Meet Adam: The Steel Yard’s Course Coordinator

The Steel Yard is so thrilled to introduce Adam Chuong, the Steel Yard’s new Course Coordinator. Check out this brief interview and join us in welcoming Adam to the Yard! 

SY: Adam, HOW ARE YOU and welcome to The Steel Yard- we are so excited to have you on the team as our Course Coordinator. In your own words can you tell us a little bit about your role here at the Yard?

A: I’m great, thank you! So the Course Coordinator is a new position at The Steel Yard that used to be one of the many hats our lovely Associate Director, Islay, wore. My role at the Yard is to develop our course offerings and get students into the Yard and learning new skills!

SY: So, how does it work? How do you decide what kind of Courses are offered at The Steel Yard?
A: We have our core introductory courses like the Weekend Welding Workshops, Intro to Jewelry, Fundamentals of Blacksmithing, and the Wheel Generated Form, etc. And outside of those courses, course development is largely driven by our instructors. My goal is to make sure that students and instructors get the best experience possible. We want our instructors to teach to their strengths and interests. I solicit course proposals from instructors and once I get those, we have a conversation about what those courses are, why they might be excited to teach them, and how I can best support them in making it into a reality.

SY: Do you identify as a maker? What do you make?
A: I do make things! It’s been a minute since I’ve “Made” anything, as I figure out what my own practice looks like outside of school. Usually, I make home goods, like furniture, ceramics, rugs, and textiles based things. Lately, I’ve been dabbling in sewing and apparel construction.

SY: Welding, foundry, blacksmithing, jewelry, ceramics? Do you have a favorite?
A: As the Course Coordinator, I’m like a parent and I have no favorites. I have taken courses in ceramics and welding, and am excited to gain experience with the rest!

SY: How did you find The Steel Yard? What were you doing before you joined the team?
A: I found The Steel Yard back in 2012 when I first came to Providence. I was working in the mental health field and needed a creative outlet for my own sanity. I took a class in ceramics with Dave Allyn, and then more in the welding department, and through my experience there, ended up applying to RISD’s graduate program in industrial design. I just wrapped that up in June, before coming back to The Steel Yard.

SY: What do you do in your free time?

A: I’m a big fan of cooking (and eating). I just got back from a trip to Vietnam and I’ve been working on perfecting my bánh xèo recipe. Also, I spend an inordinate amount of time fussing over my houseplants.

SY: Where did you grow up?

A: I grew up romping around in the suburban strip malls of New Jersey, just outside of Philadelphia.

SY: You have dogs… and they’re like the coolest, nicest, sweetest dogs ever. How did you find the time to be so talented and successful while also raising the best pups ever?
A: I think the dogs make me into the best version of myself. They’re great for keeping me on a routine and the dog snuggles help.


A: Insulated studio space and year-round courses! I took a few Fall ceramics courses in our then uninsulated studio. Trying to raise walls of a vessel with numb fingers while warming yourself by an open flame was definitely a memorable experience that I’m glad future students won’t have to contend with.

SY: We talk a lot about ‘Yardies’ here- curious, what does YARDIE mean you to?

A: Good question! For me, ‘Yardie’ is a really broad term that applies to pretty much everyone. We have Yardies who have been directly involved with The Steel Yard via our courses, programming, Weld 2 Work, residencies, public projects, volunteering, etc. And then there are folks who maybe have never been to the Yard, but live in the Valley neighborhood. I tend to think of these folks as Yardies as well, in that, as a community arts organization, it’s our job to work towards serving our neighbors and understanding their relationship to the industrial arts and our mission. 

SY: What are you most excited about doing here at the Steel Yard?

A: I’m most excited about working to figure out how we can get new faces into the Yard. We’re expanding our scholarship funds and I’d love to get folks in our immediate Valley community into our classes and promote the development of local artists and fabricators.

SY: What do you think some challenges might be?

A: I try to think a lot about accessibility and although we are expanding our scholarship funds, I think the challenge is figuring out how we can get those funds to folks who maybe are less inclined to take a course at the Yard or don’t think that the industrial arts are for them. I want to nurture the creative spirit in everyone, and in order to do so, I’m working towards evaluating what sorts of barriers folks have to take a course and how can we overcome them.


SY: Favorite food?
A: Pies.

SY: Favorite movie?
A: Green Snake, a 1993 Hong Kong movie starring Maggie Cheung.

SY: Favorite book?
A: I’m a sucker for a fantasy YA novel that features a strong female lead or queer under(or over)tones.

SY: What skill would you like to master?
A: Waterbending.

SY: Favorite tool in the shop?
A: Our new pug mill!

SY: Annnnnnnd finally, is there anything else you’d like the Yardie community to know about you?
A: I would like to meet and pet all of your dogs.

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