Heath, OH 43056
The Dawes Arboretum will welcome six monumental sculptures from artists The Myth Makers, with the exhibit scheduled to open to the public on May 27. The bamboo birds-some standing more than 20 feet tall-are currently being built for The Dawes Arboretum by The Myth Makers, Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein, in New Jersey at an industrial scale artist residency, Gardenship. These will be the tallest art pieces ever shown at The Dawes Arboretum.
Built with bamboo and mixed media, the sculptures, coined “Avian Avatars” by Dodson and Moerlein, will be placed throughout The Arboretum and remain until Spring 2023. Made from natural materials, the sculptures are site-specific and are meant to slowly disappear into nature over the course of their life.
“The Myth Makers are inspiring artists, and we could not be more thrilled to welcome their work to The Arboretum,” said Luke Messinger, Executive Director for The Dawes Arboretum. “These sculptures are the first of their kind on our grounds and we are excited for guests to see them among our beautiful landscapes.”
The Myth Makers’ inspiration comes from a mutual love of nature. For Dodson, that’s specifically the mysterious nature of birds, and for Moerlein it’s events that leave visual marks in nature. Each sculpture coming to The Dawes Arboretum will represent an iconic local bird, and each will have its own historical backstory: “Love Long Last” is a pair of Northern Cardinals representing The Arboretum’s founders; “Bertie’s Peacock” is a peacock representing Bertie Dawes’ passion for the magnificent bird; “The Gentleman” is an Eastern Bluebird in honor of Beman’s Great-Grandfather, Manasseh Cutler and his love of trees; “Towering” is a Sandhill Crane representing the iconic Columbus artist Ann Hamilton; and “The Great Owl” is a Great Horned Owl that acknowledges the original inhabitants of this landscape and the significance of the panoramic views surrounding the Arboretum.
Dodson and Moerlein have completed more than 50 projects together internationally and have received multiple national awards and recognitions. The duo will travel to Newark two weeks prior to the opening to finish up the building process and make sure their Avian Avatars are secured and assembled.
“The Avian Avatars we are preparing for The Dawes Arboretum are for The Arboretum,” Dodson said. “Andy and I look at the entire community when we are gathering inspiration. Anyone who sees our work at The Dawes Arboretum will recognize each bird from their own story. They will know these sculptures aren’t just a passing installation-they will know they are meant to be there.”
Check The Arboretum’s calendar for events surrounding this exhibit. For more information about The Myth Makers, including images of their work, visit www.themythmakers.org.
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