Sunday, November 6, 2016

THE MYTH MAKERS IN MARYLAND: THE MIGHTY MERGANSER


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."




Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Avian Avatars join Sculpture for New Orleans

THE POYDRAS CORRIDOR SCULPTURE EXHIBITION PRESENTED BY THE HELIS FOUNDATION EXPANDS TOWARDS MID--CITY WITH TWENTY FOOT TALL BIRDS Public art initiative announces the addition of The Myth Makers’ “Avian Avatars” series between South Claiborne and South Galvez, as well as William Cannings’ “Stacked V” at Poydras and Carondelet

NEW ORLEANS, LA – May 25, 2016 – On Thursday, June 2nd, The Poydras Corridor Sculpture Exhibition presented by The Helis Foundation, a Sculpture for New Orleans project, will install two new additions to the largest rotating exhibition of public sculpture in the South. Artist collective The Myth Makers’ “Avian Avatars,” a series of five twenty--‐foot tall bird sculptures, will be installed on Poydras Street between S. Claiborne Ave. and S. Galvez St. In addition, William Cannings’ “Stacked V,” an abstract steel sculpture, will be installed at Poydras St. and Carondelet St. All installations are open to media throughout the morning of Thursday, June 2nd with interview opportunities available upon request.

Regarding the expansion of The Poydras Corridor Sculpture Exhibition presented by The Helis Foundation, Sculpture for New Orleans curator Michael Manjarris stated, “What was once an industrial warehouse district is now becoming a world class, open air art museum. We understand how art can invigorate neighborhoods, adding to the quality of life in New Orleans.”

The “Avian Avatars” installation marks the furthest north that the Poydras Corridor Sculpture Exhibition presented by The Helis Foundation has ventured. The “Avian Avatars” are five twenty--‐ foot tall bird sculptures comprised of saplings, wire ties and found objects. The Myth Makers is a Boston--‐based art duo comprised of Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein. Prior to New Orleans, the pieces have spent time on public display in both New York City’s garment district and most recently, Muskegon, Michigan.

The Myth Makers’ note “New Orleans is an iconic North American city with wide variety of cultural roots nestled in a vulnerable environment. Known as a trendsetting art vortex, the city’s rich blend of peoples, music and foods create a gumbo of possibilities.”

William Cannings’ “Stacked V” consists of five four--‐foot tall steel squares, incorporating his unique style of utilizing the effects of compressed air on permanent materials such as aluminum and steel. “Stacked V” is being installed on the corner of Poydras Street and Carondelet Street. Cannings comments “Stacked V aims to be whimsical and eye catching. The shapes are made with sheet steel, cut, welded and inflated with air pressure to appear soft and ephemeral. The surfaces are developed using automotive paints to be glossy, smooth and seductive. The individual squares are free to spin on their axes – a changing composition of color and reflection.”

About The Avian Avatars

1. The Tourist Poydras Street & S Galvez Street A close relative of the common and often debased downtown pigeon, the Victorian crowned pigeon has recently arrived from far away. Like many who are visiting New Orleans for the first time, this lively bird wants to experience it all. “Who we are cannot be separated from where we’re from.” – Malcolm Gladwell

2. The Scold: Poydras Street between S Galvez Street and S Johnson Street A raucous chatterbox who dresses in ever chic, uncompromising artist black, the crow is gregariously gadfly and a peripatetic poet who has an opinion on everything. “I wish to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” – Henry David Thoreau

3. The Realist Poydras Street between S Johnson Street and S Prieur Street The most common of raptors, the red tail hawk is a determined competitor. Everyone has a killer instinct, a desire to fly and an ambition to achieve their fifteen minutes of fame. “When it comes to luck, you make your own.” –Bruce Springsteen
4. The Taste Maker Poydras Street between S Prieur Street and Bertrand Street An uncompromising harbinger of taste, the critic is not a populist The falcon is an idealist, a philosopher and an opinionated vocalist with a social vision. The revered place of the falcon in many cultural traditions lends virtue to this sacred avian gathering. “The truth is not for all…but only for those who seek it.” – Ayn Rand

5. The Great Spirit: Poydras Street and Bolivar Street The owl sees it all and embraces both the strengths and weaknesses of humanity. The Great Spirit is an advocate who seeks out the best in each of us. A humble leader and a mystic, the Owl inspires from a spiritual perspective. “Not all of us can do great things, but we can [each] do small things with great love.” – Mother Teresa



William Cannings’ Stacked is located at Poydras Street and Carondelet Street .


