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Tag: sculptures

Beagle B&B is a sight to see

beagle3

During our year traveling across America in search of all things dog, Ace and I missed this place — a B&B in Idaho that resembles a giant beagle.

The Dog Bark Park Inn is located in the city of Cottonwood, population less than 1,000.

beagle2It serves as home base for husband and wife artists Dennis J. Sullivan and Frances Conklin, who opened the B&B in 2003.

Sullivan, a chain saw artist who specializes in dog designs, built the dog shaped unit, named Sweet Willy, and his smaller sidekick, Toby.

You can’t sleep inside Toby, but Sweet Willy contains two bedrooms and a bathroom, and rents for about $100 a night. (Pets are welcome for an extra $15 fee.)

The two-acre property also includes a sculpture garden featuring other works of art, including a 12-foot fire hydrant with a portable toilet inside, the Huffington Post reports.

It reminds me a bit of Dog Mountain, the park-like Vermont complex featuring the art of its creator, artist Stephen Huneck.

At the Dog Bark Park Inn, guests check in at the owners’ studio and gift shop, located nearby.

dennisandfrancesDennis is a self-taught chainsaw artist who has been carving for over 30 years. Frances joined him twenty years ago and also carves, according to the studio’s website.

They say their “big break” came in 1995 when their carvings were featured on QVC. With the fame came more hard work.

“We did nothing but carve wooden dogs for 18 months (our children barely remember seeing us during those days!), made what seemed like a bundle of money, invested it all in developing and building Dog Bark Park.”

bernese_mountain_dog_jpgTogether, they carve more than 60 different breeds and poses of dogs, and will take custom orders on request, carving dogs based on photos provided by owners.

In 2003 they received the Take Pride in Idaho Cultural Tourism Award for a large carved art exhibit depicting the story of Seaman, the dog who accompanied Lewis and Clark on their exploratory journey to the Pacific two hundred years ago.

(Photos: Dog Bark Park Inn)

A tale of two cities, and two Nippers

albanynipperWhat do Baltimore and Albany have in common?

Giant Nippers.

The cities sport the only remaining giant statues of the RCA Victor mascot that were placed atop RCA warehouses in the northeast in the 1950’s.

Albany’s (left) is the largest — 25 feet tall and weighing almost four tons.

Its history was recounted this week by photographer Chuck Miller on his Times-Union blog.

New York Nipper, erected in 1954, sits atop what is now Arnoff Moving and Storage in North Albany’s early industrial warehouse district.

The bulding was once the RTA warehouse, an RCA Victor electronics distributor, then went through several different owners, serving as a  furniture store, flea market and art gallery. The object on Nipper’s ear is an aircraft beacon that keeps low-flying airplanes from hitting him.

In 1997, according to Miller’s report, there was talk in Albany of removing Nipper, who had deteriorated a bit over 40-plus years, from the top of the building. But Michael Arnoff, owner of Arnoff Moving and Storage, announced the company would spend $1 million in building renovation, including repairing Nipper’s steel skeleton and giving him a new paint job.

baltimorenipperThe Baltimore Nipper statue is 18 feet tall. It was originally installed on the RCA building in Baltimore around 1950. When RCA temporarily discontinued using the icon in 1975, the statue was sold to Virginia resident Jim Wells, reportedly for $1, who moved it to his property in Merrifeld, Virginia.

Twenty years later he decided to sell his land for development as a townhome community. (The street leading to the development is named Nipper Way, according to Wikipedia.)

Wells sold Nipper back to a group of Baltimore citizens, reportedly for $25,000. It is now located on the roof of the Maryland Historical Society at Park Ave. &  W. Centre St.  Unlike Albany’s, Baltimore’s Nipper sculpture still includes a gramophone.

The real Nipper was  a fox terrier-pit bull-maybe something else mix born in Bristol, England in 1884.

When the dog’s owner died, Nipper was passed on to two French painters, Marc and Francis Barraud. In 1895, Francis Barraud saw Nipper gazing intently at a nearby gramophone, and painted the scene, calling the work “His Master’s Voice.”

