By Terri Powys
The Mason Times
Internationally acclaimed sculptor Doug DeLind is building Mason a new sculpture to be unveiled in the spring of 2016. The exhibit will be by a newly installed bridge at the Maple Grove Cemetery next to the Mason Community Garden.
The sculpture will consist of two figures on each side of the new bridge holding a bar with two birds, a man and a fish perched on top. As a Mason resident for 35 years, DeLind is excited to have a piece of his work on display in his hometown.
“My work is recognizable as mine … contemporary, figurative, and unique. Therefore I am quite thrilled that Mason–my hometown–has endorsed my work. It will be installed over a new and beautiful bridge which leads you into one of my favorite places on Earth, the Hayhoe Trail,” says DeLind.
The process behind making the sculpture includes hard work and special handling of dangerous molten bronze. Originally DeLind made a wooden sculpture that served as a cast of the final piece. Then the wooden cast was sent to Bernier Cast Metals in Saginaw where a professional caster poured molten bronze into the wooden piece. After the bronze has set and cooled, the outer wooden layer is cut and ground off until the metal is fully revealed. Finally the sculpture is polished and ready to be put on display.
Aside from being an artist and sculptor, DeLind is a professor in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities at Michigan State University. Teaching ceramics has become his passion and that is clearly reflected in his students’ enthusiasm.
RCAH student Anna Backman said, “it was very inspiring to watch Doug work with clay. Within seconds, a lump of raw clay could become distinguishable as an octopus or a face … When Doug looks at clay, I suspect he sees more than the rest of us. He’s able to create pieces that many people are never able to imagine. He has a beautiful gift that is reflected in his artwork.”
The group behind raising the funds for different exhibitions in Mason is called AIM or the Arts Initiative Mason. It has held several fundraising events this year in hopes to raise the money for the new sculpture.
AIM member Stewart Powell, “In February of 2014 we set our first major goal. Doug DeLind is a local resident. Doug is probably best known for his Raku and his bronze pieces which are spread far and wide everywhere except Mason. Doug had a particular concept piece in bronze, an archway, that we had become familiar with. Doug had already expressed his willingness to assist our group. His unnamed archway seemed a perfect fit.”
Continue to check Mason’s upcoming events for more fundraising opportunities to support Doug DeLind and the Artists Initiative Mason. AIM treasurer Shirley Renwick, “our purpose is to promote the arts in Mason. Donations can be sent to: Shirley Renwick, 427 W. Maple St. Mason, MI 48854 and checks can be made out to Arts Initiative Mason.”