Sunday, May 5, 2019


In celebration of its 50th season, Heritage Museums & Gardens invited five artists to install outdoor sculptures throughout the museum grounds and gardens for a special exhibition "Human/Nature." Each artwork explores how humans and nature coexist, interact, and overlap. The Myth Makers, Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein, installed their 15-foot tall bamboo sculpture "Beacon."

Beacon is a monumental public art project that is inspired by the Osprey as a tribute to Rachel Carson and her ecological restoration efforts in Cape Cod and beyond. The Myth Makers highlight the Osprey as a survivor and adapter in our rapidly evolving human landscape. Devastated by DDT poisoning, these skilled fish hawks are recovering from the brink of extinction, and are an inspiring example of the role humans can play in restoring balance when we engage the living world around us.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The Wanderer

"Its wanderings are more extensive ... and remarkable for a bird whose nature is fitted to endure the utmost rigor of climate." -Elliott Coues 1874

Photo credit: Mike Seat

Due to the lack of lemmings in the arctic tundra, an irruption of Snowy Owls is happening across the country, forcing this mighty winged wanderer to venture south beyond its normal range. The same pioneering spirit led Amelia Earhart to fly solo across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and to fly coast to coast. Our sculpture is dedicated to her daring spirit. A Kansas City native, American author and aviation pioneer, she once said “Adventure is worthwhile in itself.”

The Wanderer, 2019 saplings, recycled and re-purposed mixed media

Monday, December 17, 2018

Persistence and Perseverance

Monumental Avian Avatars are coming to Coral Springs

Two Towering Sculptures by the Myth Makers are landing in Broward County

For Immediate Release
Coral Springs, December 13, 2018 – The Coral Springs Museum of Art  will unveil Perseverance and Persistence a pair of monumental sculptures created by the Myth Makers: Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein as part of the Museum’s “Forever Broward” project. The press is invited to preview the first installation on Thursday December 13th at 9:30a at the Sawgrass Nature Center followed by the second installation at the Sawgrass Trailhead at Atlantic Boulevard at 1pm. The community is invited to attend an artist talk at 11am followed by a dedication ceremony and reception at 12pm on Friday December 14th at the Coral Springs Museum of Art.

Each Avian Avatar symbolizes a unique bird that will entice visitors to explore the Florida Everglades and learn more about its significance. These towering bamboo sculptures will occupy two prominent public spaces in Broward County and tie the sites to the history of conservation work that was done a century ago by Marjory Stoneman Douglas and Ernest Coe.

Persistence, 22 ft tall, bamboo, wire ties, 2018

Perseverance and Persistence are two spectacular installations that will intrigue passersby with their impressive structures and their fascinating stories that embody the imaginative and creative culture of the Everglades,” said Julia Andrews, Director of the Coral Springs Museum of Art. “We are delighted to showcase the Myth Makers, and we are confident these impactful sculptures will be the most popular public art installation in Southeast Florida this year.”

Crafted from bamboo, wire ties and found objects, the sculptures stand 20 feet tall, with each bird sharing a unique myth. These Avian Avatars are a public monument to the conservation work done by Marjory Stonehman Douglas and Ernest Coe to create the Florida Everglades Naitonal Park and the legacy of their preservation work in the life of South Florida’s bird species. Persistence and Perseverance encourge the public to be aware of the current human impact on the changing natural world and instill a sense of pride for those Broward residents who live next door to the Everglades.
Persistence is a 20 ft tall Wood stork-human hybrid representing the larger than life ambition of Ernest Coe. The Wood Stork is North America’s only stork. Without the Everglades National Wildlife refuge, this and many other species would be endangered, and life in West Broward would not be as it is today. This iconic avian is a tribute to Coe’s pioneering spirit and it will inspire everyone to believe in their dreams and to fight for what they believe in. Persistence will be located at the Sawgrass Nature Center.