He later sold the painting to the president of a music company in London called the Gramophone Co., Ltd., where in 1900, Emile Berliner – the inventor of the disc gramophone – saw it and had it registered as an official trademark. Berliner’s company later evolved into the Victor Talking Machine Company, which would later become RCA Victor.

The dog and gramophone trademark appeared in the company’s advertising campaigns, on phonograph cabinets and lids, on records and, in numerous cities, atop buildings.  Most of the rooftop Nippers didn’t stand the test of time, falling out of fashion and victim to weather.

But in two scrappy cities — both known for being proud of their pasts and unashamed of their quirky sides — Nipper is still sitting pretty.

“Dog Days of Summer” turns into bummer

So many of the life-size dog statues set up as part of a community art fundraising project in Lafayette, Indiana, have been stolen and damaged that organizers of the “Dog Days of Summer” exhibit are moving most of the works inside.

“I’m disheartened by the lack of respect for creativity,” said Joanne Kuhn Titolo, who had two pieces in the outdoor exhibit. “Because of the increased thefts, our artwork isn’t safe. This is horrifying.”

A total of 41 dog statues were installed in Lafayette, West Lafayette and on Purdue University’s campus. Two, as we told you last month, were stolen before the exhibit even offically started.

Altogether, seven have been stolen or significantly damaged, with most of the problems coming at Purdue or in West Lafayette near the Wabash River, according to Channel 6 News in Indianapolis.

As of Friday, organizers had moved 18 of the dogs, including “St. Joan of Bark,” to the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette until suitable indoor homes can be found for the work. Some dogs in Lafayette will remain in their original spots.

The “Dog Days” event celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Purdue Veterinary Medicine Department and the 100th anniversary of the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette.

(Photo: courtesy of Dog Days of Summer)

Bolted down dog art disappears in Indiana

Two of the 41 decorated dog sculptures that have been placed in and around Purdue University as part of a community art project were stolen before the exhibit officially started, and a third was almost stolen early Sunday.

A student was arrested, but Purdue University police don’t believe he was responsible for the earlier two thefts, the Journal and Courier reported. Police said Adam Sachs, 20, a sophomore engineering major, was carrying a toolbox when an officer saw him at 3:30 a.m. attempting to steal one of the sculptures.

The decorated, life-sized dog statues, bolted to 600-pound concrete bases, have been placed throughout  Lafayette, West Lafayette and on the Purdue campus as part of a community art project and fundraiser sponsored by the Purdue School of Veterinary Medicine and the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette.

The “Dog Days of Summer” exhibit officially opened Saturday. Artists from Indiana and other areas decorated the fiberglass dog forms, and the works will be auctioned when the exhibit ends in October.

The two stolen statues were entitled, “Give a Dog a Bone,” located outside the Veterinary school’s Lynn Hall and “Alfie the Alpha Dog,” which was in front of the West Lafayette Public Library. Whoever took the initial two statues loosened all but one bolt, breaking a leg off on “Give a Dog a Bone.”

Kevie Doerr, director of alumni relations and public affairs with the School of Veterinary Medicine and a member of the Dog Days of Summer committee, said they will offer a reward of up to $250 for safe return of the artwork.

(Photo: One of the dog sculptures is bolted down, prior to exhibit opening; courtesy Dog Days of Summer Committee)

Nuts (and bolts) about dogs

As the owner of a dog who has an entire hardware store chain named after him (well, OK, maybe the hardware store chain came first), I can appreciate a dog made out of nuts, bolts, screws and other assorted doodads.

The pooch above, and below, is the work of Portland, Oregon artist Brian Mock, who specializes in pieces made out of found and recycled objects.

His series of D.O.G (Done out of Garage) sculptures is no exception.

“I’m intrigued by the challenge of creating something unique, fun, and inherently curious,” Mock says on his website. “I merge imagination with technical skill by incorporating unusual found objects and everyday items into one-of-a-kind pieces.

His works include abstract wall art and freestanding sculptures, such as auto art and welded works produced from found objects and recycled metals.

I think they’re pretty cool, and so does my dog, Home Depot. Just kidding. His name is Ace.

(Photos from brianmock.com)