Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Night and Day

Night and Day- a magical pair of magpies symbolizing the Alaskan experience built by the Myth Makers for the Alaska Botanical Garden

Every Alaskan knows about the long winter nights and short winter days that become the long summer days and short summer nights. Built during the summer solstice at the Alaska Botanical Garden, this pair of avian avatars will remain on view through the winter solstice. Sited facing one another across the walking path, they act as a gateway as guests explore the gardens. Night and Day celebrate the changing light that defines the experience of living in this unique climate using the magpie, an iconic Alaskan bird to convey this message. One is white, symbolizing the day or light, and one is black, symbolizing the night or darkness. Together they tell the story of the unique ecology of the Alaskan environment.

Watch Alaska’s News Source TV coverage of this installation, Unique sculptures built at Alaska Botanical Garden.






Monday, May 31, 2021

Caterpillar Crawl and Butterfly Fairy Frolic


The Myth Makers were one of six artist teams selected to create new work for the Tower Hill Botanic Garden "Wild Hideaways: Designed for Adventure" exhibit in Boylston Massachusetts. The "Caterpillar Crawl" and the "Butterfly Fairy Frolic" celebrate the life cycle of the monarch butterfly. The sculptures invite play and exploration from visitors of all ages while drawing attention to the relationship between milkweed and the survival of this unique creature.


The Caterpillar Crawl is designed to invite exploration from visitors of all ages. This sculpture celebrates the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) in its larval stage and is made of bamboo – a renewable, sustainable, natural material. When woven together, the bamboo mimics the wriggly shapes and contours of a caterpillar. The Caterpillar Crawl is designed to invite exploration from all ages


This sculpture celebrates the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) and its journey from egg, to caterpillar, to pupa, and finally to butterfly. Imagine that a fairy has waved their wand over a caterpillar and changed it into a butterfly. Nature’s magic! We invite you to use your imagination as you enter and explore the sculpture, frolic with the fairies, and then emerge into the fields. Will you be changed, too?

Watch a Behind the Scenes video of this exhibit.

The Phoenix Festival

 

The Phoenix Festival was commissioned by the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge for A New View Camden. The City of Camden New Jersey won this American Cities grant to fight illegal dumping in the community. For this project the Myth Makers designed a pair of monumental mythical phoenix birds that stand on the site of the former Camden incinerator to represent Camden rising from the ashes of illegal dumping and looking towards a bright future for the city.


This installation includes two site specific sculptures that were built in Boston at Save That Stuff Warehouse. Once installed, the Myth Makers added two long tails to the Phoenix sculptures that create a path to the amphitheater at the back of the site. The Myth Makers collaborated with the Dudley School to invite all 500 students to paint and decorate the flags that fly high above the Phoenix Festival. The space inside the installation is filled with benches that were designed by the Myth Makers. Donna & Andy had a vision to include the voices of Camden youth in their project. They partnered with the Kipp Norcross High School students and the Mighty Writers of Camden to collect short poems and reflections. Their words are transcribed onto the benches.













The Myth Makers are known for creating Avian Avatars, or bird headed mythological figures that celebrate community heroes. For the Phoenix Festival, Dodson & Moerlein chose to honor Rodney Sadler and Nilsa Cruz-Perez for the work they have done to clean up Camden’s waterfront and to strive for environmental justice with the people who live in the city. The installation was made possible by the support from The Camden DPW, Subaru Artist Apprentices, Camden-Rutgers Center for the Arts, Dudley School, Mighty Writers, Kipp Norcross High School, Cooper’s Ferry Partnerships, and the Bloomberg Foundation. The Phoenix Festival is located near the historic Federal St Bridge at 1401 Federal St. We hope you will visit, add your local heroes and inspirations to the community bulletin boards, and be part of the positive changes that are happening in the City of Camden. The Phoenix Festival asks visitors and residents alike to put an end to illegal dumping by working together to clean up empty lots, like 1401 FEDERAL St, continuing the work of local environmental justice heroes in the community and activating these public spaces with music, dance, poetry, picnics and family gatherings, and enjoying these public art experiences of A New View Camden.







Press links:

6abc - https://6abc.com/community-events/new-art-installation-raises-awareness-about-illegal-dumping-incamden-nj/10537456/

Burlington County Times - https://www.burlingtoncountytimes.com/videos/news/2021/04/21/preview-newview-camden-illegal-dumping-art-installations-bloomberg-south-jersey/7321193002/

Broad Street Review - https://www.broadstreetreview.com/wnwn/painting-a-new-view-in-camden-onearth-day

Chestnut Post - https://www.thechestnutpost.com/news/free-art-exhibit-gives-you-a-new-view-of-camdennbc10/

City Pulse - https://www.thecitypulse.com/post/for-earth-day-environmental-art-exhibit-unveiled

Courier Post Online - https://www.courierpostonline.com/picture-gallery/news/2021/04/20/new-viewcamden/7307849002/

Courier Post Online - https://www.courierpostonline.com/videos/news/2021/04/21/preview-new-viewcamden-illegal-dumping-art-installations-bloomberg-south-jersey/7321193002/

