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In Arts & Entertainment

A close-up view of Richard Edelman's "New Pink Planet."

In Arts & Entertainment

The "New Pink Planet," under wraps, but at its permanent home.

New Pink Planet to rise over Third Ward


Recently, NASA discovered a new pink planet that's four times the size of Jupiter and is 57 light years – about 335 trillion miles – away from Earth.

Next week, Milwaukeeans will be able to get up close and personal with a pink planet of their own when local sculptor Richard Edelman unveils his latest piece of public art, "New Pink Planet."

The official unveiling will take place on Thursday, Aug. 29 at 1 p.m. in the Third Ward's Catalano Square, 138 N. Broadway.

Aptly, pink lemonade will be served.

The 10-foot sculpture has a 12-foot base and is made from common steel that was plasma cut, welded and painted. It weighs over 2,000 pounds.

The massive piece has been covered in a tarp for a couple of weeks prior to the unveiling.

Edelman says his inspiration for the sculpture was Atlas who, according to Greek mythology, held up the celestial sphere.

"This really is a labor of love for me," Edelman says. "Hopefully to be enjoyed by all."

Edelman, an engineer who formerly worked in the steel industry, began metal sculpting at the age of 58 and in the past seven years has produced nearly 250 sculptures in his studio.

Edelman has numerous other public art pieces in the neighborhood, including a 20-foot sculpture in Gas Light Park (where Jefferson and Erie intersect) called "Little Dancer" that's based on a Degas piece, "Little Dancer Aged 14."

In the Erie Street Plaza, outside the Sail Loft Restaurant, stands Edelman's 15-foot-tall piece called "Sunrise."

He also has a sculpture called "Wind" on the Riverwalk and is currently working on another large project that he will install in a yet-to-be-disclosed location this winter or spring.

"I have worked a lot in the district," says Edelman. "The Third Ward has been developing and upgrading parks and looking for sculpture. I have been putting things on loan and creating sculpture for these spaces as they come up."

Because the Third Ward is an entertainment district with an emphasis on art and has a youthful vibe, Edelman reflects this in his works.

"I really look at the space and the area here in the Third Ward. Color and palette are really important – as well as modernity and the contemporary," he says. "It's where the arts are happening."

Drawing people to the Third Ward is one of the missions of New Pink Planet.

"It's a way of creating a focal point at the end of Broadway. Now, you're going to see a planet rising over the horizon on a hill at the end of the street. Now you want to walk towards that," he says.

Edelman expects people to not only walk up to it, but also to interact with it by looking through the circle or even climbing on it.

"It's user friendly," he says.

The Third Ward Art Festival and the Harley 110th reunion are also taking place in the neighborhood at the time of the unveiling.

"The unveiling of the 'New Pink Planet' coincides nicely with all of the great things happening that week," said Michael Gardner, President of the Third Ward Association.

Born in Iowa, Edelman moved to Milwaukee around the age of 10. He later studied science, engineering and philosophy at MIT in Boston. He was involved with underground press and poetry groups on the East Coast.

Edelman later moved back to the Midwest where he got into the steel industry before committing full-time to sculpture / public art a decade ago.

"Sculpture creates space. When we put an object in our environment, it really transforms the entire space," says Edelman. "It's a vocabulary for talking about what we believe in, what we live in, how we want things to be and how we want things to change."

Talkbacks

TosaJim | Aug. 24, 2013 at 8:36 a.m. (report)

#6 Milwaukee eyesore.....put it next to our Orange eyesore.

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