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Cincinnati artist Susan Byrnes will create a large scale sculptural work, Great Miami School, comprised of 60 multicolor cast resin fish referencing the Huck Finn sculpture and the importance of the river to Miamisburg. Three types of fish common to the Great Miami River will be cast in a representational yet elegantly abstracted manner. Mounted at a slight distance from the wall the translucent fish will respond to light and cast subtly colored shadows.

Dayton artist Darren Haper will create a large acrylic and enamel painting on canvas in his characteristic style mixing whimsical imagery and bright, bold colors.  Haper refers to the story of Huck Finn in his abstracted depiction of Huck and Tom’s rafting adventure on the river. Haper states that the “bright colors and busy movement represent the energy and creativity of youth, while capturing an adventurous spirit”.

Dayton artist Mychaelyn Michalec creates a work that is historic in content and quite contemporary in style.  In a type of painted timeline Michalec will illustrate the influence of various energy sources on the City of Miamisburg and related to the Rockwell Kent work. The chosen images will be layered on an abstract background and painted in her loose, expressive style. Using blues, blacks and whites she also refers to the importance of water in the history of the creation of Miamisburg.

Dayton artist Amy Kollar Anderson combines acrylic paint and the sparkle of mica in a series of three paintings on panel called Miamisburg Mandala. Mica was important to the pre-Columbian Adena culture (creators of the Miamisburg Mound) who used it to carve sculptures. Her palette will reflect the Rockwell Kent work with its blues and golds.


The Inspiration

ReImagining Works invites regional artists to submit proposals to create original artwork inspired by existing works in the Dayton Art Institute's permanent collection. Each new or newly-remodeled Dayton Metro Library location will house one or more commissioned pieces created specifically for that facility.

1949 4Huck Finn, c. 1930, Robert Koepnick, American, 1907-1995. Bronze. Dimensions: 28 3/4 x 22 1/2 x 22 inches. Gift of Mrs. Herbert Hook in memory of her brother Mr. William C. Sherman, 1949.4

Robert Koepnick created many sculptures to adorn Dayton's most prominent businesses, government buildings, and homes. A lifelong resident of the greater Dayton area, Koepnick left a lasting mark on this city. Although Huck Finn now resides at The Dayton Art Institute, this bronze originally earned its keep in a private home, spouting water from atop a marble pedestal!

Rationale for inclusion: This sculpture is based on one of the most loved – and most banned – books in American history reminding us of the central role libraries play in making books accessible to all. It also reminds us of the love Miamisburg has for its riverfront and the activities it provides for the community.

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Rockwell-KentEndless Energy for Limitless Living, 1945-1946, Rockwell Kent, American, 1882-1971, Oil on canvas. Dimensions: 44 x 48 inches. Gift of Dane and Kerry Dicke, 1994.60

Brandishing a large lump of coal, a male figure emerges from a burst of clouds. The coal produces an explosive ray of light that beams down on a generator causing the man to shield his eyes. Rockwell Kent painted this work for the Bituminous Coal Institute as part of an ad campaign intended to boost the reputation of the coal industry and promote the centrality of this energy source for the modern, postwar society. Kent's composition depicts the vital role of man in the transformation of coal into energy.

Rationale for inclusion: Energy is an important part of Miamisburg's history – from the long operation of its own coal power plant to the Mound atomic energy plant. Today the historic city remains vibrant because of the energy behind downtown revitalization and other economic development initiatives. The Library contributes to that energy and vibrancy as a powerhouse of resources to inform, inspire and enrich the community.

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