Meet Brendan Rose
Instructor, Public Project Artist & and Metals Resident Artist (and dad)
Instagram: @echomakes, @knowles.house
SY: Howdy Brendan! Could you tell us a little bit about yourself? What department are you working in?
If there are cookies around, I will eat them. I have a wife and a two-year-old daughter. I’m so-so at crossword puzzles but enjoy them anyway. To this day, it takes me a very long time to grow a proper beard, and some would contest that it could ever be called a “beard”.
I’m working in the Metals Department.
SY: What are your pronouns?
He, him, his
SY: Where ya from?
SY: How would YOU define Industrial Arts?
Hmmm… maybe: crafts that industrial production threatens to diminish.
SY: What are you working on now?
The primary work of my residency at the Steel Yard will be custom architectural metalwork for a house rehab. As an architect and sculptor, this will be my first attempt to apply my metalworking practice to a design-build residential project. The work includes structural posts, brackets, and railings. During the residency, I also hope to work on a couple of small sculptural pieces.
SY: Who are your greatest inspirations? What work influences your work?
My greatest inspirations are people I work with or connect with anywhere in the world, who care about their work, community, creativity, justice, and joy. These people always teach me something and give me a sense of purpose. Similarly, what influences my work… vernacular…
SY: Do you show your work? Where can people see it/ buy it/ experience it?
Most of my work as an artist is public, so it can be seen/experienced out and about. Check out this page for a nice compilation of some of my art pieces, mostly in Syracuse, NY. The best way to buy something I’ve made is to pay me to make a custom piece for you (i.e. a commission!), either public or private.
SY: Can you tell us a little bit about your artistic practice?
It’s a little all over the place. Most of my projects are site/client/need driven. So, that means that most projects start in dialog with people about places and intentions, and then there’s typically a process of conceptualizing multiple ideas out of that. And then some back and forth–feedback and response–as the concepts evolve and develop. That’s the space where most of the creative energy is exerted. And then the execution is usually mostly about problem solving and craftsmanship.
SY: How did you find The Steel Yard?
I learned about the Yard when researching collaborative workspaces and maker spaces. I was living in Syracuse and a few people in my community knew Howie (Yard ED) since he grew up there. When my wife and I were considering moving to Providence, we arranged to meet
SY: Have you ever worked in a shared studio before? What do you think?
I’ve never had my own studio and have always worked in shared creative spaces. I think it’s great- it ties me into the community in a way that’s important to me. You get to learn from other people while defining your own value in a communal space.
SY: Have you ever Instructed/ or been a TA for a Steel Yard course? Can you tell us about your experience?
I’ve taught a couple of Workforce Training and a weeklong metal sculpture class for the Lincoln School. These classes were both great to teach. Hands-on learning is so direct, it’s hard to go wrong if you have motivated students, which the Yard is full of. The Lincoln students really impressed me with their creativity and hard work. I think day-long, immersive education, like those courses, is hard to beat.
SY: Have you ever worked on a Public Project? Can you tell us about your experience?
I have! My introduction to the Steel Yard was working on a Public Project for street amenities in Bristol–trash cans and bike racks. Since then, I’ve worked on bike racks at the RISCA offices, exercise equipment on the Woonasquatucket Greenway, and trash cans for a business district in Syracuse, NY. I’ve gotten to work with a great mix of designers and Workforce training graduates through these projects. I love the combination of creativity and functionality in Public Projects work.
SY: Have you ever attended a Steel Yard event? Can you tell us about your experience?
I’ve been to a handful of promotional events–the kickoff to the renovations of the studios. They’re always a lot of fun and you get to meet interesting people. It’s also great having a chance to chat with people outside of the context of work.
SY: When you’re not in the studio working- what do you do in your free time?
A lot of the design work that I do is not studio-based, so I do spend a fair amount of time preparing for my studio hours. But, when it comes to free time, I like to go on bike rides with my family, discover new swim holes and beaches, and play and watch basketball games with buddies. And play with my daughter as much as possible! And, during these pandemic days, I also enjoy socially distanced picnics and happy hours with friends.
SY: We talk a lot about ‘Yardies’ here- curious, what does YARDIE mean you to?
I guess I see a few spheres of Yardieness. There’s the staff: YARDIEs. All the swirling craftspeople that work out of and/or teach at the Yardies. The students and recurring event attendees: Yardies. The people who financially support the Yard: Yardie$. The people who walk their dogs in the Yard: Yard-dookies.
SY: What are you MOST excited for this upcoming year?
An end to quarantine and the current presidency…but, personally, I’m excited to complete construction on the house that we are rehabbing, and finally MOVE IN!
SY: What do you think will be your greatest CHALLENGE?
Balancing the diverse and sometimes disparate workload that being an artist/architect (and most recently a real estate developer) sometimes entails.
OKAY, TIME FOR RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS!
SY: Favorite food?
Muffins (at 9:30 in the morning with coffee)
SY: Favorite movie?
The Natural (1984)
SY: Favorite book?
Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
SY: Favorite artist/maker?
SY: What skill would you like to master?
SY: Favorite tool in the shop?
Horizontal band saw
SY: Annnnnnnd finally, is there anything else you’d like the Yardie community to know about you?
I’m not as boring as this interview makes me sound.