Tuesday, August 30, 2016

September News

Horse (Mother) wood, paint 2015
Zodiac by Donna Dodson
Boston Sculptors Gallery
September 7- October 9, 2016
Gallery Hours: Wed. – Sun. 12 – 6pm

First Friday Receptions: Sept. 9 & Oct. 7, 5-8pm Featuring a world premiere of experimental electronic music by Blue Sky Catastrophe at each reception. 

The Art of Collecting: A Forum & Luncheon: Sept.10, 12-2pm
Panelists include: Arlette Kayafas, Director of Gallery Kayafas, Toni Gaspard, Art Collector, Leah Triplett Harrington, Editor of Big, Red & Shiny and Kalimah Muhammad, Member of Boston Sculptors Gallery. Sponsored by Boston Art Dealers Association & Hosted by Boston Sculptors Gallery

United South End Artists Open Studios:
Sept. 24 & 25, 12-6pm

Global Mashup: A Roundtable Conversation About Aesthetics: Oct. 2, 2-4pm
Panelists include Kemin Hu, Collector and Expert on Chinese Scholar's Rocks, James Kodera, Professor of Religion at Wellesley College and Al Miner, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Sponsored by Artscope Magazine

Pisces(Clownfish) wood, paint 2016

“The signs of the zodiac are karmic patterns; the planets are the loom, the will is the weaver.”
- Edgar Cayce

Zodiac, Donna Dodson’s fourth solo exhibition at the Boston Sculptors Gallery, will be on view September 7 to October 9, 2016. In her newest body of sculptural work, Dodson has created two parallel series, referencing both the animal characters associated with the Chinese, or Eastern zodiac, as well as the sun signs of the Western zodiac. Dodson’s exhibition offers us a menagerie of compelling creatures carved in wood.

Based on birth years from the beginning of time to the present day, the Chinese zodiac assigns an animal to each year in a repeating twelve-year cycle. Each of the twelve animal characters is believed to possess distinct attributes. With roots in ancient Egypt and Greece, the Western zodiac is based on astrological constellations corresponding to the sun’s position at birth. Over time, each of these constellations has assumed their own unique mythological identity. Curiously, the zodiac has only rarely been the subject of contemporary art.

Carving has taken a new direction in Dodson’s work, and technical surprises and breakthroughs abound. Due to a windfall of wood, she has been able to experiment, creating sculpture in woods such as mulberry, apple, spalted maple, and cherry. The anthropomorphic deities in Dodson’s signature work have morphed into allegories, icons and symbols in which realism and representation play a greater role.

While some interpretations of the Western zodiac characters seem obvious, like Leo the Lion, Taurus the Bull, and Aries the Ram, others resist obvious characterizations. Would anyone associate Aquarius with a Beaver? Or Libra with a Falcon? Virgo with a Penguin? In Zodiac, Dodson takes on these peculiar associations and promises to engage the imagination of the casual viewer as well as that of the art connoisseur.

Zodiac will be shown concurrently with Geology by Andy Moerlein.

Update; Wickedlocal posted a teaser online about my show on August 31, 2016, "Maynard artist to hold solo exhibit in Boston." Paula Ogier posted a very favorable review of our shows on September 7, 2016, "A Visit to the Boston Sculptors Gallery."

As many of you may have heard, Jessica Bregoli selected my sculpture, Seagull Cinderella, for the Seaport Art Walk in New Bedford this summer. I installed the sculpture on a highly visible site pre-selected by the Seaport Art Walk Committee at thebeginning of June. After being on view for about a month or so, a petition was filed by a local resident to "Remove the Seagull Statue in Downtown New Bedford." Therein started the Seagull Cinderella Controversy. (Click on the link for the story)

Coming up in October...
Seagull Cinderella Returns to Maynard
October 15, 2016, 3-6 pm
Parade, Art Show and Reception

Seagull Cinderella returns home to Maynard on October 15. Welcome her back from her triumphant tour of New Bedford with a parade in downtown Maynard and art show at 6 Bridges Gallery, 77 Main Street, Maynard.

Many of you remember Seagull Cinderella standing tall in her front yard on Summer Street in Maynard.  She spent a few weeks in New Bedford, MA this summer where our intrepid gull found herself embroiled in a bit of an uproar. They were talking about her far and wide.  But Seagull Cinderella stood fast.  Her supporters rallied around and created art in her honor.

On October 15 Seagull Cinderella returns to Maynard and will be feted with a parade in downtown Maynard starting at 3:00 pm. Follow her from the Maynard library to 6 Bridges gallery at 77 Main Street where she will disembark from her carriage and stand proudly outside 6 Bridges Gallery.  A pop-up art show inspired by our courageous gull awaits her fans and supporters inside.  A portion of the proceeds from the art sale will be donated to the Virginia Thurston Healing Garden.

6 Bridges Gallery was established in 2014 by a group of artists to create a retail and display gallery in the heart of Maynard, Massachusetts. The ever-changing work in the gallery includes a diverse range of media and artistic styles. All of the artisans are local; many—including the founding members—are residents of the ArtSpace Maynard studios. 

The Backstory:

Donna Dodson created a small wood sculpture of a seagull headed female figure in 2002 that she named “Seagull Cinderella.” Her inspiration for the piece was Marilla from Anne of Green Gables who was corseted and bound by the sweet virtues of her character. The piece was about how we are conditioned by that American mythic princess story, and how we act on it in our lives or how that myth acts on us and how we view women in our society. 

In 2012, Dodson was invited to submit a proposal for a public art project in Brooklyn and she chose to make a monumental version of the small wood sculpture “Seagull Cinderella.” She used the same color palette of soft pink for the wings and soft yellow on the beak. She stood proud for one whole summer facing the East River and then she moved to Gallery Ehva in Provincetown.

The owner, Ewa Nogiec is known for encouraging artists to take risks and complete work in residence. Since the piece was up through the fall, winter, spring and summer, Ewa grew familiar with the piece and in preparation for the July 4th parade in P’town, suggested that Dodson paint a red white and blue bikini on the sculpture. Dodson did not share her vision for the bikini, but she did imagine seeing neon daisies on the piece instead. So Dodson re-worked the piece on site with neon colors and a daisy chain around the waist.

When the piece came home in 2013, Dodson had another pending invitation for the piece from the Krasl Art Center 2014 Biennial Sculpture Invitational in St Joseph Michigan. Dodson extended the daisy chain from the waist to the floor, giving the mythic American princess a full length gown of neon daisies. When she came home from Michigan in 2015, Dodson decided to install her on her front lawn of her new home on Summer St. She became much adored by her neighbors and served as a landmark until she left to spend the summer in New Bedford. 

Open Call to Artists to submit creations of all mediums in homage to this glorious sculpture by Donna Dodson of Maynard.

Drop off work on Friday, October 14, 4-6 pm or Saturday, October 15, 10-11 am. Please bring work ready to display on pedestals and tables. Wall space is not available.

Work for this event will be for sale with a portion of the proceeds going to help women with breast cancer at the Virginia Thurston Healing Garden.

6 Bridges Gallery was established in 2014 by a group of artists to create a retail and display gallery in the heart of Maynard, Massachusetts. The ever-changing work in our gallery includes a diverse range of media and artistic styles. All of our artisans are local; many—including our founding members—are residents of the ArtSpace Maynard studios.  

77 Main Street
Maynard, MA 01754

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Seagull Cinderella Controversy

Seagull Cinderella, 2016, styrofoam, cement, acrylic, 8ftx4ftx4ft by Donna Dodson

Seagull Cinderella is as common as the birds we see at the beach. Yet she is uncommon, like Marilla in Anne of Green Gables, corseted and bound by the sweet virtues of her character. Her full length gown is alive with neon daisies and flower power! This piece is Celebrating a Common sea bird as the American mythic princess, Cinderella. 

