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Artwork Paying Tribute to Trade Workers Goes Up in Socrates Sculpture Park

Muscle Memory (Photo: Local 3 I.B.E.W.)

Dec. 10, 2019 By Kristen Torres

A new sculpture unveiled at Socrates Sculptural Park in Long Island City highlights the importance of trade workers through a one-of-its-kind lighting structure.

The sculpture, entitled “Muscle Memory,” was created by trade workers from the Workers Art Coalition (WAC), members of the Local 3 I.B.E.W and students from SUNY’s Empire State Harry Van Arsdale Jr. School of Labor Studies.

The groups used materials that trade workers typically come across in their line of work, such as electrical equipment and solar panels.

Muscle Memory at night (Photo: Local 3, I.B.E.W.)

“The sculpture is truly a collaborative process that reflects tradespersons’ skills and equipment as well as the modern urban landscape that is always in the background,” according to a representative of Local 3 I.B.E.W. in a statement.

A sound component for the structure was also created in tandem with the Library of Congress, which will play interviews given by Local 3 members.

At night, the sculpture will be lit up by two solar panels installed by the electricians and graduates of the School of Labor Studies.

“It feels good to design, collaborate and participate in something…that shines light on a particularly interesting group of people and workers who are constantly underappreciated and misunderstood,” said Paul Vance, a member of Local 3 and WAC, in a statement.

“Muscle Memory” will be available for view at the park — located at 32-01 Vernon Boulevard — until March 2020.

Muscle Memory being installed at park (Photo: Local 3, I.B.E.W.)

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2 Comments

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Polis

Why not have the piece find a home in a university or museum?
The mechanics library on W. 44 Street might like to exhibit this.
Too many young people head for universities as a default, when they’d find real work and professional satisfaction in the skilled trades. Graduation rates are poor, indebtedness high for too many. Intriguing object

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