About The Poydras Corridor Sculpture Exhibition presented by The Helis Foundation The Poydras Corridor Sculpture Exhibition presented by The Helis Foundation is a Sculpture for New Orleans project, which began shortly after Hurricane Katrina by artist and curator Michael Manjarris with the mission of lifting the spirits of the people of New Orleans through public art and to provide local and regional artists the opportunity to show in a public venue. In cooperation with the Ogden Museum of Southern Art and The City of New Orleans Department of Parks and Parkways, the Poydras Corridor Sculpture Exhibition was launched in January of 2013 to create the Southeast’s leading rotating exhibition of public sculpture. Since the exhibition’s inception in 2013, 26 sculptures by artists of local and international acclaim have been installed on the Poydras Street between the interstate and Convention Center Blvd. The project is generously underwritten by The Diana Helis Henry and The Adrienne Helis Malvin Art Funds of The Helis Foundation. To learn more, visit the PCSE/SFNO on Facebook and Instagram, or text “poydras” to 56512.

About The Myth Makers The collaboration between Moerlein and Dodson is born from a mutual love of the wild. Moerlein takes inspiration from events in the natural world, which leave visual marks that strike a narrative chord in the artist. Dodson takes inspiration from the mysterious nature of animals that spark her imagination. Although monumental in scale, these ephemeral works are temporary in nature. Made from natural materials, they are site specific, and respond to their local audience. Meaning to only last 3--‐5 years, they appear, fade, ad disappear, adding a chapter to the life stories in their communities.

About William Cannnings Cannings, a native of Nantwich, England, received his MFA from Syracuse University, and his BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. Now a professor of Sculpture at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, he makes inflated metal sculptures and installations. Exhibitions include Scope – Basel, Art Basel --‐ Switzerland. Cherry--Picked: 2007 Survey of Texas Art and Artists, Wichita Falls Museum of Art. Sculpture Now, Williams Tower Gallery, Houston; South West Biennial, Albuquerque Museum of Art and History; Art 212, Armory, NY; ArtScape public art exhibition, Baltimore, MD. Solo exhibitions include, The Texas Biennial, Anya Tish Gallery, Houston, TX. Pan American Art Projects, Miami, FL. and Cris Worley Fine Arts, Dallas, TX. Cannings was included in the Texas Artists Today publication, and a review of Canning’s work appeared in ART LIES, an international arts journal. Cannings is represented by Anya Tish Gallery, Houston, TX, PanAmericanArtProjects , Miami, FL, and Cris Worley Fine Arts, Dallas, TX.

Update: John D'Addario covered this project for the New Orleans Advocate on June 1st, Check out new 20-foot-tall 'avian avatars' along stretch of Poydras Street in New Orleans. Doug MacCash covered this story for NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune on  June 2nd, Giant bird sculptures land on Poydras Street. Doug MacCash also made this great video of the installation and story of the Avian Avatars. Heather Miller covered this story live on June 2nd for WGNO/ABC TV, Artists create 20-foot-tall ‘Avian Avatars’ for new Mid-City art installation. Jade Cunningham covered this story live for WWL TV/CBS in New Orleans on June 2nd- watch Part 1 and Part 2 online. Wild Bill Wood covered this story on June 7, 2016 for WGNO/ABC TV, Who Wins the husband-wife bird calling contest in downtown New Orleans? Carter Cincore covered this story for Where Y'at Magazine on June 10, 2016, Giant Metal Birds Make a Stand Around New Orleans. Diane Mack featured this story on her podcast "Inside the Arts" on June 21, 2016 ( @ 8-15 minutes approx)

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Wildwood Phoenix

The Myth Makers, Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein, are pleased to announce the completion of a successful residency in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on April 7-9, 2016. Their recent installation of five monumental  Avian Avatars in Manhattan attracted the attention of Marcy Brenner who serves on the committee of Art in the Wild. She invited The Myth Makers to jury this annual outdoor sculpture exhibition at Wildwood Park, give a public talk, and create a monumental site specific work.


