Sculpture Chicago ’84
Produced, Directed, Reported by Gail Pellett
Production Company: MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour
Presented by: WNET, New York and WETA, Washington, D.C.
Aired on: PBS     Date: 1984

Sculpture by Francisco Perez

In 1984 a half dozen sculptors were chosen from dozens of contestants around the country to create and construct a piece of outdoor sculpture in one of Chicago’s downtown squares in 33 days.  We meet the sculptors and watch them work all under the surveillance and questions of the curious passers-by.  Marcia Weiss, Francisco Perez, Steve Woodward, Roger Machin and Peta Coyne and others are all highly experienced and skilled sculptors and the questions raised and comments made about their creations range from the philosophical to the whimsical. As one sculptor says “The best complement you can get is if people looking at the work want to go home and make sculpture!”

Robert Machin soldering


This 10 minute feature piece was one of a dozen or more feature pieces that I produced for the new “arts, culture & character beat” that was part of MacNeil/Lehrer’s weekday news analysis program when it went to the full hour in the fall of 1983.  While there, I pitched, produced and reported pieces about Marty Cooper, a photographer of Children’s Play on the Lower East Side of NYC, a Mardi Gras Indian  making his costume and preparing for the big day as well as a story about two university students starting a software business (all posted on this site).  In addition I produced stories about the closing of Theresa’s bar — a much beloved blues hangout owned by Junior Wells on Chicago’s South side,  a report on the famous Primitivism Show at MOMA,   a new look at Grandma Moses,   a story-telling festival in Jonestown, Tennessee;  and numerous portraits of  intriguing American characters.

Piece by Petah Coyne, Mass Moca 2010

Marcia Weiss

Breaking News

Francisco Perez, Steven Woodward and Petah Coyne have had successful and prolific careers as sculptors since this group exhibit.

Perez teaches at the College of Creative Art at San Francisco State University and is involved in fascinating landscape and ecology projects in Puerto Rico.

Steven Woodward's work has been shown consistently in galleries and museums primarily in Minnesota where he lives.

Petah Coyne, a New York and New Jersey based artist, has shown in museums and galleries in the U.S. and abroad. In 2010 her work appeared at Mass MOCA in the Berkshires. Roger Machin formed a company, Materials and Methods, to transport fine art.

I was unable to trace Marcia Weiss and the other artists featured here. Hopefully, somebody reading this will let me know their whereabouts and history.


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