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WSCC sculpture plaza nearing construction phase

SCOTTVILLE — A four-year dream of creating a sculpture plaza on the campus of West Shore Community College is about to become a reality.

The nine-foot high re-creation of the Manierre Dawson sculpture “Daedayl” is expected to be unveiled later this spring or early this fall at West Shore Community College.

Thom Hawley, executive director of college relations headed up this project, and earlier this week he detailed for the college board of trustees where they are at in the process.

Since the college has several pieces of artist/sculptor Manierre Dawson in the art gallery on campus named in his honor, it was only fitting when WSCC officials agreed that the first piece of artwork in the plaza should be one of Dawson’s.

The sculpture selected for the plaza was Dawson’s work titled  “Daedayl” and the project is being totally underwritten by donor contributions.

WSCC president Scott Ward said the project is going to be a great addition to the college.

“I think the sculpture plaza is a great addition and Thom and I have been discussing this project since 2015, so it is great to see it finally coming to the last lines,” said Ward. “We wanted to find a fitting sculpture for the campus and Thom’s idea of the Dawson sculpture was a great idea. People from across the United States have been inquiring about it, so we should expect lots of people for the unveiling of it.”

Hawley said it has been a long journey, but one that has produced great results.

“As you know last summer we began this journey to reproduce an original sculpture by Manierre Dawson as the first sculpture on our campus,” said Hawley. “The original sculpture has been scaled up by 240 percent and will be the first large sculpture by Dawson of its kind.”

Hawley said the original sculpture vaguely resembles a standing figure. It consists of one continual line that bends and twists throughout length of the composition.

“Last fall the piece was scanned and digitized to insure that we would have the best reproduction possible,” said Hawley. “The small little dots on the sculpture were marker points on the sculpture so it could be digitized front back and center. When I presented the first report to the board back in January we were in the foam form stage of the project. Then we went to clay to produce the clay form.”

Hawley said he wanted to retain Dawson’s vision in the original sculpture. That is why it took so many steps to create the perfect replica.

“I am a bit of a purist when it comes to this and as a result a ghost artist was required to maintain the visual integrity of the piece, both when viewed from a distance and close up,” said Hawley. “This was the most costs effective way to scale up and produce the sculpture. The artist contracted to do that was Tyson Snow.”

Once the clay mold was completed it was separated in various pieces and then a silicon mold was created and the next step was to pour hot wax into the molds followed up by bronze.

“The bronze then fills the form completely and once it hardens the sculpture was reassembled by welding the individual pieces together and the surface was smoothed by a processing called chasing,” said Hawley. “Chasing takes away all of the welding marks so when it is finished the whole surface is nice and smooth.”

Hawley said the finished project stands about 9 feet in height, and Snow was assisted by world class patina artist Nathan Bennett.

“Both of these men have thoroughly enjoyed this project,” said Hawley. “Tyson said it was one of the best projects he has ever worked on in his professional life. I thought it was important we recognized both of these men on the reproduction, so there will be no question about who did this or reproduced it.”

The sculpture will be added to the Mason County Sculpture Trail and a plaque describing the artist’s relevance to the area by WSCC professor emeritus Sharon Bluhm will be placed by the sculpture.

“We haven’t broken ground yet on the plaza, but it will formed with bricks that people purchase to remember people by,” said Hawley. “(WSCC) president (Scott) Ward and his wife are purchasing bricks remembering all trustees past and present. Each brick purchased will support the college endowment fund. It is a great way to show pride and ownership in West Shore and have your name proudly displayed for many generations while supporting students for many years to come.”

Hawley said they hope to have an unveiling of the sculpture late this summer or early this fall.

originally Posted by Ken Grabowski



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