With only two days to build the sculpture, The Myth Makers asked for help. The volunteers at  Wildwood Park gathered over 150 ash saplings for the project. Dodson & Moerlein proposed to build a phoenix. This mythological bird is the most beautiful bird of the forest because its plumage is composed of one feather from each of the other birds. After a sunny first day, it snowed overnight...


Luckily the volunteers came to the rescue one more time. They helped The Myth Makers gather, sort and hang plastic bags of every color onto the sculpture in the freezing, wet, cold weather. It was an inspiring community event that gave meaning to the legend of the phoenix by adding renewed energy to Art in the Wild.


By noon on the second day, The Myth Makers had completed the Wildwood Phoenix. Now they invite the public to take part in their photo contest, "Capture the Myth! A Digital Photo Contest of the Wildwood Phoenix

April 10, 2016 - May 1, 2016

Share your best digital image of the Wildwood Phoenix with your friends, fans of Wildwood, and the Myth Makers, Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein. A Grand Prize of a $50 gift certificate to Passage to India will be awarded to the best image as selected by the Myth Makers!


 



Sunday, June 21, 2015

Forest Grace premieres at Chesterwood in Stockbridge, Mass

Chesterwood Opens Daily for Season on May 23rd!

2015 highlights include the exhibition “Boston Sculptors Gallery at Chesterwood 2015”

Chesterwood, the former summer home, studio and gardens of Daniel Chester French, America’s foremost sculptor of public monuments, announces its 2015 schedule of exhibitions, programs, and events. Chesterwood will open the first three weekends in May for one-hour guided tours only of the studio and residence at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., before opening daily for the season from Saturday, May 23 to Monday, Oct. 12 (Memorial Day Weekend through Columbus Day), from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Special Exhibition, May 23 to Oct. 12

“Boston Sculptors Gallery at Chesterwood 2015” features 24 contemporary sculptures by 25 sculptors, which were created specifically for and in response to sources of inspiration discovered at Chesterwood. The exhibition reflects the wide range of sculptural media and styles that represent the members of Boston Sculptors Gallery, which was founded in 1992 to present and promote innovative, challenging sculpture and installations. I will be exhibiting a contemporary presidential monument: Madam President is a conceptual interpretation, of the first woman president of the USA and homage to Daniel Chester French's Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.

Madam President by Donna Dodson 


Madam President: A Monument to the First Female President of the USA and to the Dream that Every Girl Can Become The President of the USA by Donna Dodson, 13 ft tall, poplar wood, paint 2014 . Courtesy of GTI Properties, Mario Nicosia, V. Lessard & Sons and The Boston Sculptors Gallery.

Saturday Art Programs, June 6 through Sept. 12

Family-friendly art tours, demonstrations and workshops presented by Boston Sculptors Gallery from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free with admission.


Ancient Migration by Andy Moerlein 



Join us on June 6th, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free with admission.

“A Walk in the Woods”. Explore outdoor sculptures in “Boston Sculptors Gallery at Chesterwood 2015” with The Myth Makers: Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein, whose individual, solo and collaborative works are in the exhibition. The Myth Makers are exhibiting a new work on site for this exhibition: Forest Grace, based on the iconic stance of the ruffed grouse.

Forest Grace by The Myth Makers 



Save the Date: Opening reception on Saturday June 27th 2015 from 4p-7p.

About Chesterwood

Chesterwood, a site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is the summer home, studio and gardens of America’s foremost sculptor of public monuments, Daniel Chester French (1850-1931). French is best known for his sculptures of the Minute Man (1871-75) and the seated figure of Abraham Lincoln (1911-22) for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.

Situated on 122 acres in the idyllic hamlet of Glendale near Stockbridge, Mass., the property and its buildings were donated to the National Trust for Historic Preservation by French’s only child Margaret French Cresson (1889-1973). Chesterwood is recognized as both a National Historic Landmark and a Massachusetts Historic Landmark.

