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.

Read more about this project in the Anchorage Daily News, July 11, 2021, by Emily Mesner, "Giant Magpie Sculptures rise along trail at Alaska Botnaical 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.

At the close of this exhibit at the Tower Hill Botanic Garden, The Myth Makers moved the Butterfly Fairy Folic to Artspace Maynard where it was installed prominently in the sculpture garden to celebrate Maynard's Sesquicentennial. This project is supported in part by a grant from the Maynard Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

At the close of the installation at Artspace Maynard, the Butterfly Fairy flew to her new home in Ashburnham at the New Dawn Arts Center just in time for the fall Harvest festival.

As a  symbol of transformation, she fits right into this quintessential and historic spiritual New England landscape. Be sure to stop by and see her with her newly designed iridescent wings.

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.