Resident Artist Exhibition 2021


Welcome to The Steel Yard’s Inaugural Resident Art Exhibit

The Steel Yard is opening its inaugural artist residency show on Friday, August 13 at The Wurks Gallery on Acorn Street in Providence.  While artist residency has existed since the inception of The Steel Yard (20 years ago) – it has only recently become an organized program.  The curated exhibit will include twelve artist residents; all of whom will share their unique perspective of industrial art.

Each piece represents unexpected mediums, demonstrating a historic process through a contemporary lens.  These include metals, light metals, ceramics, and foundry, all crafted in The Steel Yard’s historic 12,000 square foot studio over this past year.  The artists themselves have widely varying backgrounds.  Some are self-taught and some have a formal art education, but all are emerging in their practice.  

The exhibition will include original works by Justin Dillenbeck, Elsa Hoffman, Tom Hubbard, David Karoff, Maxime Lefebvre, Joss Liao, Victoria Milne, Henry Robinson, Ellen Rogers, Rena Rong, and Emily Rye. To learn more about each artist and preview their work go here.

Tom Hubbard, Ceramics Fellow, describes his recent work and the impact of working in a historic industrial studio. My recent work is informed by current events, the effects of mobility, and my response to places including a studio set in a century-old steel yard. Inspired by swage blocks, industrial castings and USGS survey markers my current abstract ceramic sculptures reinterpret industrial forms as elegant, refined, and ambiguous objects allowing the viewer to freely interpret the forms, their markings, and their meanings.

Some artist residents have spent a full year in The Steel Yard studios, while others have taken advantage of micro-residencies.  Micro-residencies give artists the opportunity to grow and strengthen their practice in a shorter and more flexible time period.  Micro-resident David Karoff set aside his art-making for more than 35 years.  Over a decade ago, he found The Steel Yard and began making sculpture again, eking out very limited hours from work and family for art.  With recent life changes, he became an artist resident this year, where he describes his four months with us as, . . .a time of great unrest.  He’s now poised to make a significant life change and focus on making art.  You can see David’s life changing work at the show.

Hosted by our neighbors, and friends, at The Wurks at 45 Acorn Street in Providence, the show will open with a public reception on Friday, August 13th at 6pm and run through the week with viewing hours available on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 3pm – 6pm..  A public closing reception will be held on Saturday, August 21 at 6pm.

The Wurks is located right around the corner from The Steel Yard.  They are a collaboratively managed artist’s workspace that exists as a place for a diverse group of artists and designers to foster a community of hard work and forward thinking in the Ocean State. 

The Steel Yard is an award-winning industrial arts center, a manufacturer of custom and functional public art, a craft school, shared studio, and Providence’s most unique private outdoor venue. The 3.8-acre campus and 12,000 square foot studio are located on the National Historic Register former home of Providence Steel and Iron Company in Providence’s Industrial Valley. Community members of all ages and abilities rely on the Steel Yard to practice their craft, gain experience and knowledge and launch their businesses.

Mission: The Steel Yard’s historic campus is a platform for professional artists, makers and the community to practice and learn the industrial arts. The organization fosters creative and economic opportunities, by providing workspace, tools, training, and education while forging lasting links to a local tradition of craftsmanship.

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