The Witness, 2021

The Witness, Diversity Plaza, Queens
The Witness with Two Masked Men

I was awarded two arts grants in 2021. With support from New York Foundation of The Arts and Queens Council on The Arts, I created a sculpture made from wood and thousands of second-hand garments. The clothing was sourced from the local community during the pandemic and is a tribute to the people of New York City.

This new work was installed in public plazas throughout Queens, NY. In doing so, I was able to bring contemporary art to those underserved by the cultural mainstream.

The design of the piece is modular and flexible, allowing for multiple configurations, some of which are shown here.

Two Kids Standing in front of The Witness

This piece is made from 16 units, each one being 7′ x 10″ x 5″ (H x W x D). This allows for a multitude of configurations. 

Second-hand clothing, stained wood and hardware.


Six-Pointed Star Configuration of The Witness

Derick Melander creates clothing sculptures that explore the intersection between global consumerism and the intimate relationship we have with what we wear.

Recent commissions include projects for The Chapman Perelman Foundation, Eileen Fisher, Diesel and Swire Properties, Hong Kong.


The Making of “A Cloud Reveals the Moon”, 2018

Derick’s most recent works are made from second-hand clothing, sourced from specific locations and populations. He brings these populations together first as collaborators and then again in the clothing used to create the work. In a sense, these works are collective portraits. Derick celebrates and honors both the individual and the community in each work he creates.

I'm excited to share a work in progress archive of my dad's work. He was an incredibly sweet man, a great teacher, and a really innovative artist. I miss him dearly.
Due to the rain, we are shifting the dates a bit. The next installation will be November 14-15 (Sunday and Monday) / 9am-5pm. We will be installing two different configurations each day, so come see the work evolve. 
I’m very happy to share a new location and additional details regarding two sculpture installations for the public realm of Jackson Heights, Queens. This new work will be made from wood and thousands of second-hand garments, sourced from the local community during the pandemic.
A design for a portable clothing sculpture to be installed in public plazas throughout Queens, NY. This piece is made from eight separate units, to allow for multiple configurations.
“In selecting second-hand clothing as his medium for making art, Melander has made a critical decision about how this chosen material conveys the connection of memory to feeling.”
This sketch is for a sculpture series. I always feel a twinkle of joy when I see a blank sign or a marker that has lost its meaning. These objects draw our attention, but have nothing to say (like some people I know).
Working on an idea for a new sculpture. Pictured here, garment silhouettes are traced and cut from thin sheets of copper and distorted to appear as if they are caught in a whirlwind.
From 2002-2007, I was in an arts collective called Tag Projects. We built community, self-produced five exhibitions, sold work, and even got a rave review from Holland Cotter in The New York Times!
Here I am wearing my own creation called “A Shirts” made by daisy-chaining 4 dress shirts together at the plackets. I wore this all day at The Callicoon Art Walk in 2019.
You likely do not know this, but in addition to being a sculptor, I am a lover of industrial design. I have many sketches for functional objects, especially designs for furniture. Here is a design for a full-size folding screen. It takes its form from a deconstructed shirt cuff