of the art and craft of fine metalwork. This mission is achieved through four primary program areas – exhibitions, collections, studio practice, and community education and engagement. Programs are facilitated on the Museum grounds and at locations across the Mid-South. Located on 3.2 acres of historic property overlooking the Mississippi River, the Museum grounds include the main Museum building as well as the Metalworking Facilities, Library + Resource Center, and private artist residences. Learn more about the Museum and its programs by visiting our website at metalmuseum.org.
The Museum receives operating support from ArtsMemphis and the Tennessee Arts Commission. Programming support is received from Hyde Family Foundations, the Windgate Charitable Foundation, and hundreds of corporate, foundation, and individual supporters.