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Eric Lipsky, engineering faculty, part of steelworker sculpture team

Giant steelworkers sculpture to be installed on the South Side of Pittsburgh
Giant steelworkers sculpture will be installed on the South Side of Pittsburgh
8/23/2012 —

Steel artifacts that have been transformed into sculptures of steelworkers are set to make their way to their new home on Pittsburgh’s South Side. Eric Lipsky, assistant professor in engineering at Penn State Greater Allegheny, was a participating artist and consulting engineer on the project.

According to Lipsky, the 20-foot-tall sculptures have taken more than 15 years to build, and are made out of ties from the Hot Metal bridge and scrap from a vanished steel mill, both in Pittsburgh. They will make the journey from the LTV Coke Plant in Hazelwood, Pa., to their permanent home in the South Side Riverfront Park, Pittsburgh, this week, with plans for completion in time for an unveiling on Labor Day, Sept. 3.

Lipsky helped with the structural analysis, modeling the entire sculpture in CAD (Computer Aided Design) software. “The model has been used to help with the layout, evaluating the design of the supporting pad, and transporting the structures. I also used the project for a couple of class projects with my students,” said Lipsky.

The sculpture, titled "The Workers," honors the region's workers -- past, present and future. Created by 21 artists of the Pittsburgh Industrial Arts Co-Op (IAC), these figures are a testament to the collaborations and unions that have, and continue to, forge the region.

The installation is being supported by PJ Dick Corporation, Pittsburgh; and Century Steel Erectors, Dravosburg, Pa. The project was originally commissioned and funded by the City of Pittsburgh, the Department of City Planning and the Heinz Endowments. The IAC is a collective Pittsburgh-based group of regional artists who have been facilitating and executing collaborative public-arts projects for more than a decade.

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