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Big Dog Art

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Anyone driving thru 495 from the North going South would be familiar with the huge dog standing by this big patch of land off of exit 48 going towards Ward Hill in Haverhill. I remember getting excited whenever I see this dog not because I am a dog lover myself but because I love the art work and I am also curious as to why somebody would put this up along the highway. I even began to think that this must be a sort of a watchdog for a farm situated nearby since we would see signs every harvest time for fruit in season picking. (In the olden days, they have straw-made scarecrows to do the work...) As the years went by, I always tell myself that one of this days, I would take a photo of that dog on the highway. So I would always look forward to seeing this dog of steel proudly standing by the road.

However, 2 weeks ago, we saw a sign on the dog saying that it is on sale. I felt a little bit sad thinking that this whimsical art doting the highway will be sorely missed. I was sure that I was not the only one who share this sentiment...

As luck would have it though, while I was researching more articles for the Shoe-labration event in Haverhill, I happen to see that included in its calendar of activities is the "Big Dog Art" on display at the Bradford Common in Bradford, Massachusetts from the 6th thru the 11th of August. This also provided a link to the artist's online website and from there I learned that his family owns the farm where he set up the big dog (which I later read was actually 16 feet). I eagerly told my husband that we should go see the dogs on display on Saturday which he readily agreed to.

So yesterday, hubby and I had planned to take more pictures of shoes around Haverhill and more... and we weren't disappointed.

We went to Bradford Common first to see the dog art in the park. There on the park were 20 dogs which were about 7 to 8 feet tall and 1 smaller one which was maybe 4 feet. My husband and I freely took pictures and we notice that the park was getting its share of park goers with little kids all enjoying a nice day outside.

We luckily met the artist himself, Dale Rogers, who was pretty amiable and friendly. Talking to him gives one a perspective of the artist's passion for his art and his generosity since he likes to exhibit his art for free to the public as long as he has a venue. According to him, he even spends his own money to have his art moved from city to city or state to state. I guess that he takes great pleasure in seeing people's reaction to his works and most of all the appreciation of people who otherwise would not go to an art exhibit... And besides his type of art would be better displayed on a larger space or outside venue to truly appreciate the scope and magnitude of it. As a result, public display of his works gives him the opportunity to meet people and talk more openly with his art works without pressure on his part to sell nor any pressure on the viewers to buy which I think is what usually happens when you go to an art gallery.

We also learned that the reason why he is selling the "dog on 495" was because he wanted to replace it with a larger one and he wants to use the money to bankroll the project. This is one undertaking that I am eagerly looking forward to in the future.

Mr. Rogers does not only make dogs but he also have a gallery of his works which you can view on his online website. A truly talented young man, my husband and I hope that we could afford one of his works for our front yard pretty soon....

In the meantime, enjoy his works that are on public display in Haverhill. After the 11th, the dog exhibit will be traveling to NH and Maine and then it will be back in Massachusetts to be exhibited in Lowell, Beverly and Newburyport. One of the artist's wish is to be able to have his dogs put on public display in a more highly visible venue... maybe the public gardens in Boston since aside from the local residents, Boston is teeming with tourists most of the time year round. Let's hope that this won't be too far along in the future...

You can visit the artist's website for schedule and to learn more about his art.

2 comments:

This is really amazing artwork. As a whimsical artist, I am sometimes bemused by the lack of interest shown in this type of art.

Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog. I do love art in any form and find anyone who has the ability to create something out of nothing truly blessed. Art may be in the eyes of the beholder but as long as there is someone who has the talent to share, there will always be somebody else who will appreciate it.

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