Congratulations to John Schencman, ’21 and Mairead Lees, ’21 on being awarded the 2021 Bob Spring Memorial Inspiring Artist Award. The award is given to two seniors who intend to major or minor in Art or a similar field (design, animation, architecture, fashion, etc.) in college and who clearly have a passion for art, creativity, and imagination. This fall, John will be studying Architecture at Catholic University and Mairead will be studying Animation at Edinboro College. The award winners were decided based on recommendations to the Bursig/Spring Family, from teachers, and the College Placement department.
From Mr. Matthew Bursig:
The Bob Spring Memorial Inspiring Artist Award
In Memory of Bob Spring (1932-2020)
During the COVID pandemic, my grandfather Robert Spring, affectionately known as Bob, sadly passed away from complications of his heart, age, and the COVID virus. To honor his memory, we have created a Memorial Award, to honor two graduating Kellenberg students who have clearly attributed a passion for art, imagination, and creativity.
In 1932, John Spring (my great grandfather) opened an art foundry in Queens that would later become known as Modern Art Foundry. The Spring family quickly gained the reputation of being the “artist’s foundry”; a place where an artist felt comfortable in the casting process of bronze sculptures. Robert (Bob) Spring took over Modern Art Foundry during the 1970s, and soon became the face of the organization, and in some respects the art foundry industry. Besides understanding the inner workings of bronze castings, sculpture, and the patina of bronze, Bob Spring had ongoing relationships with legendary artists such as Jacques Lipchitz, and Louise Bourgeois. Still, it is unfair for his legacy to single out only two artists. Ultimately, Bob Spring took pride in every artist he worked with, specifically younger and lesser known artists or foundry workers. He was always willing to teach, and help with the development of young budding artists. Encouragement was key, and he always provided attention and care. On a very simple level, he wanted to help, and if he or his foundry could do that in nourishing the artist, that was the prize. He appreciated a person’s passion to create something new and beautiful. He relished the relationship, and the entire creative process.
Therefore, to continue his memory, and his goal of inspiring future art in this world, we have awarded this scholarship of $350. Whether your future lies in sculpture, painting, animation, architecture, graphic design, fashion, etc., the point is that you are continuing the creative process.
My grandfather once told me a story of how he and the artist Jacques Lipschitz were in an antique store in Manhattan, looking at artwork. Mr. Lipschitz turned to my Grandfather and said, “Bobby! Look at this piece. Can’t you see the love that went into making it!” Bob Spring lived his life by placing love into art, his family, and his friends, I hope that you will continue with the same spirit. Congratulations, good luck, and God bless.