4 Williamsville Rd., Stockbridge, Mass. (413) 298-3579. www.chesterwood.org

Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Avian Avatars migrate from New York City to Muskegon Michigan at the end of April!

Friday April 24th- International Sculpture Day 2015!

International Sculpture Day, or IS Day, is an annual celebration event held worldwide on April 24 to further the ISC’s mission of advancing the creation and understanding of sculpture and its unique, vital contribution to society. IS Day will include a wide range of events, openings, educational and promotional activities around the world to include, but not limited to open day at museum/sculpture park, open studios tours, demonstrations, workshops, panels, talks, presentations, discussions, parties and openings, sculpture exhibits, shows, tours…


Please join us for our final Artist Talk and Tour in NYC: If you have missed Avian Avatars and the Myth Makers in New York City, this is the last day to meet the artists and discuss the challenges and joys of team art making. Join the dynamic collaborative, Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein for the closing events at either 5p or 7p. Walk through with artists followed by tea/coffee and conversation at The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, 1412 Broadway @ 39th St.

Sarah Cascone from Artnet and The Huffington Post, recently picked this project as her number one spring public art show in NYC, and the Nashua Telegraph published a great write up on April 2nd about our story. Dr. Jill Kiefer also posted a nice write up on her blog April 1st, What about art? Lydia Warren posted a feature story ... "...went bird-watching on Broadway" on her blog, Today's the Day I. "A Silhouette of the crow from the Avian Avatars," was posted March 5th by Klaudette Ronnielle on her blog.

Monday April 27th- Launch Day of the Avian Avatars at The Muskegon Museum of Art in Michigan

Avian Avatars by The Myth Makers: Donna Dodson & Andy Moerlein
April 27, 2015 – May 1, 2016 in Muskegon MI

Avatar: a deliberate descent of a deity to Earth, an "appearance" or a "manifestation". ~Wikipedia

Since the beginning of human history cultures have identified birds as mythic and transformational. Their seasonal plumage has indicated change, signaled migration and foretold impending weather events. The Phoenix, Garuda, Horus, Ra, Thunderbird and angel iconography all address transcendence and rebirth. The world’s most symbolic birds – the Raptor, Owl, Crow, Pigeon, and Falcon - are flocking to Muskegon, Michigan, to consider our changing world.

The Muskegon Museum of Art is proud to announce that The Avian Avatars will be here on April 27, 2015, and they will reside in downtown Muskegon for a full year. Update: M-Live covered this event.
  
The Scold: Muskegon Museum of Art

Support for this project is provided by Hooker DeJong Architects and Engineers, the Hines Corporation, Eagle Alloy, Nichols, Alcoa Corporation, Annoesjka and Alan Steinman, Jan and Chris Deur, the Community Foundation for Muskegon County, and The Cheese Lady. Additional support provided by Verplank Truck Company and the Holiday Inn Muskegon Harbor/Third Street Grill. This project has been organized by the Muskegon Museum of Art.

The Great Spirit: Muskegon County Convention and Visitors Bureau
The Realist: Lakeshore Museum Center

Each monumental bird has something to say. They speak in different voices and from unique perspectives, but this gathering of Avian Avatars raises an alarm, speaking to modern humans who should heed their varied stories about the current human impact on their changing natural world.

The Tourist: Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce
The Tastemaker: Downtown Muskegon Farmers Market

Get to know The Realist, The Great Spirit, The Scold, The Tourist, and the Tastemaker this year in Muskegon! Update: Brandon Champion posted a preview on M-Live April 5, 2015 Although Brandon mistakenly attributed the Avian Avatars to Andy Moerlein "Moerlein also created Avian Avatars, a series of five bird-like sculptures that have been in the city's downtown since April 2015.." #CORRECTION: The Avian Avatars in downtown Michigan were built by The Myth Makers: Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein, a collaborative team. The Holland Sentinel posted a preview on April 8, 2015. This video, "Artistic Birds Land in Muskegon," was posted on April 27th by WZZM Channel 13/ABC news. "Giant Bird Sculptures Land in Muskegon," was posted on April 27th by Channel 17/Fox News. "Large bird-like sculptures, Avian Avatars, make their nest in downtown Muskegon," was posted on April 27th by Andraya Croft for M-Live.com. This blog " Saturday's Critters in Art," was posted May 2nd on Irish Garden House blog. "Giant birds fly into Muskegon!" was posted on May 4th by Shoreline Media Group. "Avian Avatars" was posted on flickr by Kimberly Mossel on May 23, 2015.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

