Saturday, November 16, 2019

Seeking Higher Ground moves to the Art Complex Museum

An enormous bird has now landed at The Art Complex Museum and is already drawing much attention. The enormous Blue Jay is a collaboration between well-known Maynard, Massachusetts sculptors The Myth Makers: Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein. Dodson is inspired by the mysterious nature of animals. Moerlein derives inspiration from events in the natural world that leave visual marks which strike a narrative chord.

According to folklore tradition, the Blue Jay is symbolic of clarity of thought, taking action. Seeking Higher Ground, says its creators, is a clarion call to heed the warning signs of climate change and its affects. It reflects a hope that humans can unite to affect those changes needed to adapt and survive - like the Blue Jay.

Although monumental in scale, this work, as others they have created, is temporary in nature. Made from natural materials, it is site specific and responds to the local audience. Meant to last five years, at most, it will appear, fade, and disappear, adding a chapter to the life stories in Duxbury.

Seeking Higher Ground, 20 foot tall, bamboo, zip ties, reflector, spray paint, oil cloth, 2019

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Love Long Last

Monumental Avian Avatars landed in Summit New Jersey on July 9, 2019

Summit Public Art recently unveiled a pair of monumental sculptures created by the Myth Makers: Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein as part of the organization’s annual rotation of sculptures around town. The press and public witnessed the installation on Tuesday July 9th at 9:30 am at the Village Green next to the train station. At 5:30pm Common Council President David Naidu made remarks and commemorated the artwork. The community gathered around the artists to hear their remarks at the unveiling and dedication ceremony. The sculptures will be on view for one year. Watch a video preview of the sculptures here and here.



Love Long Last by The Myth Makers: Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein

Northern Cardinals are social creatures. They mate for life and enjoy romantic partnerships. Males feed the females beak to beak throughout their summer courtship.

In folklore Cardinals have great significance. The belief that Cardinals are spiritual messengers exists in many cultures. They are seen as harbingers of good health, renewal, and loving relationships. Whether it is an omen or just a delight, it is evident that sighting a red cardinal makes everyone happy.


These two birds stand independently but share a powerful camaraderie and friendship. They walk past one another, their heads turned and their gazes locked. This public art project symbolizes the power of love and the bond these two creatures share.

Love Long Last are two spectacular sculptures that will intrigue passersby with their impressive structures and their fascinating story that embody the imaginative and creative culture of Summit New Jersey,” said Marie Cohen and Deb Schwarzman, co-organizers of the project “We are delighted to showcase the Myth Makers, and we are confident these impactful sculptures will be the most popular public art installation in Summit this year.”

Crafted from bamboo, wire ties and found objects, the sculptures stand 15 feet tall, the largest and most monumental art installation that Summit has commissioned in their 17 years of this project.



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, New Orleans LA, Coral Springs FL Kansas City MO and Windsor VT. This is their first public art installation in New Jersey. For more information http://themythmakers.blogspot.com



About Summit Public Art


Founded in 2002, Summit Public Art is a volunteer-based city organization whose mission is to bring art to public spaces throughout Summit, infusing the community with assorted contemporary art installations that provide public art experiences to those who live, work in, or visit Summit.

Over the past seventeen years, Summit Public Art has installed over 85 pieces of temporary art throughout the community, The artists represented include many of national and international renown. The committee has also sponsored and facilitated two permanent installations on Broad Street: three bus shelters and the Gateway Tree sculpture welcoming people to town.

Summit Public Art creates aesthetic experiences that enrich citizens’ quality of life, creating community ties and pride, and strengthen the cultural vibrancy of the city. Although it is a city entity, Summit Public Art receives no funding from the city for installations or operations. It raises money through individual donations, public and private grants and corporate sponsorship. For more information, visit https://www.summitpublicart.com


Update: Summit Public Art produced a live video with the Myth Makers during the installation of Love Long Last. Drone footage of the 2019 installations for Summit Public Art.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

The Beacon moves to Cape Cod

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.


Update: The Heritage Museum and Gardens published an interview with the Myth Makers: Donna Dodson & Andy Moerlein

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

Update: Stephanie Alger covered this story in the July/August issue of KC Studio Magazine, "Snowy Owl Sculpture Lands on Ward Parkway," and Alice Thorson mentioned The Wanderer in the Editor's Letter for the July/August issue of KC Studio Magazine

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.
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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 http://themythmakers.blogspot.com

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" Andrew Brown published drone footage of this project 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. Andrew Brown published drone footage of this project on July 9, 2019, Persistence: Avian Avatar.

Monday, July 2, 2018

The Beacon

HARBORWALK ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE: THE MYTH MAKERS, DONNA DODSON & ANDY MOERLEIN


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: http://www.bostonharbornow.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/recreation-press-release.pdf. 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