Perseverance is a 20 ft tall Roseate Spoonbill-human hybrid representing the iconic figure of Marjory Stoneman Douglas and her contribution to the preservation of the Everglades National Park as a result of her book “River of Grass.” The Roseate Spoonbill is the only species of spoonbills found in the Western Hemisphere. This very remarkable avian stands tall and proud with an ever watchful gaze over the Everglades reminding us that “there is always the need to carry on.” Perseverance will be located at the Sawgrass Trailhead at Atlantic Boulevard.

Perseverance, 22 ft tall, bamboo, wire ties, 2018

About the Myth Makers
The collaboration between Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein is born from a mutual love of the wild, taking inspiration from events in the natural world and the mysterious nature of animals. Both artists have presented public work throughout the world at art museums, sculpture parks,  and urban centers. Their affection for site specificity and working with local audiences is evident in this new pair of monumental sculptures.

The Myth Makers have completed over 20 monumental public art projects worldwide in the past ten years. Their temporary structures built from natural materials have been exhibited in Keelung Taiwan, Verbier Switzerland, New York City NY, Wausau WI, Easton MD, Muskegon MI, Boston MA, Portland ME, Concord NH, Harrisburg PA, Providence RI, and Windsor VT. This is their first public art installation in Florida. For more information

About Coral Springs Museum of Art
The CoralSprings Museum of Art serves Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade Counties, Florida, by offering an art immersion experience focused on celebrating present-day, nationally recognized and Florida artists who create Traditional, Modern and Postmodern art. Since its opening in early 1997, the museum has hosted nearly one million visitors and students and exhibited the work of more than 200 artists in its galleries, including well-known artists such as Alexandra Nechita, Romero Britto, Wolf Kahn, Duane Hansen, Clyde Butcher, Jose Bedia, Royo, Yuroz, Dale Chihuly and Toulouse-Lautrec. The museum, which features a permanent collection and an extensive sculpture garden, is open to the public and offers numerous classes, programs, events and exhibits for children and adults.

About Forever Broward
ForeverBroward has been made possible by support from the following Community Foundation of Broward Funds: Helen and Frank Stoykov Charitable Endowment Fund, Ruth H. Brown Fund for the Arts, Mary N. Porter Community Impact Fund and the David and Francie Horvitz Family Fund. The Community Foundation of Broward provides leadership on community solutions and fosters philanthropy that connects people who care with causes that matter.

Update: The Sun Sentinel featured this story on Friday December 14th, "New Sculpture Takes Flight," by Taimy Alvarez. Michael Barton published drone footage of this installation on Saturday December 16th,"Bird sculpture Perseverance at Coral Springs" AndrewTakes Flight published drone footage on this installation on Sunday Feb 3rd, "Meet Perseverance- A bird sculpture made out of bamboo and recycled materials." Andrew Brown publishes drone footage of this sculpture on Feb 9,2019, "Perseverance: Avian Avatar." Molaundo Jones published a Member Spotlight: Donna Dodson & Andy Moerlein on the Fractured Atlas blog, on March 26, 2019 highlighting our recent projects.

Monday, July 2, 2018



Beacon, a 20’ tall bamboo sculpture by The Myth Makers, Donna Dodson & Andy Moerlein is a monumental public art project that is inspired by the Osprey as a tribute to Rachel Carson and her ecological restoration efforts in Boston and beyond. The Myth Makers' artwork will initiate the first project of the new Harborwalk Artist in Residence (AIR) program. The Myth Makers highlight the Osprey as a survivor and adapter in our rapidly evolving human landscape. Devastated by DDT poisoning, these skilled fish hawks are recovering from the brink of extinction, and are an inspiring example of the role humans can play in restoring balance when we engage the living world around us. The Harborwalk is a great vantage point to study these rugged birds in the Boston Harbor. The sculpture is installed at Head Island, also known as the Sugar Bowl, at the far end of the causeway around Pleasure Bay.

The artists led a processional celebration to install the sculpture on Sunday July 1st from 9:30AM - 11:30AM. This exciting parade was open to all ages. There was a brief dedication: the Myth Makers discussed the legacy of Rachel Carson and citizen scientists worldwide who have contributed to science through personal observations and documentation. The sculpture will be on view at this location until Friday Sept 7th. Then the Beacon will migrate to the Charlestown Navy Yard where it will be on view until Friday November 16th. The artists will host an Open Studios workshop on Saturday August 4th from 2p-4:30p at Head Island.

