Since 1979, Wegner Metal Arts has provided the country with 40,000 sculptures. Brothers Steven and Stewart Wegner started their foundry in Northern Virginia, but have resided in Fredericksburg for the bulk of their career. Their work of casting and sculpting clay, wax and bronze into gorgeous sculptures is all the more impressive, as it is all sculpted by hand.
“This is a building of pure art,” Stewart said. “That’s what we do.”
The Wegner brothers’ process begins with sculpting in oil-based clay, eventually sculpting the metal after being heated to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. They have sculptures everywhere from Alabama to New York City, where you can spot their artwork surrounding the Statue of Liberty. But their home is in Fredericksburg, which has an art scene that they are proud to contribute to.
“We have a great art community in Fredericksburg, so it just kind of goes with that whole theme,” Steven said.
Their current project is an exciting one for downtown Fredericksburg. The Wegners are sculpting otters, which will be placed around downtown. “They’re just as cute as can be,” Steven said, as they already have one otter completed. They believe these otters will be exciting and fun for kids in the area.
The first otter is planned to be installed at Riverfront Park, hopefully by World Otter Day this spring. In partnership with Fredericksburg VA Main Street, the Wegners want to make these otters representative of Fredericksburg itself, which is why they are installing them throughout the city. They are also proud that these otters will not cost the Fredericksburg taxpayers any money, as all funds for the project are being privately raised.
Fredericksburg will of course have to hold off a few months before taking photos of these beautiful otters. But if the work and career of the Wegners is any indication, the wait will be well worth it. Wegner Metal Arts has served so many communities well for 43 years, and with the Fredericksburg otters, they hope to leave an even bigger mark on the city; which after all of the art they have provided, would be a remarkable accomplishment.