Miriam Hendel (Sculptor)
Miriam received a fine arts degree in painting and printmaking from the University of Maryland at College Park. As a student, she interned at Pyramid Atlantic Contemporary Art Center, a workshop focused on papermaking, printmaking, and book arts. There she got her hands on an early Macintosh computer and started creating studio brochures and marketing materials. Miriam has since stayed active as a visual artist, while making a living as graphic/user interface designer and raising two sons.
Exclusively a two-dimensional, figurative artist until the early 2000s, Miriam started to explore sculpture through figurative clay work with instructor Leslie Dor at the Westchester Arts Workshop. This is where she met Yonker’s artist David Fischweicher when he was visiting his artistic mentor—Miriam’s teacher, Leslie Dor. Over the next years, David persisted in inviting Miriam to his studio in Yonkers to learn to weld. Finally in 2013, Miriam took David up on his gracious offer to mentor her. She has been hooked on metal since, finding her voice in this medium and exhibiting her work for the first time. The sculptures Miriam creates are abstract, yet a sensitivity to the figure is clearly present in her work.
Miriam is part of the Yoho Artist Community at the Alexander Smith Carpet Mills building in Yonkers where she shares a studio with Fischweicher.
Miriam’s sculptures are made exclusively from found/scrap metal and other materials, mostly from the streets, woods, and railroad tracks of NYC. Her “Intersections Series” is made possible with assistance from the art division of the NYC Department of Transportation, who helped get her permission to procure scrap steel faced curb from their facilities.
Miriam’s work is held in private collections across the United States. She is represented by Urban Studio/Warburton Gallerie in Yonkers, New York.
See more at https://www.instagram.com/miriamhendel3636/
The pieces included in this exhibit are made entirely from recycled materials found in and around New York City. The works reflect the landscape of the city and the complexities of interacting in this environment. The two standing pieces, Intersections 1 and 2, were the first of the “Intersections” series. The core metal of all of these pieces is steel faced curb, the metal edging used to protect the concrete street corners of the city. The pieces reflect the array of people landing at the street corners as they move through the city at different paces, with different intentions and destinations… engaging in different ways. The wall piece uses the exhaust pipe of an abandoned car. The city landscape can affect a person in many different ways physically and emotionally, and at times its beauty is just a little exhausting.
The Intersections series started out with one sculpture (Intersections#1), made for the backyard of a dear friend. It was named to represent the different crossings, the comings and goings of our near 30 year friendship. However the name also relates to the core metal the piece is created from—steel-faced curb, found on the sidewalk intersections of NYC street corners. The metal edgings that keep the rounded curbs strong, but by most of us, are hardly noticed.
The Intersections series is about people, and intersecting lives. It is about the impact of the people who cross into a life: known and unknown, expected and unexpected, bringing joy and sadness. Friends, passersby, lovers, teachers, children. Sometimes staying, sometimes going. All this is at the heart of these pieces.
And who literally has taken steps on this metal? You the viewer? My immigrant grandparents before I was born? A friend yet to be made?
Thank you to David Fischweicher, my partner in crime, and to all the people at the NYC DOT who have helped me gain “legal” access to steel faced curb. As this series develops, it is exciting to see how the pieces continue to interact with each other and their viewers.