For more information: Update: Amelia Mason from WBUR The Artery featured this story on June 28, 2018, 5 Things To Do This Weekend, From A City Dance Party To A Giant Bamboo Bird. Maureen Dahill from Channel 10 Boston featured this story on June 29, 2018, Weekend Picks in Southie.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Seeking Higher Ground

20 ft tall, bamboo, zip ties, reflector, spray paint, 2018

The Larz Anderson Estate in Brookline, Massachusetts is home to an ancient flock of Blue Jays. Azure blue and loquacious as 3 year olds, they have many stories to tell.

Isabel Anderson was a privileged Boston socialite whose ambition and focus were global in reach. She was a world traveler who lived a life of public service.

In folklore traditions, a Blue Jay is symbolic of clarity of thought, taking action. Seeking Higher Ground is a monument to the personal activism of a great woman leader.

Update: Emma Murphy from the Brookline Tab covered this story on June 15, 2018 "Towering sculptures, inspired by nature, installed at Larz Anderson Park," and she created a video of the project, Public Art Comes to Larz Anderson Park.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Quest

“Every community has a story. Deep
in the forested wetlands of tupelo,
bald cypress, oak, and hickory is the
hidden world of the delta. Interlaced
with bayous, rivers, oxbow lakes and
sandy ridges the hardwood swamps
of the North American South
obscures one of the most persistent
extinction questions of the modern
world. Is there an elusive living ivory-
billed woodpecker to be found?”

The Quest
by The Myth Makers
Donna Dodson & Andy Moerlein
Nov 18, 2017- Feb 25, 2018

Crevasse 22 | River House, PS Satellite, a Project of Prospect New Orleans, welcomes visitors to Migration: an exhibition of 25 contemporary and regional artists in the museum and sculpture garden, curated by Jeanne Nathan, Executive Director of the Creative Alliance of New Orleans.

Update: John D'Addario covered this story on April 3, 2018 for the New Orleans Advocate, "Crevasse 22 in St. Bernard: a day in the country, surrounded by art." David Benedetto featured this story on August 30, 2018 for Via Nola Vie, Beauty and risk: Talking Crevasse 22 | River House with founder Jeanne Nathan.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Intrepid Albatross

In August, The Myth Makers were invited to be the Artists in Residence at the Keelung National Museum of Marine Science & Technology in Taiwan. Organized by Jane Ingram Allen, this International Marine Environmental Art Project invites artists from the USA, Europe and Taiwan to complete monumental public works that connect art and science. 

We worked with three groups of volunteers to complete our project on site. We also worked with the local students at the Keelung National Senior High School and shared our process of art making. We used a puppet making curriculum where each student made two animal headed avatars, one representing their favorite animal self and one representing a secret animal self. Then the students wrote myths and stories and acted out plays with their puppet avatars. On the last day we worked in teams demonstrating bamboo techniques and the students built a bamboo environment at the center of their school campus.

During the month long residency, our own sculpture transformed from its original idea into something new and site specific. We arrived eager to learn more about bamboo as a sculpture medium. We had visions of continuing our globe embracing mission to advocate for sustainable ocean resources. We expected to build a twin to our New Bedford MA Widow's Walk.

We began conversations about fishermen and our American whaling traditions. We talked about the architecture of Victorian houses and "Widow's Walks" aa well as the dress of 18th Century America with our Taiwanese hosts and friends. We could not seem to reach a clear understanding. When we mentioned cormorants, they were puzzled. This was not a familiar bird. We found ourselves with a lot of ideas that perhaps did not belong.

