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Podcast Interview

COVID-19 Memorial Walk-Through
The Listen Podcast

I’m excited to share my interview with Kate Jetmore of The Listen Podcast. We had a great time talking about getting unstuck and, well, something paranormal happens… 

Apple Podcasts  |  SoundCloud  |  Spotify

The Covid-19 Pandemic is tragic on so many levels. When I learned that those infected and hospitalized were being separated from their loved ones, potentially dying among strangers, I felt a profound sense of grief. And as the pandemic progresses, seeing how it has disproportionally affected communities of color has shed new light on inequality and systemic racism.  

In response to the Covid-19 tragedy, I’d like to create a memorial that is compassionate, inclusive & participatory. The memorial will offer a place for healing and introspection, to process our personal and collective loss, to honor and release those who have died.
Learn more and join the dialogue.

Selvedge Magazine

I am honored to be featured in a recent issue of Selvedge Magazine with a thoughtful essay written by Laura Gray. She writes:

“Wherever they are found, these sculptures have a monumentality that is two-fold, because while they tower above the viewer, the garments hold memories. In selecting second-hand clothing as his material for making art, Melander has made a critical decision about how this chosen material conveys the connection of memory to feeling.”

Collector Spotlight

When my dear friend, Julie Weprin decided to close her restaurant, “Jack”, her loyal patron Margaret Chan chose to adopt the enormous mural I had created for the dining room.  

Margaret A. Chan

I was thrilled to see the work find a new home but had no idea it would end up in the chambers of an acting NYS Supreme Court Judge.

“I, my staff, and all those who come into my courtroom always take a moment to appreciate the artwork and enjoy the simple beauty and serenity it exudes” – Margaret Chan

Margaret is scheduled to move to new chambers in the fall. I look forward to re-installing the piece when the building reopens. 

Jack Mural (left), 2006
Jack Mural (left), 2006
Jack Mural (right), 2006
Jack Mural (right), 2006
Jack (detail), 2006
Jack (detail), 2006 | Hand cut drafting film, paint & masonite | Overall dimensions (aprox.) 4′ (H) X 20′ (W) x 1.5″ (D)

Visiting Artist Lecture at Fashion Institute of Technology

Folding, Folding..

March 11th, 5:00-6:30 PM
Katie Murphy Amphitheater, 
The Pomerantz Center,
227 W 27th St, NY, NY 10001

Night Sky - Portrait
Night Sky – Portrait

I’m excited to be kicking off two projects with FIT this spring! I’ll be presenting a visiting artist lecture and working as an artist in residence.

I hope you can come to the lecture on March 11th from 5:00-6:30 PM. I’ll tell you how I came to focus on second-hand clothing, I’ll review key projects and I’ll share some entertaining case studies.


A week-long artist in residence project (AIR@FIT) will kick off on April 13th. I’ll be collaborating with students and faculty to create a context-aware, experimental new work. I’ll be in The Studio (D223), a glass box that juts out over the lobby of the Pomerantz Center at Seventh Avenue at 27th Street. 

Please follow along on Instagram if you would like to see things unfold or come by and observe from the lobby below.

New Collector Spotlight

Last month I delivered 3 drawings to Gregory Patterson (two of which are below). In case you don’t know, he’s a celebrity hairstylist and overall beauty expert. You might have caught him on Project Runway years back or seen his recent work for Sally Beauty.

“The pieces instantly struck me, I saw myself, and my life’s journey in them. I saw my childhood, my college years, and the man I have become today”

Gregory Patterson

These works were produced during my pop-up open studio in Queens this past fall, made possible with a grant from The Queens Council on the Arts.
A few are still available, please let me know if you are interested.

Press Round-Up (English), 2019

03/20/19 RTHK Radio (live radio interview), James Ross, “Derick Melander – Central & Western District Festival”
03/21/19 Hive Life (feature), Christy C, “Fashioning Art from Old Clothes”
03/22/19 Home Journal (feature), Cherry Lai, “New York Artist Derick Melander Turns Old Clothing Into Stunning Towers of Art”
03/27/19  Hong Kong Heartbeat (Art Basel survey), Keilem Ng, “Eco Art Basel”

Press Round-Up (Chinese), 2019

03/20/19 Fine Door (feature), Lin Guocai, “當藝術家在堆疊這些布料時,喚醒公眾對於廢棄紡織品及世界事物「可持續性」的反省”
03/27/19 ULifestyle, (feature) Deng Dazhi, “太古星街藝展民生”
04/08/19 Position News (feature), Zeng Jiahui, “觀中環街頭的回收衣物藝術品 知否知否香港現時氣氛如何”
03/18/19 Near Snake (feature), Editorial Desk, “星街小區:”You Are My Other Me” 大型環保藝術裝置”

September Pop-up Art Studio, Open to the Public

Group Blocks: Study in wax crayon, 2019

To Live is to Leave Traces takes place in a storefront art studio, open to the public, in the heart of Jackson Heights. Below is the proposal I submitted to The Queens Council of The Arts to receive the grant: During the month of September, the artist will: 

– Create a dozen new works, extending his practice.

