Monthly Archives: May 2019

The Art of Work.

My dad, Wilfred James Ryan, representing Local 2858 at a Steelworkers of America convention in Atlantic City, NJ, circa 1979.

In a series of six degrees of Kevin Bacon connections, I am meeting up with a curator from the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) later today to talk about my Dad, who worked as an anodizer at the Alcan aluminum plant that has now been transformed into MOCA.

Seems fitting that I spent the better part of yesterday, May Day, sorting through my various photos and journals to spark my memories of his working life. This is a picture from him at a union convention in Atlantic city. His face reveals so much about who he was; equal parts tough and kind, armed with well honed sense of justice and compassion, and zero tolerance for bullshit.  He was also funny as hell.

I miss him so much still, but grateful for the chance to scatter some light into the ways he worked tirelessly to make difficult things a bit easier for his family, and for his co-workers. I cant wait to share some of his story.  More to come.