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Around the World, Community Engagement, Giving Back

Mount Ida Staff Member has International Art Adventures

Donna Dodson coordinates the electronic resources for Wadsworth Library on campus. But did you know that Donna is also a talented artist? This past summer, Donna was invited to participate in two exciting opportunities for an artist: the Ringkobing International Woodsculpture Symposium in Denmark and the Keelung Artist in Residency project at the National Museum of Marine Science and Technology in Taiwan. Donna’s husband, Andy Moerlein, was also invited to participate in both.

Keelung Residency Group ShotDonna’s and Andy’s adventure began in Denmark, where they spent 10 days creating their new works on oak logs. They were joined by sculptors from all over the world. Donna created a nine-foot-tall sculpture of the Danish Baby Bringer.

“Drawing upon the myth that storks bring babies in their beaks, and the local custom of placing a wooden stork with a pink or blue ribbon on it in front of the house of people who are expecting babies, my choice of subject matter seemed to resonate with the audience of Ringkobing at a time when many tourists from all over Europe gather in Denmark to be near the North Sea on their summer holidays,” Donna wrote in a piece for Artscope Magazine. “My piece also tied into the politics of environmental conservation that are currently in place to restore the habitats and breeding grounds of white storks in an effort to bring them back to Denmark.”

At the end of the symposium, all the sculptures were exhibited for two weeks before being shipped to private collectors. Proceeds from the sale support the symposium – meaning an entire new group of artists will be able to participate in the project next year, thanks to Donna, Andy, and their fellow symposium artists.

Following their time in Denmark, Donna and Andy traveled to Keelung, Taiwan, where they collaborated on a sculpture entirely made of bamboo. The sculpture, Donna explains, “is a mythical bird-headed female figure that is contemplating the uncertain future of our ocean life.”

Volunteers assisted Donna and Andy with building the sculpture during their month-long residency. Donna and Andy also worked with students from the Keelung National Senior High School, teaching the students about their process of making the sculpture, and involving the students in a number of creative projects around that process including writing myths, making puppets, and building a “bamboo environment” on the school’s campus.


You can learn all about Donna’s travels and her artwork through a variety of channels, including:

The Myth Makers (video on the Keelung Residency project): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rj3vOeEJnkk

The Myth Makers Blog (Donna’s and Andy’s blog): http://themythmakers.blogspot.com/2017/

Making Connections with Donna Dodson | Artscope Magazine, Sept/Oct 2017: https://artscopemagazine.com/2017/08/making-connections-with-donna-dodson/

NMMST International Marine Environment Artist-in -Residency Project Official Website

Introduction about the artwork from The Myth Makers:Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein / USA