Jessica Bregoli selected my sculpture, Seagull Cinderella, for the Seaport Art Walk in New Bedford. I installed the sculpture on a highly visible site pre-selected by the Seaport Art Walk Committee on June 9th. After being on view for about a month or so, a petition was filed by a local resident to "Remove the Seagull Statue in Downtown New Bedford." Therein started the public controversy:

July 14th, 2016, The Petition, "Remove The Seagull with Boobs Statue in Downtown New Bedford"

This spawned several counter petitions:

"Stop the petition demanding removal of the seagull statue with boobs" petition:

"SAVE New Bedford's 'Boob Duck'- ENHANCE its bust!" petition

"Petition To Have The Breasts Chiseled Off of the Venus Demilo because they make Raymond C. Uncomfortable" petition, which states: "Because art should clearly be censored so you dont have to look at suggestive breasts."

"Make The A** Bigger on the Seagull Statue In Downtown New Bedford," petition

And then came the media frenzy:

July 20th, 2016, Fun 107 FM, "Remove Seagull with Boobs Statue in Downtown New Bedford or not? By Christine Fox

July 20th, PYX 106 FM, "Mass. City Wants Statue Of Seagull With Boobs Removed."

July 21st, 2016, The Boston Globe, "Should this busty seagull statue remain in New Bedford?" by Sophie Haigney

July 21st, 2016, South Coast Today, "Seagull Cinderella: Love or hate her. She has got people talking in New Bedford," by Curt Brown

July 22nd, 2016, Boston Magazine, "New Bedford Residents Are Feuding Over a ‘Seagull with Boobs’," by Madeline Bilis

July 23rd, South Coast Today, "A 'Seagull' flying: Inspired artists start sticker movement in response to criticism," by Mike Lawrence.

July 24th, 2016, WJAR Channel 10 News, "Petition started to remove controversial sculpture," by Matt Reed

July 24th, 2106, WBZ-TV News, "Hundreds Sign Petition Demanding Removal Of Seagull Scuplture," by Kathryn Hauser.

July 25th, 2016, The Daily Beast, "This Is The ‘Seagull Cinderella’ Sculpture Outraging Massachusetts," by Tim Teeman

July 25th, 2016, Artnet, "Why Are People Going Crazy over this Public Art Sculpture?" by Brian Boucher

July 26th, 2016, New York Magazine, "What Are People Mad About Now? Oh, It’s a Seagull Sculpture With Big Boobs," by Gabriella Paiella

July 26th, 2016, Latest.com, "SEAGULL WITH BIG BREASTS FREAKS OUT LOCAL COMMUNITY," by Peter Van Buren

July 26th, 2016, Fine Art Biblio, "'Seagull Cinderella' Donna Dodson." 

July 29th, 2016, WHDH7 News Boston, "Petition calls for removal of ‘Seagull Cinderella’ in New Bedford," by Kris Anderson. Also posted on Youtube.

July 29th, Reddit.com, "New Bedford Residents are feduing over a Seagull with Boobs"

August 1st, 2016, Mashable, "Seagull with boobs statue is tearing a Massachusetts town apart," by Andrea Romano

August 1st, 2016, The Daily Dot, "Angry man wants town's statue of seagull with boobs removed," by David Britton

August 1st, 2016, IHeartRADIO, "Seagull Boobs?," by Klinger

August 1st, 2016, Brobible, "Boston-Hating Guy Wants Statue Of Seagull With Boobs Removed Because It Makes His Town Look Like A Joke," by Neal Lynch


August 1st, 2016, Someecards.com, "Seagull statue with big boobs causes even more massive controversy in Massachusetts town," by May Wilkerson

August 1st, 2016, Pop Culture Madness World News, "Seagull Cinderella’s Massive ‘Assets’ Are Stirring Up Controversy In Massachusetts," by Kristyn Clarke

August 1st, 2016, Metachat.com, "Hey Wanna See a statue of a Seagull With Boobs?"

August 1st, 2016, News from Niue, "Seagull with boobs statue is tearing a Massachusetts town apart."

August 1st, 2016, Reddit,"New Bedford Residents Are Feuding Over a ‘Seagull with Boobs'"

August 1st, 2016, Sputnik News ( Turkey), "Memeli Marti Heykeli Bir Kenti Ikiye Boldu."

August 1st, 2016, United States Today, "Seagull with boobs statue is tearing a Massachusetts town apart."

