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I've worked as a sculptor for most of my life. It was in a three-dimensional design course in college, much like the course I've taught at Columbia College Chicago, that I became fascinated with space, form and time. Soon I had my own studio. It was well outfitted, pieces were in process and I was there at work during most available hours. 

That was a long time ago; indeed, little has changed over the years except that what began as fascination for space, form and time has now developed into something akin to awe. The pursuit of new ideas notwithstanding, every sculpture I build becomes yet a further exploration of things I thought I knew. I am, in the words of the poet Rilke, "...always a beginner." 

After serving in the U.S. Navy (1955-59, submarine service, North Atlantic sea duty), I attended Illinois State University and earned a BA degree, 1962, and an MA degree, 1966, both in art. My teaching career began at Bloomington, Illinois Junior High School (1962 - 1966), after which I taught at Wesleyan University, in the School of Art, from 1966 -1980. Two National Endowment grants were awarded me from 1980 - 1982, where I had a studio and conducted workshops at Kankakee Community College. This is where I learned additional techniques in stainless steel fabrication from Art Suprenant. Many sculptures were built during this time. John Mulvany hired me years later to teach part time 3-D design at Columbia College in Chicago. I was there from 1990 to 2006. I love to teach. Watching a student awaken to an idea, then bring it into reality, simply stops the clock with joy. 

Sculptures I'm especially proud of are: "MERIDIAN VIII," an outdoor stainless steel piece, commissioned by Dominican University, River Forest, IL, installed in November, 2006; "MERIDIAN VII," an outdoor stainless steel piece, commissioned by the Chicago Public Art Program for the Chicago Police Headquarters at 35th & Michigan, installed December, 2002; "VISION," an indoor stainless steel piece, commissioned by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, installed in June, 1999. 

Growing up on the south side of Chicago, in the 1940's and early 1950's...well, my roots run deep in this city. 

Sweet home Chicago!

Ed McCullough

Statement of Work, 2019
Almost all my sculptures are meant to be public works of art. Clearly, I want my pieces to invite people to come inside and be a part of what's there. And in so doing, it's you, the single individual, to whom the work is intended to speak, regardless if you're alone or standing in a crowd.

Arcs, circles, variants thereof: these are the forms I prefer working with. I like how they stake out boundaries, making connections with what's-not- there, open spaces surrounding you.  

"What's-not-there" --I go to considerable lengths to define where empty spaces begin, where they end, but, especially, the locations in between: that is where you might be standing, sitting, visiting. The so-called empty spaces come alive when you're in or near them, they cease being where-nothing-is places, and you now own them, as do (so I've been told) they own you --this is the magic I'm after, this is the reason for my work.

Building my pieces is labor intensive and very time consuming. It is, however, the only way I know how to go after the "magic" that's contained in space as I know it.

Meridian X, Hines VA Hospital, Hines, IL, installed Nov. 2012
Photo: Jyoti Srivastava,

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