Arts hopping in Dedham

January 27, 2012 by  

This spring, 20 rabbits, each about four-foot high, will populate various locations in Dedham.

Unlike the cute, fuzzy, carrot-munching type of rabbits, these rabbits will be made of fiberglass and colorfully hand-painted by local artists as part of the Dedham Public Art Project. This type of public, outdoor art installation involving over-size fiberglass animals is modeled after at least 600 other public art displays across North America. Cows, horses, birds and more have been made of fiberglass, then creatively painted by artists and placed at strategic, high-traffic outdoor spaces, then auctioned off to benefit charity and community groups.

Several artists, some sponsored by Dedham print companies and other community minded businesses and organizations, will be given a fiberglass rabbit to custom paint and will then be judged by a jury. The rabbits will be out in public for several months starting Spring 2012. They will then be sold by auction as a fundraiser for the future Mother Brook Arts & Community Center, which is proposed to re-locate in the re-purposed Avery Elementary School.

“Dedham is increasingly becoming known as a hotspot for arts & culture – our hope is that this project will turn heads and signal loud and clear that Dedham is a destination point for creativity and community,” said Paul McMurtry, the art project’s co-founder.

These types of street-art sculptures have re-vitalized downtown areas across America, sparking conversation among strangers and attracting tourists. Local artists are gaining notoriety for their creativity and local non-profits are enjoying found money.