Courier Post Online - https://www.courierpostonline.com/story/life/2021/04/21/new-view-preview-looklarge-art-installations-camden-bloomberg-illegal-dumping-public-art/7258882002/

Dosage Magazine - https://www.dosagemagazine.com/a-new-view-camden-a-public-art-exhibition/

Fox29 - https://www.fox29.com/video/924771

Go Green Podcast - https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/130700/earth-day-in-camden-nj-public-art-atillegal-dump-sites

KYW1060 - https://www.audacy.com/kywnewsradio/news/local/camden-to-showcase-art-made-fromillegally-dumped-materials

NBC10 - https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/entertainment/philly-live/free-art-exhibit-gives-you-a-new-viewof-camden/2788810/

New Jersey 101.5 - https://nj1015.com/changing-perceptions-of-camden-sneak-peek-at-new-outdoor-artexhibits/

NJ Pen - https://www.njpen.com/from-invisible-to-invincible-a-new-view-camden-seeks-to-reshape-citysvacant-lots/

NJ.com https://www.nj.com/camden/2021/04/earth-day-2021-nj-city-fights-illegal-dumping-w-ith-epicrecycled-outdoor-art-display.html

NJ.com - https://www.nj.com/entertainment/2021/04/outdoor-public-art-project-unveiled-in-camden.html

Philadelphia Inquirer - https://www.inquirer.com/philly-tips/philadelphia-kids-events-calendar20210418.html

Philadelphia Inquirer - https://www.inquirer.com/photo/inq/earth-day-art-camden-illegal-dumping-pictures20210421.html

Philadelphia Inquirer - https://www.inquirer.com/philly-tips/things-to-do-philadelphia-weekend20210422.html

Philadelphia RowHome Magazine - https://issuu.com/philadelphiarowhomemagazine/docs/prh_spring2021__1_/88

Philly Metro - https://philly.metro.us/a-new-view-connects-people-and-nature-by-turning-trash-into-art/

PHL17 - https://phl17.com/web-exclusives/public-art-project-provides-camden-with-a-new-view/

South Jersey 104.9 FM - https://sojo1049.com/changing-perceptions-of-camden-sneak-peek-at-new-outdoorart-exhibits/

TapInto.net - https://www.tapinto.net/towns/camden/sections/arts-and-entertainment/articles/camdenart-exhibit-offers-a-new-view-of-the-city

Theatre in the Round Podcast - https://soundcloud.com/phillycam/ad-amorosis-theater-in-the-round-april19-2021

WHYY - https://whyy.org/articles/a-new-view-in-camden-citywide-project-to-tackle-illegal-dumping-throughpublic-art/

WHYY - https://whyy.org/articles/philly-theater-caribbean-food-and-camden-celebrates-earth-day-in-thisweeks-things-to-do/

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Wings of Wonder: Towering Works of Nature

Photo credit: Scott Rogers, Gainesville Times

For the Atlanta Botanic Garden in Gainesville Georgia exhibition, Wings of Wonder: Towering Works of Nature, on view March 27 – October 31, the Myth Makers: Donna Dodson & Andy Moerlein created a new sculpture, Flannery’s Peacock, and loaned a pair of existing cardinals, “Love Long Last” for the Myth Maker’s debut in Georgia.

Photo credit: Brenau University staff

Flannery O'Connor is a great American author and essayist whose writings are deeply connected to her Georgia home. Her style of Southern gothic fiction exposed the conflicts of the human soul in the universal search for spiritual redemption. She surrounded herself with very few humans and an abundance of peacocks.


The peacock is an extravagant bird with many different interpretations in myth and legend. They are a symbol of integrity and the beauty we can achieve when we endeavor to show our true colors. In Jewish lore, the peacock is a symbol for joy and creativity, whereas Chinese mythology associates the peacock with the sweet harmony of sound. For many, its magic iridescent feathers evoke the cosmos.

Photo credit: Brenau University staff

The cardinals that are seen as harbingers of good health, renewal and loving relationships. Each bird is 15 feet tall and, although monumental in scale, these ephemeral works are temporary in nature – they are made from natural materials such as bamboo, tree saplings and found objects, meant to last only several years before fading away.

Photo credit: Scott Rogers, Gainesville Times

The Myth Makers partnered with Claudia Wilburn, Associate Professor, Department Chair for Art & Design and Director for the Center for the Arts & Design at Brenau University on this project. Wilburn’s students worked with the Myth Makers to install their sculptures on site and in the process, the students learned about their bamboo building techniques.

Photo credit: Brenau University

Update: On March 29, 2021, Jane Harrison from Lakeside News covered this story, NEW SCULPTURES ROOSTING AT GAINESVILLE GARDEN. On March 30, 2021, Kelsey Podo from Gainesville Times covered this story, Looking for a weekend activity? Come see these three massive birds nesting in Gainesville’s Atlanta Botanical Garden. On April 1, 2021, Brenau University covered this story, Brenau students help create art at the Atlanta Botanical Garden in Gainesville.


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.