We built a majestic female figure using bamboo techniques learned from Keelung's 85 year old Bamboo Master. We asked everyone we encountered in the ocean side fishing village,"What bird symbolizes the vast ocean ecology?" The Albatross stood out. The albatross is sometimes used metaphorically to mean a psychological burden that feels like a curse. This is an allusion to Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798). The albatross is a natural anomaly - a bird that flies all the world's oceans on wings that are up to 12 feet (3.3 meters). The albatross chick can stay at sea for up to five years before finding their way home to begin a lifelong mating. Birds that lose their mates do not breed again. A majestic and storied bird, the albatross was just the poetic symbol we sought for our work at NMMST in Keelung Taiwan: Watch the brief project video.

The Intrepid Albatross, 20 ft tall, 2017
bamboo, wire ties, recycled rubber, mirrors

She stands facing the sea, like generations of sailor's wives. The Intrepid Albatross is optimistic for the ocean's future bounty, yet she feels uncertain about the sustainability of this massive rich resource. Like the Myth Makers, she believes in a world where all nations contract together to protect and celebrate the sea's vitality. This is one of a series of monumental temporary sculptures in a globe embracing project by The Myth Makers.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Widow's Walk: a Globe Embracing Project

The Widow's Walk, Artist's Sketch

The Myth Makers are going to be working on two continents this summer to build their newest Avian Avatar. The Widow's Walk will be part of the New Bedford Seaport Art Walk in Mass. USA and the Keelung National Museum of Marine Science & Technology International Marine Environment Art Project in Taiwan!

The Widow's Walk, Seaport Art Walk 2017 New Bedford, Mass.

The concept for the Seaport Art Walk this year is Sustainable Oceans and it is curated by Jessica Bregoli. This piece is called the Widow's Walk and it is a mythical cormorant figure of a widow contemplating the uncertain future of our oceans in much the same way as sailor's spouses used to anticipate their return. Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein used recycled plastic to draw attention to the gyre and the pollution of our oceans with plastic waste that threatens sea life. The Myth Makers are building a twin to this piece in Taiwan in August since this is an international issue.

Widow's Walk, Detail

Update: Wesley Sykes covered this story in South Coast Today on May 30, 2017, "Who’s the new bird in downtown New Bedford?" Chris Arsenault covered this story on May 30, 2017 for Fun 107 FM, "Busty Seagull’s Sister Flew Into Downtown, New Bedford." Carlos Pimentel Felix interviewed us on May 30th for New Bedford Live, "The Myth Makers are Back in New Bedford.Holly Camero covered this project in Wicked Local on June 1, 2017, "Maynard artists create sculpture for seaport exhibit."

Widow's Walk, bamboo, recycled black plastic, wire ties

For more information on the Taiwan project:

"The artists selected for the 2017 Keelung National Museum of Marine Science &Technology International Marine Environment Art Project have been announced. This year we had an overwhelming 231 applications from artists in many different countries. The following international artists have been selected for 2017 artist-in-residency projects at the National Museum of Marine Science & Technology in Keelung, Taiwan:"

Foreign Artists:
Patrick Demazeau│France
Susanne Ruoff│Germany
Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein (the Mythmakers)│USA
Debbie Fish│New Zealand
Irene Hoppenberg│Germany

Taiwanese Artists:
Chen Chih Yang 楊金池
Chien Chih Chen 陳建智
Yoroe Lin 林猷柔

Sunday, November 6, 2016


Artists Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein (aka the Myth Makers), will be present in Easton, MD, from October 29 to November 5, 2016, during which time they will build one of their iconic sapling sculptures on the Museum’s grounds. Literally speaking, the bird sculpture will be based on the Hooded Merganser, a bird which is common in Maryland. Figuratively, however, the artists’ intent is to create a bird sculpture which represents a proud monument to independent thinking and bravery, referencing Eastern Shore native Frederick Douglass, who said, “I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.”

Although monumental in scale, the ephemeral works of the Myth Makers are temporary in nature. Made from natural materials, they are site specific and respond to their local audience. Meaning to last 3 to 5 years, they appear, fade, and disappear, adding a chapter to the life stories in their communities.

The Mighty Merganser bird sculpture will be constructed with the help of many volunteers (see Call for Volunteers). e large sculpture will stand over 16 feet high and ll a generous space in the Museum’s front yard.