“Love Birds”, The Exhibition! will be on view at Harlow's in NYC through March 2015

On January 9, 2015, the Garment District Alliance unveiled Avian Avatars, a group of five enormous sculptures, each symbolizing a unique, mythical bird. Designed by The Myth Makers, Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein, the exhibit will occupy the neighborhood’s pedestrian space on Broadway from 36th to 41st Streets in the Garment District through April 24, 2015.


“Avian Avatars is a spectacular installation that not only intrigues passersby with its impeccable structure, it also tells fascinating stories that embody the imaginative and creative culture of the Garment District,” said Barbara Blair Randall, president of the Garment District Alliance. “We are delighted to showcase the Myth Makers, and we are confident these imposing sculptures will be the most popular public art installation in New York City this winter.”




Crafted from maple saplings, wire ties and found objects, the sculptures stand from 18 to 26 feet tall, with each bird sharing a unique myth. Avian Avatars is meant to indicate transformation, encouraging the public to heed to the stories about current human impact on the changing natural world.




To celebrate this momentous flocking of Avian Avatars in New York City, Harlow is proud to share “Love Birds” Paired Sculptors: The Myth Makers | Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein.





The Myth Makers are each showing their uniquely individual works in the main dining room at Harlow through the end of March. This show of fine woodcarving will present stories of grand relationships and tender moments.

If you have not seen the Avian Avatars on public view along Broadway – please do! And once you have, come to Harlow and enjoy the intimate work Dodson and Moerlein individually create in their studios.

ADDRESS:
109 E 56th St.New York, NY 10022

PHONE:
212.935.6600

EMAIL:
info@harlownyc.com

WEB:
http://harlownyc.com

For up to date press coverage: As Muge blog covered this story on January 21, 2015 and February 16th published a follow up post. Chun M. published a great review on Yelp, February 1st. This story was featured on January 29th, on Free Events in NYC. Kimberly Mossel posted some great shots on flickr. Mark Rifkin posted some great shots on flickr. Laurentiu Garofeanu posted some great shots on Getty Images for the Garment District Alliance. Professional Artist Magazinecovered this story in their April/May 2015 Issue. “Avian Avatars” was selected for publication in CODAmagazine’s March issue, Art for Social Change. Sarah Cascione from Artnet picked this project as its number one spring public art show in NYC. Broadway World covered the story of our "Artist Talk on Art" Panel Discussion, Artists Talk on Art at Jefferson Market Library Features Top Sculptors & Experts.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Avian Avatars

Colossal Birds Fly to Garment District for the Winter

Flock of Massive Sculptures by the Myth Makers is the Next Public Art Installation on the Garment District Plazas

NEW YORK, January 9, 2015 – The Garment District Alliance will unveil Avian Avatars, a group of five enormous sculptures, each symbolizing a unique, mythical bird that will captivate New Yorkers and visitors on Broadway’s Garment District Plazas this winter.

Designed by the Myth Makers, Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein, the exhibit will occupy the neighborhood’s pedestrian space on Broadway from 36th to 41st Streets in the Garment District through April.

“Avian Avatars is a spectacular installation that not only intrigues passersby with its impeccable structure, it also tells fascinating stories that embody the imaginative and creative culture of the Garment District,” said Barbara Blair Randall, president of the Garment District Alliance. “We are delighted to showcase the Myth Makers, and we are confident these imposing sculptures will be the most popular public art installation in New York City this winter.”

Crafted from maple saplings, wire ties and found objects, the sculptures stand from 18 to 26 feet tall, with each bird sharing a unique myth. Avian Avatars is meant to indicate transformation, encouraging the public to heed to the stories about current human impact on the changing natural world.


