News

CTE Masonry Teacher, Third-Generation Bricklayer Presents Program at ArtsWestchester Exhibit



October 03, 2018

Third-generation mason Erik Cantamessa is passionate about bricklaying — so much so that he and his wife named their son Mason. The PNW BOCES masonry teacher will demonstrate his skills along with his father and son at Brick Bonds, a workshop that is part of the Brick by Brick—the Erie Canal and the Building Room art exhibition to be held at ArtsWestchester in White Plains. The October 13 workshop is a collaboration between ArtsWestchester, PNW BOCES Tech Center and Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC) Local 1 NY.

 

“We are losing the art of bricklaying because few in the last 15 to 20 years have entered into the masonry field,” Cantamessa said, quoting an article from Masonry Magazine. “We have an overabundance of jobs but not enough people to fill them.” Programs such as the one at The Tech Center are becoming more rare throughout the country.
 
Cantamessa’s son Mason is a graduate of the program and is working successfully in the field along with many other students from the masonry program at The Tech Center. Many of Cantamessa’s students have entered the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers union straight out of high school and are currently working in the field.
 
Cantamessa uses the NCCER (National Center for Construction Education and Research) curriculum for his class. This curriculum is nationally recognized and has a website to help students get jobs anywhere in the country.
 
Cantamessa’s October 13 interactive bricklaying demonstration is one of several programs in the exhibition. In addition to the Cantamessa family, brothers Mike and Pete Clifford, who represent BAC Local 1 Union, will also work on the demonstration. It will take place from 3 to 5:30 pm.
 
The Brick by Brick exhibition will be on view from October 2 through January 19, and it is inspired by the story of the Erie Canal and the Hudson Valley brickyards. ArtsWestchester is New York State’s largest private, not-for-profit cultural service organization whose mission is to ensure the availability, accessibility and diversity of the arts in Westchester.

CTE masonry teacher Erik Cantamessa, along with his father and son, will present an interactive bricklaying demonstration on October 13.