Melvin Edwards at the Steel Yard


This past month, the Public Projects Department had the very exciting opportunity to
work with New York-based sculptor, Melvin Edwards to fabricate two new “Rocker” sculptures for “Festivals, Funerals, and New Life”, a show currently on display in the David Winton Bell Gallery at Brown University.

“Melvin Edwards is renowned for his distinctive sculptures and three- dimensional, environmental installations created from industrial steel, chain and machine parts. Broadly concerned with European neocolonialism, histories of race, labor, violence and African diaspora, Edwards’s career spans five decades. The first African American sculptor to receive a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1970, Edwards continues to be an important and consistent presence in American art from the Civil Rights Movement through today.” 

Edwards was interested in having the new rockers made locally, so curator and Yardie Ian Alden Russell put him in touch with the Steel Yard. The Steel Yard hired Brian Dowling to fabricate the frame of the sculptures, and Edwards and Russell put the finishing barbed wire touches in place. The exhibition will be up until February 11th, so go check them out in person if you’re in Providence! The gallery hours are listed below.

“Festivals, Funerals, and New Life”: Nov 11- Feb 11
The Bell Gallery is open:
Monday – Wednesday & Friday  11 – 4
Thursday 1 – 9

Saturday and Sunday 1 – 4