The Tourist : A Victoria Crowned Pigeon. @ Broadway between 36th and 37th.

 Visitors drawn to the vibrant city shape culture with their impulsive consumer behavior.


“Who we are cannot be separated from where we're from.”

-Malcolm Gladwell


The Realist: A Red-Tailed Hawk. @ Broadway between 37th and 38th

Everyone has a killer instinct, a desire to fly and an ambition to achieve their fifteen minutes of fame.



“When it comes to luck, you make your own.” -Bruce Springstein


The Taste Maker : A Falcon. @ Broadway between 38th and 39th.

An uncompromising harbinger of taste, the critic is not a populist.



“The truth is not for all ... but only for those who seek it.” -Ayn Rand


The Great Spirit : An Owl. @ Broadway between 39th and 40th.

A humble leader embraces the strengths and weaknesses of humanity, 

and inspires from a spiritual perspective.


“Not all of us can do great things. But we can [each] do small things with great love.”
-Mother Teresa

The Scold : A Crow, @ Broadway between 40th and 41st

A raucous chatterbox has an opinion on everything.

“I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life...”
-Henry David Thoreau


In addition to the art work on the plaza, The Myth Makers are working in conjunction with the Garment District Alliance to bring some very exciting public programs to the plaza this winter. Please join them for the following events:

Saturday January 10th @ noon. Join the Myth Makers for a crisp winter adventure! Be some of the first to see these commissioned sculptures along Broadway in the historic Garment District. Walk with the artists and talk about their ambitions for these major pieces, the materials they employ and how the partnership between two independently successful artists contributes to a teamed concept.

Saturday Feb 14th @ 3p- Valentine's Day Sculpture, Chocolate and Roses. Join the Myth Makers for a midwinter excursion onto Broadway. Come as a couple or come alone but there will be roses and chocolate for all who RSVP! Chat with Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein as you study the work. Stroll glove in glove and enjoy the heartwarming attributes of well sited sculptures in a wintery city scape. ALL romantic souls are invited to hear the Myths of the Avian Avatars. Both artists will be present to share your impressions and their chocolate!

Saturday March 7th @ 10am- If you are in town for the Armory Week Art Fairs – or you have never been – you SHOULD! The Myth Makers will be presenting an early morning tour of the Avian Avatars on Broadway. Start the most exciting weekend in NYC arts with a burst of monumental outdoor sculpture. Meet The Myth Makers in person at The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf at 10am dressed for the weather.

Wednesday March 25th TWO exceptional events:

3p The Myth Makers will provide a behind the scenes conversation about the staging and presentation of their Avian Avatars along Broadway’s Garment District.

6p-8pm The iconic Artists Talk on Art (ATOA) panel at the Jefferson Public Library (6th Ave & 9th St.) in New York City. Join us at a panel discussion on Temporary Public art projects (followed by Q&A)

Friday April 24th- International Sculpture Day 2014!
Artist Talk and Tour

If you have missed Avian Avatars and the Myth Makers in New York City, this is the last day to meet the artists and discuss the challenges and joys of team art making. Join the dynamic collaborative, Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein for the closing events at either 5p or 7p. Walk through with artists followed by tea/coffee and conversation at The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.

All walks meet at The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf 1412 Broadway, New York, NY and leave promptly. DRESS for being outdoors for 45 minutes! In severe weather you can keep up to date with these events, by reaching out to The Myth Makers on email, themythmakersblog@gmail.com or by finding The Myth Makers on facebook.

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 in unusual locations and familiar haunts, and their affection for site specificity and working with an audience is evident in this series of monumental sculptures.

With a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wellesley College, Donna has been honored with solo shows nationwide. She regularly contributes articles to newspapers, magazines and blogs that demonstrate the economic impact and global reach of the arts sector. Donna has participated in various exhibitions including the Verbier 3D Foundation’s Artist Residency and Sculpture Park in the Swiss Alps, the Fountain Art Fair NYC in the historic 69th Regiment Armory Building, a residency in Cusco Peru at the Escuela de Bellas Artes, and she has been invited back to Qorikancha in Cusco Peru to participate in a residency with Andy Moerlein as the Myth Makers this year.