– Actively engage with local organizations (eg. The 82nd Street BID, The Renaissance School).

– Encourage passers-by to come in and provide feedback.

– Invite guest artists to work alongside him.

– Host weekly events in the evening. 

– Strive to be collaborative and inclusive.

He hopes that this project will strengthen the creative fabric of his community. At the end of the pop-up, the resulting work will be exhibited at Espresso 77, a local cafe. 

For updates, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/2099140786838498 or https://www.facebook.com/derickmelanderartist/ and instagram.com/derickmelander 


Open Studio: 35-59 82nd St., Jackson Heights, NY 11372

Exhibition: Espresso 77, 35-57 77th St, Jackson Heights, NY 11372

Dates and Times

Open Studio: September 4th-September 30, M-F 8am-6pm

Exhibition: October 23rd-November 26th 

Exhibition Reception: October 25th, 5-8

Night Sky, 2016 – Photographic print Installed

Night Sky, 2016 with Italian Collector Giorgia Lera.
Night Sky, 2016 with Italian Collector Giorgia Lera.
Night Sky, 2016 with Italian Collector Giorgia Lera.

It was such a pleasure this past year to work with the new Italian collector Giorgia Lera. This is the first photo I’ve had printed and mounted on Dibond Panel. As you can see, we went big! It sits in Giorgia’s office, right by her desk. She is an aerospace engineer so we are in very good company! Thank you Giorgia!

Print love!

GQ, Russia, No. 7, 2010-11

Somehow, I never shared these. They either fell through the cracks or my site was in the process of being re-platformed. None-the-less, I am grateful to GQ, Complex, Brutus and Textiel Plus for the exposure.

Complex Magazine, May, 2011
Complex Magazine, May, 2011
Brutus Magazine, June, 2006
Brutus Magazine, June, 2006
Textiel Plus, Summer, 2015
Textiel Plus, Summer, 2015

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Eileen Fisher Comissions: Brooklyn, Seattle & Detroit

All is actually each (detail), 2018 (after Aldous Huxley) 7’ x 28” x 28”

I just finished installing the last of 3 sculptures created for Eileen Fisher this summer. Though I worked out of their “Tiny Factory” in Irvington NY, my studio was huge. And with The Hudson River outside my door, it felt like an artist residency with all the clothing I could ever need. (more about that here). Over the course of 6 weeks, I used approximately 3,600 pounds of clothing. I tried to keep track of the number of garments I used, but alas, that did not happen!

Here is a bit about the process. In my early design discussions with the Eileen Fisher creative team, I made the above”playing card” sketches to facilitate design exploration. These were all about 2.5″ x 3.5″.

Those evolved into the schematics below that I created on my computer.

Schematics for Eileen Fisher Detroit & Seattle Stores.
Schematics for Eileen Fisher Detroit & Seattle Stores.

Once we nailed that down, I got down to sorting and folding. Here is where we landed for the Seattle store:

All is actually each, 2018 (after Aldous Huxley) 7’ x 28” x 28”

All is actually each (detail), 2018 (after Aldous Huxley) 7’ x 28” x 28”
All is actually each (detail), 2018
(after Aldous Huxley)
7’ x 28” x 28”

More about this piece under Works

And here is the piece for Detroit:

Separating being from becoming, 2018 (after Aldous Huxley) 7’ x 28” x 28”

More about this piece under Works

Maybe you are wondering about the piece I created for Brooklyn? Well, I need to get back there to do a proper photoshoot! I’m really excited to share that with you, as well as the amazing mini-doc that was created! In the meantime here is a schematic for the design.

Sketch done in Adobe Illustrator for the Eileen Fisher Brooklyn Store.
Schematic for the Eileen Fisher Brooklyn Store.

Hard at work!

Installing at Eileen Fisher, Bergan St.
Installing at Eileen Fisher, Bergan St.
Derick and his steamer.
Derick and his steamer.

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Summer Studio, Eileen Fisher

Studio, Eileen Fisher Tiny Factory, 2018 (hall)

I’m in Seattle today, getting ready to install one of the 3 sculptures I created for Eileen Fisher. Drinking a big coffee and reflecting back on my summer residency, I feel a bit melancholy that it’s nearly over. The Eileen Fisher team generously gave me studio space in their Tiny Factory to create the work. Situated in their warehouse, surrounded by endless amounts of second-hand clothing, I was right at home:


Eileen Fisher, Tiny Factory
Eileen Fisher, Tiny Factory

It was such a great experience.

I’ll be sharing images of the final works soon with some details and a video created to document the process over the next few weeks.

As an added bonus, The Tiny Factory is located in a building that was built for Cosmopolitan Magazine in 1895. It was designed by Stanford White, a notorious art star of the gilded age (I love his shop coat and ‘stache!)


Sadly, the other side of the building, which looked pretty much the same as this side, was chiseled off and faced with ordinary red brick. Someday I will try to find out how and why that happened.

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