Joseph Mangiamele

Founder · The Mangiamele Arts Foundation Inc.

Earliest memories:  Sport was the name of our family’s rather large dog.  Some of my earliest memories are of some of Sport’s amazing efforts at protecting me as a child.  Other early memories and in terms of art related recollections are of my art teacher saying “I was good at design.”  

In looking back, I suppose my developing design interests led me toward architecture and urban design and eventually into sculpturing.  When serving in Europe during the war, I was drawn to the architecture and the outdoor character of those great cities. 

Later, as a city planner I was to read the book of one who was to become my professor at London University, that book actually titled “The Great Cities of the World.”   And that professor was also to obtain a career furthering position for me in London.  I met him at Cornell University where I had been awarded a scholarship to work on a Ph.D.

For several years I worked as what the British called a Town Planning Architect for the London County Planning office.  My positions there were as both a planner and designer in constructing “new towns” around London. This became the base of my Ph.D. dissertation on “the planning of new towns,” which was an amazing turn of events.

While there in London after studying with the assistance of two Fulbright Scholarships and working as a London planner, I was recruited by the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee to teach urban planning and design.

However the first years at The University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, I was also to serve as the University and Campus Planner and planning representative to the neighborhood. In addition to campus and University planning and development of course, I became a city-planning consultant to a number of surrounding smaller cities and also was associated with and employed by several architectural firms.

My experience in my consulting led to furthering my interest in urban scale, an important element of urban design.  Later on, this interest led me to my sculpturing as a means of bringing urban scale to cities, urban scale poised at about 30-feet or at 3 stories in height.

Now for about a decade, I’ve been designing 6 and 8-inch prototypes of what eventually should become stainless-steel 30ft. high sculptures to be located at appropriate settings in cities, parks and other public places.  

My early problems with going with steel as a medium were with my desire to make it 3-dimansional and take the flatness out of the sheet material itself, a criticism I have with many other steel sculptures.  Then I needed to deal with wind resistance. 

Yet I’ve been successful in turning these sheets as I see them into 3-dimensional pieces.  I later wished to soften the steel’s appearance.  And this I do through flowing lines, shaping and forming the steel into curved-line design and openings.