Based in Boston, the Myth Makers have worked in Peru, Switzerland, Canada and China. They have shown their monumental sculptures the “Avian Avatars,” on Broadway in New York, NY; Muskegon, MI; New Orleans, and in many museums in New England.

Update: The Star Democrat covered this story on November 2, 2016, "Massive Sculpture has layers of Meaning" by JOSH BOLLINGER. The Talbot Spy covered this story on November 4, 2016, Myth Makers at Work on South Street by Dave Wheelan. Talbot County Office of Tourism covered this story on November 5, 2016, The Myth Makers in Maryland: The Mighty Merganser. Bay Weekly covered this story on November 10, 2016 The Mighty Merganser: This bird is worth a trip to Easton By Sandra Olivetti Martin.

Monday, June 27, 2016

The Dance of the Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane Sculpture Graces the Grounds of the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum

The Dance, a towering sandhill-crane sapling sculpture, recently landed in Wausau Wisconsin. This monumental work of art was created by Boston artists Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein, known as The Myth Makers, who build site-specific sculpture from ephemeral materials. For “The Dance,” Dodson and Moerlein were inspired by the way the seasonal migration of sandhill cranes to their Wisconsin nesting grounds marks the passage of time. The Myth Makers worked as artists in residence June 21-25, 2016 to complete this project.

As “The Dance” extended skyward, visitors observed, asked the artists questions, and decorated white, tan, or gray plastic bags, which the artists wove into the sculpture as plumage. The Myth Makers invited visitors to contribute “their own personal meaning and myths, reminding us all of seasonal changes and life’s rhythms” by marking bags to convey special summer family traditions. The Myth Makers’ residency is made possible by a generous contribution from the Genan Foundation.

The Myth Makers’ residency included the following public programs:
-Extra Terrific Toddler Tuesday: Crane Craft & Striking Poses, June 21, 10:30 a.m.-Noon – Little ones, 18 months-4 years, siblings, and accompanying adults sampled art making and movement-themed stations inspired by “The Dance” under construction. They also took in a family yoga session led by a 5 Koshas Yoga and Wellness instructor.

-Monumental Sculpture: From Idea to Execution, Tuesday, June 21, 5:30-6:30 p.m. – As “The Dance” took shape, participants joined The Myth Makers for insights into their site-specific sculpture and a discussion of their creative process. All ages were welcome.

-Making the Myth: Teen/Adult Creative Writing Workshop, Wednesday, June 22, 5:30-6:30 p.m. – Dodson and Moerlein led a series of short creative writing exercises, utilizing a range of texts and stories as inspiration. Participants discussed the origins and meanings of diverse cultural myths and create their own stories with guidance from The Myth Makers. Read some of the creative myths.

-Sculpt with Saplings, Thursday, June 23, 4:30-6 p.m. – All ages dropped in to create their own miniature crane sculptures from bendable branches, guided and inspired by Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein.

-Art Beyond Sight, Saturday, June 25, 10:30 a.m.-Noon – Individuals with low-vision or blindness are invited to experience the Museum’s new site-specific avian sculpture through conversation, hands-on investigation, and art making with The Myth Makers and Woodson educators.

The Dance of the Sand-hill Crane is a tango of anticipation and a timeless romance. 
- The Myth Makers, Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein

"When we hear the call of the sand-hill crane we hear the trumpet in the orchestra of evolution. Amid the endless mediocrity of the commonplace, a crane holds a paleontological patent of  nobility."
Aldo Leopold

Update: Laura Schulte, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin covered this story in the Wausau Daily Herald on June 20, 2016, Artists to build live sculpture in Wausau. Becky Meyer covered this story in City Pages: The Wausau Area News and Entertainment Weekly in the June 16-23, 2016 issue, Artists in Residence: The Myth Makers. Laura Schulte, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin covered this story in the Wausau Daily Herald on June 27, 2016, Woodson's newest sculpture rises. The Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum created a video of the complete project, The Myth Makers on "The Dance," Jeff Eaton aka Random Button Pusher created an inspiring video on Youtube,"The Dance" at Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum."