Karyn Alzayer Lands Commission for Painting of Five Foot Rabbit Sculpture Public Art Project
The Dedham Public Art Project, a collaboration between the Reynolds Center for Teaching, Learning & Creativity and the Dedham Square Artist Guild, has chosen Everett-based artist Karyn Alzayer to paint a five foot rabbit sculpture, which is scheduled to be installed publicly in Dedham by September. Submissions from artists were solicited in early June, and a panel of judges recently reviewed and selected the winning design.
Overseen by the Reynolds Center's Paul Reynolds and Dedham Square Artist Guild's Kerry Hawkins, the project was launched to help celebrate the 5th anniversary of the Mother Brook Arts & Community Center, and raise funds for MBACC by auctioning off the rabbit at the Center's fall fundraiser later this year. Dedham Savings generously supported the project, which helped defray costs of the sculpture form, shipping from Chicago, and the artist's stipend.
The judging panel featured artists Sue Hoy, Lisa W. B. Walker, Cat Ciccolo Tucker, and Dedham Civic Pride's Janet Holmes. The judges were won over by Alzayer's "experience with public art, her prolific body of work, demonstrated craftsmanship, and portfolio of award-winning designs."
Alzayer's winning design will feature a solid background from the cobalt blue family, a nod to the traditional Dedham Pottery, with bright orange henna-style mandalas stretching out across the rabbit's body. Fine detail in a deep shade of purple will be applied with a traditional henna cone to overlay the other layers.
Alzayer's contribution to the Dedham Public Art Project is not her first foray into public art. In 2016, Alzayer was one of 60 local artists chosen for the 2016 Street Pianos of Boston program, which transformed decommissioned pianos with artist-painted designs, emblazoned them with the words "Play me, I'm yours," and placed them all over the city for anyone to play.
In 2012, fifteen crouching rabbit sculptures were painted & placed across Dedham in high visibility locations, including parks, public spaces, and outdoor retail areas as part of the inaugural Dedham Public Art Project. Each sculpture was painted by a juried selection of local artists and sponsored by local businesses, individuals and organizations. The rabbit sculpture form is produced by Cowpainters, a woman owned & operated studio, which has been creating fiberglass forms since 1999 for over 500 public arts projects across the country.
Once Alzayer has finished painting the rabbit, which she has named Miss Penelope, the henna-adorned sculpture will be installed in a high-visibility spot in Dedham - most likely in early September. The rabbit is scheduled to be auctioned off to the highest bidder at Mother Brook Arts & Community Center's fall gala, which will help support MBACC's growing arts programming open to the general public in Dedham and beyond. Miss Penelope even has her own Instagram account, so fans can keep up to date with progress on painting and installation.