© Yellow Dog, 2019, Steel, Rebar, 300 x 144 x 36 inches, The Pump House, Homestead, PA
Dedicated to the steel workers past and present, the YELLOW DOG sculpture was developed through the collaborative efforts of Jim West Sculptor and the at-risk youth at George Junior Republic. The sacrifice of the steel workers supported the development of the industrial revolution. YELLOW DOG depicts both the silence and the rise of the steel workers collective voice as they sought and fought for equity.
“In support of the “Man Up” program that I created for the at-risk youth of George Junior Republic (GJR), we received funding to create a sculpture at the location of the great Homestead Strike – a pivotal event between the steel workers and the Carnegie Steel Company. It was an honor to work with the young men of GJR on a commission of such historic importance at what is known as The Pump House. It was also critical to establish a tie between the GJR youth and those steelworkers in the sculpture we would ultimately co-construct. With more research, we all learned about the “Yellow Dog” contract, which was being enforced by Carnegie to prevent unionization among his workers. That struggle between union and management, that feeling of being trapped, became the common denominator and tie between the GJR youth of today and the steelworkers of 1892. The figures struggle to lift a steel truss forged from the original Carnegie plant in Homestead. The linear structure and lines of the YELLOW DOG figures and truss reinforce the parallel of those struggles, which were purposeful and organized and ultimately led to union victory.”