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.

Monday, November 30, 2015

December News

The Carole A. Feuerman Sculpture Foundation
Mixing Medias: 2015
Opening Reception: December 12th at 3:00 P.M to 6:00 P.M. 
Exhibition Dates: December 12, 2015 – January 31, 2016
Exhibition open weekdays between 1:00 to 6:00 pm
888 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, Room 456, Jersey City, NJ
 The Feuerman Sculpture Foundation invites you to Mixing Medias, an exhibition of innovative and creative under represented artists working in a diverse range of media. Artists were selected by a jury consisting of Richard Friswell, Edward Rubin, and Steve Rockwell. The jury will announce winners for the Best in Show and two Runner-ups during the exhibition opening on December 12th. Selected Artists: China Blue, Jiwoong Cheh, Rachel David, Matthew DeSanctis, Donna Dodson, Shelly Fireman, Resi Giardello, Steven Phillip Harris, Charles Hinman, Mary Hrbacek, Richard Humann, Jannis Markopoulos, Jae Yong Kim, Glenn Marlowe, Michael Manjarris, Andy Moerlein, Seungmo Park, Anna Paola Pizzocaro, Maria Pavlovska, Britney Penoulh, Natasha Rodriguez, Dave Rogers, Ekaterina Smirnova, Prospero Vega, Idan Zareski Honorary Artists: Shelly Fireman, Charles Hinman Special Thanks to the sponsors: ESKFF Foundation, and MANA Contemporary. For questions please contact Kara Stitcher at assistant@carolefeuerman.com.

Jannis Markopoulos, Venus 1, 2015, Resin Acrylic Painted

Carole Feuerman is prominently featured at Mana Contemporary where she occupies a studio space on the fourth floor. The Carole A. Feuerman Sculpture Foundation was formed in 2011 in order to generate excitement, interest, and passion for the arts and to inspire and reward deserving artists with exhibition opportunities, visibility, and financial grants. Furthermore, the foundation promotes the exchange of creative expression and strives to support mid-career artists whom contribute a new energy to the artistic community. To learn more about Carole Feuerman and her foundation please visit http://www.carolefeuermanfoundation.org.

Carole Feuerman, Catalina, 1981, Resin and Oil
Carole A. Feuerman is recognized as a pioneering figure in the world of hyper-realistic art. Coined “the reigning doyenne of super-realism” by art historian John T. Spike, she has solidified her place in the rhetoric of art history.  She explores the three-dimensional world of figurative sculpture with her unique vocabulary and continues to push the boundaries of sculpture. Her interest in realism is indicative of her desire to sculpt the human body, forging historical links with the past while revealing her compelling vision for the future. She has had six major museum retrospectives to date, and will have her seventh at the Deland Museum of Florida in 2016. Her work has been showcased in multiple Biennales, winning first prize at three of them, the State Hermitage, the Palazzo Strozzi, the Kunstmuseum Ahlen, the Archeological Museum di Fiesole, and the Circulo de Bellas Artes. Her art work is in numerous collections including that of his majesty the Emperor of Japan, William & Hillary Clinton, Norman Brahman, the Caldic Collection, Ariella Wertheimer, and Malcolm Forbes, to name a few.

I am proud to announce that I will be exhibiting two of my sculptures in this show: Hyena Woman and Mama Warthog alongside many talented and upcoming artists including Andy Moerlein:

"Twice as Good" at the Boston Sculptors Gallery

The Boston Sculptors Gallery’s annual holiday exhibition is twice as good this year, as each member has invited a guest sculptor to showcase work in the show.Each sculptor – member or guest – has created two new pieces, resulting in nearly 150 works, ranging in price from $200-$800. All works will be cash and carry.“We are beyond thrilled to be hosting this show,” said Boston Sculptors Gallery Director Jean Mineo. “It gives our members’ colleagues an opportunity to show their work in one of the city’s premier gallery spaces, doubles the exhibition’s offerings, and generates a spirit of collaboration and community.” The gallery will host an artists’ reception/brunch on New Year’s Day, featuring the live, jazzy sounds of Boston’s High Street Players.

Exhibition Dates: Dec 16, 2015 – Jan 17, 2016
Opening Reception: Friday, Dec 18, 2015, 6-8:30 PM
New Year’s Day Artists’ Reception (brunch & live music): Friday, Jan 1, 2016, 2-5 PM 
SOWA First Friday Reception: Jan 8, 5-8 PM
Gallery Hours: Wed – Sun, 12-6 PM

Pregnant Kangaroo, cast glass,, 6" tall Ed 1/10

I will be exhibiting my small works in this show and I have invited Marty Ulman to join me in the fun!

Martin Ulman, XEBEC, 2004, Mixed Medium.



Sculpture by Donna Dodson
January 8- February 5, 2016
Reception: January 24, 2016, 1pm – 2pm

Donna Dodson. Octopussy. 2015
Update: Don Wilkinson posted a fabulous review of my first solo museum show, for South Coast Today.