August 2nd, 2016, WEEI FM, "People in New Bedford freaking out about statue of seagull with boobs," by Jerry Thornton


August 2nd, 2016, International Skeptics Forum, "Boob Seagull statue has outraged folks in Massachusetts."

August 2nd, 2016, Angle News, "Newly installed 'Boob Seagull' statue in Massachusetts city branded offensive by locals."

August 2nd, 2016, Mogaz News "Newly installed 'Boob Seagull' statue is ruffling feathers ..."

August 3rd, 2016, jummyjeenz.com, "Proud to be a Woman," by Deana Tavares

August 9th, 2016, South Coast Today, "Attention Benefits Seagull Princess Artist and Community," by Jamie Uretsky

On August 13th, Jessica Bregoli, Eric Johnson and Gallery X organized  A Seagull Cinderella Pop-up Show in support for my sculpture since alot of the media coverage was negative and did not give voice to the people who loved the sculpture. Artists created stickers with hand drawn images of Seagull Cinderella and sold them in all of the galleries in New Bedford. All of the proceeds will be donated to a charity in New Bedford that serves women with breast cancer. The pop up show featured t-shirts, necklaces, collages, comics, paintings and sculptures inspired by Seagull Cinderella.

August 14th, 2016, jummyjeenz.com, "Seagull Cindy Goes to the Beach," by Deana Tavares

On August 19th, Seagull Cinderella has a visit from a new friend, The Princess of Whales:

August 19th, 2016, Boston Globe, "New friend joins New Bedford ‘seagull’ sculpture," by Steve Annear

August 19th, 2016, South Coast Today, "'Seagull Cinderella' sculpture briefly gets whale friend at Route 18 intersection," by Mike Lawrence

August 19th, 2016, 1420 WBSM and Fun 107 FM, "‘Seagull Cinderella’ Gets New Friend, Albeit for a Few Hours," by Greg Desrosiers

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Summer News

I am pleased to announce that there is alot of news to share this summer! Below please find some highlights from my solo career as well as news from The Myth Makers' projects with Andy Moerlein:

Coming up in July, my solo show in New Bedford...

Donna Dodson: Avian Heroines
July 10-30, 2016
Reception Saturday July 16, 2016 5p-8p
New Bedford, Mass.
Image: Culture Vulture I, 38" tall, wood, paint by Donna Dodson
Also in New Bedford: Public Art
Seaport Art Walk: Cultural Aspects curated by Jessica Bregoli
On view June-October 2016

Seagull Cinderella by Donna Dodson, styrofoam, cement, acrylic, 8ftx4ftx4ft
Seagull Cinderella is as common as the birds we see at the beach. Yet she is uncommon, like Marilla in Anne of Green Gables, corseted and bound by the sweet virtues of her character. Her full length gown is alive with neon daisies and flower power! This piece is Celebrating a Common sea bird as the American mythic princess, Cinderella. 

Update: Eric Bosco covered this story for South Coast today on June 14, 2016, Seagull whimsy takes flight on Route 18 for 2nd annual Seaport Art Walk. Don Wilkinson covered this story on June 23, 2016 for South Coast Today, Embrace the whimsy of the Seaport Art Walk in New Bedford.

Back by popular demand in Boston:
Madam President
On view June 2016-May 2017

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
Courtesy of GTI Properties, Mario Nicosia, V. Lessard & Sons and The Boston Sculptors Gallery.

Update: Christian Bergeron covered this story in the Boston Guardian on June 24, 2016, Say Hello to SoWA's Madame President.
In the Netherlands:
Ooievaars in de Kunst ( Storks in Art)
Group Show - Curated by Piet de Bakker
July 3rd-August 28, 2016

In Anchorage Alaska:
Donna Dodson & Andy Moerlein: New work
Reception: Sunday July 24th, 2016, 1p-3p

Mama Duck, 18" tall, mulberry wood & paint
Fade so Fast by Andy Moerlein, ceramic, wood, paint

In April we created the Wildwood Phoenix in Harrisburg Pennsylvania:

In May we moved The Avian Avatars from Muskegon Michigan to Louisiana to join Sculpture for New Orleans:

In June, we built The Dance of the Sandhill Crane at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau Wisconsin:


Save the Date:
Donna Dodson: Zodiac
Andy Moerlein: Geology
Concurrent Solo Shows at the Boston Sculptors Gallery
September 7th-October 9th 2016

Coming Soon!

