Public Art: Framing the History of the Ironworks District

The Project

Brookfield Education Foundation and the Connecticut Office of the Arts are bringing master craftsman Peter Kirkiles to Brookfield Craft Center to create permanent public sculptures to celebrate Brookfield’s historic Ironworks District at Four Corners. The artist recruited 10 Brookfield residents to join his creative team to help research, design and build a series of sculptures in honor of the Town of Brookfield’s 225th anniversary. The works of art will be unveiled on Saturday October 5, 2013 in celebration of Brookfield Days.


The Artist

Peter Kirkiles refers to himself as an “industrial artist”, and his work expresses a reverence for the objects of our industrial past.  After graduating with a BFA from Tufts University with a major in Studio Art from The School of The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Kirkiles went to work in the true journeyman tradition, honing his industrial skills in workshops and factories in Chicago, Connecticut, New York City and Detroit.  Kirkiles’ industrial journey gave him invaluable experience with a variety of processes that are now featured in his artwork, including welding, bending, machining, patinas and wood joinery.  It wasn’t until he went to graduate school to pursue his Masters in Fine Art at The Cranbrook Academy of Art that he began to fully break stride in finding his applied working method for his art process.  His art draws upon his skill in working with a wide range of materials including silicon bronze, zinc, pewter, brass, ebony, walnut, mahogany, maple and locust. Working from a studio based in South Kent, Kirkiles’ artistic practice is deeply rooted in Connecticut history and inspired by fellow Connecticut artists.

The Creative Team of Brookfield Residents

We’re in the process of selecting a team of ten talented Brookfield residents to help artist Peter Kirkiles design and build a permanent piece of public art. The project is open to Brookfield, CT residents only. The team of ten participants will be diverse in age, skill set, interest and point of view. Applicants invited to join the team will be notified by May 30. Participants are asked to attend 5 group work days scheduled on Saturdays between June and October 2013. Participants with more time to offer are encouraged to engage in additional independent or group work to make this project spectacular.

The Support

This project is generously funded by