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Dreamscape in progressI’ve made a huge mural-relief sculpture called Dreamscape for the K12 Gallery for Young People, 510 E. Third in exchange for working space in their new Teen Education and Joint Adult Studio,“TEJAS,” a Native American word meaning “welcome friends.”  I’m making a Canal Man in the window there this month, so stop by and see the work in progress or

foreshortened I’m showing a completed sculpture at the Dayton Society for Painters and Sculptors Gallery from Feb. 18- March 27 Gallery Hours are Friday: 5:30-8:30 pm Saturdays and Sundays: 2-5 pm Canal Man 1 is the first of a series of sculptures I am creating for my upcoming Branching Out installation. Branching Out is a project sponsored by the Wegerzyn Garden Foundation in cooperation with Five Rivers Metro Parks. I’ve been invited to create a site specific sculptural installation that will run concurrently with that of Patrick Dougherty’s beginning in April. I plan to cast many of these monumental figures in natural and recycled materials mixed with concrete. I would like to submerge my Canal Men in the granite pools commemorating the canal that used to flow through downtown Dayton.

The Miami canal, begun in 1825, was an amazing feat. A water highway connecting Dayton to the rest of the world, it required back breaking labor and the hours were long. German immigrants, who farmed nearby land, soon refused to do the work. Irish immigrants were brought in and paid in part with whiskey, because as one “jigger boss” said: you wouldn’t expect them to do this work sober would you?” It was said that there was a dead Irishmen for every mile of canal dug.  After the Irish moved on to work on the railroads, which were proving to be faster, more reliable way to travel, African American workers were hired to finish the job. Countless men died of disease and accidents. The Miami Erie Canal was known as the longest cemetery. It was obsolete before it was completed.

I will invite the community to help me make floating flowers as a tribute to the men of the canal in a series of workshops. The first flower workshop is scheduled for Saturday, March 12 from 2:00-5:00 p.m at The Dayton Society for Painters and Sculptors. Another will be held on April 9th from 12-4 at The Dayton Visual Arts Center. Historian Leon Bey will present the history of the canals with a walking tour to follow.

2 comments so far

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  1. Sounds GREAT.. When will you be at K-12 Tejas? What kind of floating flowers?
    How much?

  2. Hi Barbara,
    sorry to be so late responding! I’m almost done at the TEJAS space and am moving over to Courthouse Square where I will host open studio on Fridays from 12-6. All flower workshops are free ( Leon Bey has generously waived his fee to do his presentation and canal walk at the DVAC workshop April 9! ) though I decided to wire the flowers onto branches instead of making them float since the canals will not be filled with water until later in the season. I hope you will come participate