October-November 2016:
The Myth Makers will be Artists in Residence at the Academy Art Museum in Easton Maryland!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

February News

Curated by Cathryn Griffith, The St. Botolph Club
  199 Commonwealth Ave, Boston: 617-536-7570 
Exhibition Dates: February 24th-March 25th 2016
Opening Reception: Wednesday, February 24th 5:30p-7p

Installation of "Zodiac" by Donna Dodson at the St. Botolph Club in Boston

"The signs of the Zodiac are Karmic Patterns; the Planets are the Looms; the Will is the Weaver." 
-Edgar Cayce

In Donna Dodson’s premiere show at The St. Botolph’s Club, she brings together her signature vocabulary of animal headed mythological figures with her favorite material- wood. Dodson has created a new body of work called The Chinese Zodiac for this exhibition. This references the twelve animals that are associated with the ancient system of belief in China. Unlike the Western zodiac, where each sign is associated with the month a person was born, the Eastern zodiac is based on birth years from the beginning of time to the present day. A different animal is associated with each year and its attributes characterize that year. The order of the animals is fixed and repeats every 12 years. With the exception of Ai Wei Wei’s “Circle of Animals: Zodiac Heads,” a large scale bronze public art installation that toured the world, the Chinese zodiac has not been revisited by contemporary artists.


Historically artists such as Audubon, Bernini and Hokusai have brought realistic images of animals to life with stylizations that resist anthropomorphism. But in Dodson’s work, she sees the animal head and body language of her figures as representations of certain personality types that evoke larger than life characters. The animal symbols in the zodiac seek to explain personal fortune and global events based on animal characteristics and their larger conceptual influences on human nature. There are twelve animals in the Chinese Zodiac: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit/hare, dragon, snake, horse, goat/sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig/boar. The fact that Dodson’s animal heads are attached to human bodies, reveals her vision of inner resonance and outer force of will that the Chinese Zodiac implies.


Update: Holly Camero featured Andy Moerlein and I on Wicked local. We are the talk of the town. Denishe also featured us on her blog, The Maynard GrapevineArt New England interviewed Andy Moerlein and I about our recent trip to China on behalf of the Boston Sculptors Gallery (see below).

Boston Sculptors Gallery starts the New Year with a visit to China

Boston Sculptors Gallery members Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein along with Carole Feuerman of the Carole A. Feuerman Sculpture Foundation  and Michael Manjarris representing Sculpture for New Orleans,  were invited by Gertrud   Aeschlimann of Art-st-Urban to attend the Changchun World Sculpture Park Conference held in Changchun China from January 10th to January 12th 2016 and to participate in the first preliminary meeting of the International Sculpture Park Union. All three organizations became members of the Union.

During the conference, representatives of the new member organizations visited the Changchun World Sculpture Park – the largest sculpture park in the world with a work of art from every country. Dodson and Moerlein gave a presentation on the Boston Sculptors Gallery’s recent public art projects: highlighting the unique ways this cooperative gallery has initiated major public art projects in both public, urban and private historic settings. Likewise, Carole Feuerman presented information about the International Sculpture Center and the Carole Feuerman Foundation highlighting the latter's recent international group exhibition "Mixing Medias." Michael Manjarris discussed the objectives and outcomes of his large scale public art project, "Sculpture for New Orleans." Gary Garrido Schneider from Grounds for Sculpture highlighted the recent initiatives they are undertaking to address cultural tourism, and Charles Haude from the J Seward Johnson Foundation featured images of their recent monumental installations. Each new member organization presented the challenges they are facing and proposed new solutions that can be realized by working together in the ISPU.


Part of the conference was the adoption of the International Sculpture Park Union constitution, as well as the elected leadership of the Union. The first Sculpture Park Union president Chinese Wang Mingshan (Changchun World Sculpture Park curator) handed over the union leadership to Gertrud Aeschlimann, representing the Art-St-Urban Sculpture Park in Lucerne, Switzerland, while the Union's Secretary General was elected to the Chinese representative Wang Xuezhan.