An arts advocate, gallery director and educator for over 30 years, Andy’s work has been displayed in art museums, sculpture gardens and private galleries from Alaska to New York. He has participated in various exhibitions including the Verbier 3D Foundation’s Artist Residency and Sculpture Park in the Swiss Alps, he was the Artist in Residence at the Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, Massachusetts, and he worked in residence in Cusco Peru and produced work for exhibitions at the Qorikancha Museum. With a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Dartmouth College and a Master of Fine Arts Degree from Cornell University, Andy has been a teacher and gallery director at the Derryfield School in Manchester, New Hampshire, for 20 years.

Avian Avatars is the latest in the ongoing Garment District Art on the Plazas series of public art installations, which has also included Sidewalk Catwalk, Tour de Fashion, Figurations, Broadway Green, Five Elements and, most recently, The Sentinels.

Garment District Art on the Plazas is made possible through Arterventions, part of the Department of Transportation’s Art Program. The Garment District Alliance and DOT work closely to coordinate the exhibit and install the pieces, which enhance the public plazas and make them even more welcoming to New Yorkers and visitors alike.

The Garment District is home to thousands of people working in the "creative economy,” including fine and performing artists, designers, architects, photographers and more than a hundred theaters, galleries, performance spaces and studios.

Please direct media inquiries to Jennifer Passaretti of The Marino Organization at 212-889-0808 or Jennifer@themarino.org. For more information on the Garment District Space for Public Art, please visit http://www.garmentdistrictnyc.com.

About the Garment District Alliance

The Garment District Alliance (www.garmentdistrictnyc.com), formerly the Fashion Center BID, is a not-for-profit corporation established in 1993 to improve the quality of life and economic vitality of Manhattan’s Garment District. Through programs in the areas of streetscape improvements, sanitation and public safety, marketing and promotions, economic development, and community service, the Garment District Alliance supports the neighborhood’s transformation into a modern, 24/7 destination for dining, nightlife, hotels and unique office space. For more information on the Garment District Alliance’s many art initiatives, please visit http://www.garmentdistrictnyc.com.

Update: Paula Ogier featured the story of this project on her blog, Boston Artist on January 5, 2015. Luciana Iten covered the story on her blog, Jan 6, 2015 .Art Daily covered this story on January 8, 2015. Brian Goslow covered this story in the current issue of Artscope Magazine. WWD, DNA Info and Fox News covered this story on January 9, 2015. Artlog covered this story on January 16, 2015. As Muge blog covered this story on January 21, 2015. This Week in New York covered this story on February 10th. The Hippo Press covered this story on February 12, 2015.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Avian Avatars- Coming Soon!

The Great Spirit (owl)

The Myth Makers, Donna Dodson & Andy Moerlein, recently launched their brand new, catalog- if you did not receive one, please let us know! In it we announced our upcoming public art project, Avian Avatars, in The Garment District on Broadway below Times Square in New York City from January-April 2015. To read a full copy of the press release, click here. To see a calendar of our upcoming public programs in New York City, click here

At this time, we would like to invite you to an Open House in Boston on Saturday, December 20, 2014 from 1p-3p at Save That Stuff warehouse in Charlestown (Moran Access Rd) where we are constructing these monumental sculptures.

The Scold (crow)

See the recent Save That Stuff blog post here about our Artist in Residence and RSVP using this link- we look forward to seeing you!

The Tastemaker (falcon)

Update: Susan Doucet from The Concord Monitor covered this story, click here to read it. Liz Cahill, From GTI Properties in Boston, Also posted a blog about it for SoWA Boston, click here to read it.

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Great Blue Heron

A Ceremonial Fire Sculpture commemorating 375 years for the town of Wayland!

Lift off of the Great Blue Heron, 50'w x 20'h x 20'd by the Myth Makers Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein took place on Saturday June 14th, 2014 at 9pm.


Update. Robert Whitcomb, featured our story on his blog, New England Diary.