Tuesday, January 29, 2013

There's a New Dog in Town

 ... Perhaps you’ve noticed.

The new dog is Brooklyn, a nine-foot tall sculpture by Mitch Levin, a Chicago artist and the owner of High Voltage Studios. Brooklyn is the second public art piece displayed outside or near City Hall. The previous piece was there for a year, and Brooklyn will be a downtown Safety Harbor art fixture for a year as well.

Artist Mitch Levin

Mitch’s current works consist of recycled steel drums. The Dalmatian steel sculpture began with a steel frame. Then Mitch cut steel drums apart. “After the drums are cut, I add facets of metal and then  there are thousands of welds. Brooklyn took shape once I had the basic frame. He’s made from different parts and pieces which represent the brokenness after 911. Brooklyn represents love, hope and the courage of mankind after tragedy, and how we put it all together again,” he said. 

Years ago, his step-father served in the fire department in Brooklyn, NY. “I have strong ties to New York,” Mitch said. “Of all the emergency crews who died in the September 911 attacks, 115 were from the Brooklyn fire districts. I was compelled to do this dog. The whole idea of the Dalmatian is a strong image. The added colors of boots, helmet and hydrant just fell into place for me.”

These guys worked hard to make sure Brooklyn was ready for his new home

Brooklyn is fifth in Mitch Levin’s Go Dog Go series. He is also known as Save Dog Save. “I work on multiple things at a time, but this project lasted about six months,” Mitch said. Brooklyn’s predecessors include a surfing dog, a dog with jet packs ready for takeoff, a snow-skiing dog, and a swimming dog. There was also a recent dog and cat commission designed for an Aurora Colorado animal shelter. Mitch also creates outdoor art, one-of-a-kind furniture pieces, acrylic paintings on wood and canvas, and some amazing wall art that looks like heavy metal guitars.

We appreciate our amazing Safety Harbor Fire Department

The sculpture spent the ten-year anniversary of 911 at Artprize in Grand Rapids, Michigan. “I’ve had several people inquiring, but I never found a fit for him. When Safety Harbor put out a call for artists, it felt right. My wife, also an artist, and I have a long history with Todd and Kiaralinda. This project enforces the Art and Music Center and what it’s all about. It’s just wonderful to be a part of it.”

After Brooklyn serves his time as our beloved new public art sculpture, he will have a home at SHAMc, thanks to his amazing creator, Mitch Levin. 

Sparky meets Brooklyn


Thanks to Terrie Thomas for these beautiful photographs!
If you’ve had pictures taken with Brooklyn, send them to our Facebook page. We’d love to see them.

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