The International Sculpture Park Union was founded in 2014, on September 4th in Changchun, China. The founding document was signed by 5 sculpture parks: Changchun WorldSculpture Park (People's Republic), Art-St-Urban (Switzerland), Beddington Art Galleries & Gardens (France), Chianti Sculpture Park (Italy), Pedvāle Open-Air Art Museum (Latvia).
Grounds for Sculpture, represented by Gary Garrido Schenider, Sculpture for New Orleans, represented by Michael Manjarris, The Carole Feuerman Foundation, represented by Carole Feuerman, The J Seward Johnson Atelier, represented by Charles Haude and The Juming Museum in Taiwan, represented by Dr. Shun-Ling Wu, were sworn in as the newest members of the ISPU alongside the Boston Sculptors Gallery represented by Dodson and Moerlein during this ISPU conference.


The International Sculpture Park Union's objectives are to:

* To promote and facilitate cooperation between the private and public organizations which share common objectives with the association so that they can effectively cooperate in the global, national and regional level to discuss common problems and search for solutions;
* To strengthen the friendly cooperation and mobility between sculpture parks around the world to promote their development;
* To promote the exchange of information;
* To encourage and promote the creation of different studies aimed at improving communication and cooperation between sculpture parks.

The main union activities are exhibitions exchange, exchange of information and the association's promotion of seminars and conferences to share experiences sculpture park management and marketing, as well as share practical and theoretical experience with countries wishing to build a sculpture park.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Winter News

Octopus Maiden/Octopussy, 27" tall, oak 2015


Donna Dodson
1/20 – 2/5/2016
Reception Snow Date: 1/31/2016, 1 – 3pm

Siren/Orca, 24" tall, maple, 2015
Siren/Orca (detail)

Mermaids are popular mythical creatures of the sea. These deep ocean phantoms have inspired stories and tales from the frightening to the fantastic in many seafaring cultures. Mermaids were often the subject of figureheads, the iconic carvings that adorned the prows of whaling ships and ocean vessels. This new body of work by Donna Dodson takes a contemporary look at thefabled sea princesses in the traditional medium of wood carving.

Naiad/Narwhal, 38" tall, mulberry 2015
Naiad/Narwhal (detail)
The Octopus, Orca and Narwhal provoke our imagination and make us wonder what divides the world we know from the deep mysteries of the sea. Dodson uses these iconic ocean creatures as the genesis of her whimsical human-animal female figures. She researches sea life and imagines how to anthropomorphize many different types of species in her new mermaid series. Each sculpture comes to life with a unique personality and body type.

Squid Girl, 32" tall, cherry, 2015
Stories of mermaids are often about two worlds colliding. Sailors are drowned and rescued by mermaids but have to sacrifice their life on land and vice versa. Dodson’s figures evoke contemporary dialogues rather than classical ones. Octopussy is the hypersexualized name of a veiled woman in a burqa. Naiad the Narwhal is a sea creature wearing scuba gear for splashing around in a swimming pool and looking awkward in her prepubescent skin. Siren is a warrior at heart, and wears a royal samurai robe, suitable only to an orca. She possesses a sinister mind, deep intelligence and top predator arrogance.

Madame Elephant Seal, 34" tall, maple 2016
Click here for the facebook event page. Update: Don Wilkinson posted a fabulous review of my first solo museum show, for South Coast Today. Brian Goslow, Managing editor of Artscope Magazine published an in depth interview with me about my work for this show and my recent trip to China. Big Red and Shiny also covered this show.

Save the Date: The Chinese Zodiac Series by Donna Dodson will be on view at the St. Botolph Club in Boston from February 24th-March 25th. My work is showing concurrently with the paintings of Raphael Jaimes-Branger. These two solo exhibitions are curated by Cathryn Griffith and Michael Allen. 

Opening reception Wed Feb 24th 5:30p-7p

Update: Holly Camero featured Andy Moerlein and I on Wicked local. We are the talk of the town. Denishe also featured us on her blog, The Maynard Grapevine. Art New England interviewed Andy Moerlein and I about our recent trip to China on behalf of the Boston Sculptors Gallery.