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Made of steel

By MARTIN HINTZ
Photos by Dan Bishop

March 2014

Richard Edelman says expressing himself in metal is natural.

Richard Edelman canít remember a time when he wasnít around metal. Following his father into the scrap iron business, Edelman, who lives in the Milwaukee area, later became successful in the steel industry in Chicago, Cleveland and Gary, Ind. At the age of 58, he decided to venture onto a different ore-laden path ó steel sculpture.

"Iíve always been interested in the arts," Edelman says. "Writing and working with my hands, expressing myself in metal was natural." Edelman is also a published poet, and founded Hovey Street Press in Cambridge, Mass., while majoring in engineering and philosophy at MIT.

Edelman has prodigiously applied his craft during the past eight years, producing nearly 250 sculptures in his studio. Many of his pieces are on display in the Historic Third Ward in Milwaukee.

"Sunrise" is a 14-foot sculpture located at Erie Street Plaza. "Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen," an 18-foot rendition of Degasí classic creation, has been installed at the corner of Erie and Jefferson streets in Gaslight Park.

Although Edelman prefers working on large-scale pieces, his vision and creativity are also apparent in his smaller sculptures.

The iconic French artist Degas is his inspiration in bronze. American David Smith is his muse in steel and stainless steel. "My goal is to reach people through more public installations and commissions," Edelman says, "ultimately moving beyond Milwaukee."

The Third Wardís Catalano Park had hosted a 6-foot rendition of "Earth," a piece from his Earth, Wind, Fire and Water series in stainless steel. That sculpture, was recently replaced by "New Pink Planet" at a 10-foot scale, honoring NASAís recent discovery of a magenta-hued planet.

Edelman is working on an ambitious new project called "Three Dancers," which will be installed in the Third Ward this spring. Itís just one of the many projects that are always in the pipeline for this busy artist. "Iím happy when Iím working directly with the material and creating work," he says. "Thatís my passion. I am always working. It really is a labor of love and commitment to be enjoyed by all who view my art."

 


This story ran in the March 2014 issue of: