Good News from A Great City Haverhill, MA
The Heartbeat of Haverhill got a great surprise at the League of NH Craftsmen’s Fair in Sunapee, NH https://www.nhcrafts.org/craftsmens-fair-overview.php this week. Haverhill’s biggest artist, (think giant steel dog at the Ward Hill exit on Rte 495) Dale Rogers, was featured prominently in the LNHC Fair’s sculpture park and at his adjacent booth (C6) with some of his most iconic sculptures and some of his new work. One of our own held a very prestigious position in this the oldest juried craft fair in America and you can visit through August 11 at 5pm.
We’ve been following Dale Rogers since the first big dog, “American Dog”, made its appearance on the Rte 495/Ward Hill exit ramp. (It was a much smaller version of the behemoth that is now at that site because vandals damaged the first dog in a theft attempt.) Dale also created a big dog installation on Bradford Common before he herded his pack of dogs and took them on the road around the country as part of his “Big Dog Show”. These public installations have been traveling since 2009 and through the Big Dog Show, Dale has raised over $100,000 for various humane societies and shelters. Perhaps you remember when he installed an almost 8’ high steel guitar on Bradford Common to celebrate the free summer music series (THOH previous post on free music in Haverhill http://wp.me/p3wgPC-6k) for a season.
Dale’s sculptures are in private collections in 44 states,(Check out his website http://www.dalerogersstudio.com/index.html ) but he also believes art should be accessible to the public and he has a goal of “A Public Sculpture in Every State” by 2015. According to his brochure that we picked up at the League of NH Craftsmen’s Fair, by the middle of 2012 he had sculptures in 60 communities and 19 states. He’s obviously been very supportive of Haverhill including working with Team Haverhill on a 12 foot commissioned piece he unveiled in 2010 that was inspired by local poet John Greenleaf Whittier’s poem: “The River’s Path”. Similarly it is called “River Path”. We love both his realistic and abstract work.
In Bradford, we get a preview of the new and traveling works that decorate his yard before being moved to permanent locations. We see new elements being added: stainless as well as CorTen steel, color, texture, new shapes that include movement. His work “Easter Island, caught our eye early on a snowy morning this past year and I stopped for a brief photograph before the light changed.
When we visited the collection at the League of NH Craftsmen’s Fair, we were so impressed by the variety and scale of his work, however, two projects we saw in his catalogues left us envious, wanting to see something similar in Haverhill. One, his public work in ArtPrize Grand Rapids, Michigan titled “Metal Monkey Mania” that made a bridge the center of community attention even though cars no longer used the bridge (might be an idea for the Groveland Bridge.) See monkey photos here http://www.metalmonkeymania.com/artprize.html.
And his “Flight” installment that consists of 9 stainless steel birds each weighing over 200 lbs and having a wingspan of 12’. The birds are supported in frames that vary from 12-16 feet high http://www.flightexhibit.com/Exhibit.html. “Flight” was chosen one of five finalists out of 1500 entrants in the annual competition plus Dale Rogers won a special award as the“Best Use of Urban Space” for ArtPrize 2012 in Grand Rapids Michigan. The Heartbeat of Haverhill thinks this would be wonderful along our revitalized riverfront, and you can check it out at the Essex County Greenbelt first September 12-29. He’s recognized for his talents at home, too, he was after all a Haverhill Artist of the Month.
Dale Rogers makes art for people and places and we’re just very fortunate one of his most important places is Haverhill.
The League of NH Craftsmen’s Fair runs through Sunday, August 11 at 5 p.m. It’s worth the drive to Sunapee New Hampshire, if just to see Dale Rogers’ larger than life collection.
©2013 by Alison Colby-Campbell
League of NH Craftsmen’s Fair https://www.nhcrafts.org/craftsmens-fair-overview.php
Dale Rogers Studio http://www.dalerogersstudio.com/index.html
Dale Rogers Metal Monkey Mania http://www.metalmonkeymania.com/artprize.html
Dale Rogers Flight http://www.flightexhibit.com/Exhibit.html