“A wine merchant, a construction consultant specializing in historic rehabs, I now spend my most of my time thinking and building sculpture. I have pieces in the collections of universities, corporations, hotels, and private individuals here and abroad. I’ve had solo shows in galleries and museums, and I have pieces in outdoor sculpture parks.
I started making sculptures when I was around ten. I just didn’t know that’s what I was doing. When I got to college, I took a sculpture class and had that aha moment “I could do this for the rest of my life!” My materials of choice are objects found around large construction sites where I spent a lot of time in one of my other lives. These objects can be either incorporated into or the inspiration for a piece: with a humorous nod to their original intended use I like to reuse them in unintended ways to explore the relationship between man and nature, the energy between tension and compression, balance and collapse, container and contained to allow us to capture and appreciate a moment in time.”
“Head in the Clouds, Feet on the Ground”
Location: City Hall Apron
“The title, ‘head in the clouds feet on the ground,’ reflects the intersection of creative inspiration and practical application that are both required to make things happen to achieve insightful growth and the thoughtful inspired change that we continue to see in the City. The high polished swirl finish of the clouds floating and spinning on the striding forward solid black legs will be an eye catching, humorous, but thought-provoking sculpture that will be secured to a one ton precast 6”x4’x7’ concrete slab to insure stability and allow for months of visual animated interaction with site lines all around Kennedy Plaza.”
Special Projects Manager Micah Salkind interviews Jerold Ehrlich on-site with “Head in the Clouds, Feet on the Ground”
On the first day of autumn, ACT Special Projects Manager Micah Salkind had a chance to catch up with Jerry Ehrlich and learn a bit more about his process, influences, and vision for enhancing the cultural scene in Providence and Rhode Island. In the first of these two clips, Ehrlich discusses the inspiration for “Head in the Clouds” while the piece turns in bracing wind before him. He also recounts some of the technical feats of engineering that went into its fabrication. Noting the influence of sustainable materials on his practice, in particular the Japanese use of bamboo in everything from tea ceremonies to construction scaffolding, Ehrlich describes his will to create using recycled construction materials as part of a vision for harnessing simplicity that demands a tense encounter:
In this second clip Ehrlich discusses his evolution as an artist, from his beginnings working construction and demolition for his father’s development projects to his own work re-developing buildings around Providence. He says that his capacity to commit to a project and see it through, what design thinkers might call his “makers mindset” that sees problems as made to be solved, has been integral to his evolution as a visual artist, as well as his work as a property developer in downtown: