It was a pleasure to host my local paper, The Eagle Tribune, this week and explain what the event is all about. I enjoyed sharing the history of the dog, my dream of creating New England's Largest Solo Sculpture Exhibition and my hope of where it will go from here.
A month from now I hope people of all ages are saying they found enjoyment from seeing my twenty large dogs and that they leave smiling.
The following link is from The Eagle Tribune, July 9, 2009. Or, read the story below.
Haverhill artist to haul 10,000 pounds of works around region
A 10,000-pound dog pack
Published: July 9, 2009
HAVERHILL — When most artists take their works on the road for an exhibit, it involves little more than packing up paintings or pottery and loading the trunks of their cars.
But Haverhill sculptor Dale Rogers is preparing a traveling exhibit that will require him to use a 26-foot trailer capable of carrying 8,000 pounds, and a smaller trailer that can haul 2,000 pounds.
Rogers, 36, creates huge dogs and other contemporary sculptures out of costly long-lasting sheets of steel. You may have seen one of his most popular pieces along the highway.
His 16-foot-tall "American Dog" has been attracting attention ever since he placed it on his family's farmland near the off-ramp of Interstate 495 at the Ward Hill Connector three years ago.
The award-winning artist plans to take his popular American Dog sculptures on a traveling public art exhibit that will begin Aug. 6, with a weeklong show at Bradford Common in Haverhill, before moving on to Portsmouth, N.H.; Ogunquit, Maine; Newburyport; Beverly; and finally Lowell in September.
"It's kind of a big pack of dogs," Rogers joked while explaining his plans to display 20 smaller versions of his American Dog instead of a variety of different sculptures. "I think they make the best statement in groupings of single sculptures."
Rogers said he makes a good living at his craft, selling many of his pieces at high-end art exhibitions across the country as well as to private collectors, businesses and municipalities as private and public art. He will tell you that adding sculptures to the public landscape, such as the pieces he created for Newburyport, can inspire people of all ages to think differently about the world.
"It creates a response. It invokes a thought," he said of his art.
And that drove him to develop and plan "The Big Dog Show." The collection of 8-foot-tall and 10-foot-long dogs weighing 500 pounds each is intended to inspire and entertain all who see it.
"This is a free public art exhibition and the dogs will not be for sale," Rogers said. "But if someone wanted one they can contact my studio."
Calling it New England's largest sculpture exhibit by one artist, Rogers said it has taken two years of planning and creation and that he is solely funding the show with an investment of more than $200,000.
His hope is to attract the kind of national attention that could lead to partnering with a corporate sponsor for a national show.
"My vision is to present 100 dogs in a traveling exhibition in eight major U.S. cities," he said. "But to do an event like that, we'd need to partner with a nonprofit and a corporate sponsor."
He said he chose to feature his American Dog in his traveling exhibition after numerous encounters with strangers at juried art shows who told him they remember seeing the dog on the highway.
"No matter where I go people recognize the American Dog sculpture," he said. "Whether it is in Chicago, St. Louis or Nashville, they know they saw it in Massachusetts."
But for some strange reason, some of the people he's met at shows in Connecticut seem to remember seeing his big dog sculpture in Maine.
"It's where many people from Connecticut vacation," he said.
When Rogers ponders some of the greatest sculptures in history, those of Easter Island jump to the top of the list. They inspired him to create steel images of the huge, famous stone faces on the island.
As for his 16-foot-tall metal dog, he's planning to sell it for around $40,000.
"What we're hoping to do is replace it with a bigger dog," Rogers said.
Paul Prue, who is organizing the second annual Bradford Common Out-Door Music Series beginning July 17, called Rogers a "true artist" who wants to bring his work to the public and share the experience.
"It's not about money," said Prue, whose music series will be promoted by a giant sculpture of a guitar that will soon be on display on Bradford Common. "I think the big dog show will be a beautiful thing. You'll be able to go up to the dogs and pat them and no one will yell at you."
"The man is amazing," Prue, a local stained-glass artist and blues musician, said of Rogers. "He has found his niche, and every time I drive by that I-495 dog it puts a big smile on my face and I'm sure on everyone else that drives by it."
Taking the metal dogs on the road
20 metal sculptures of dogs, called "The American Dog''
Each weigh 500 pounds and are 8 or 10 feet tall
Will be hauled by a 26-foot trailer and a smaller trailer
The Big Dog Show
Aug. 6-11: Bradford Common
Aug. 13-18: Pierce Island, Portsmouth, N.H.
Aug. 20-25: Littlefield Park, Ogunquit, Maine
Aug. 27 to Sept. 1: Bartlett Mall, Newburyport
Sept. 3-8: Beverly Common, Beverly, Mass.
Sept. 10-15: Jack Kerouac Park, Lowell
Tim Jean/Staff PhotographerThanks for checking out the Dale Rogers Studio blog. Ciao!