Saturday, June 30, 2001

Artsy town

Hamilton sculpts a reputation

        Hamilton is gaining a wide reputation for its sculpture, to my amazement. But then I didn't think the Hamiltonian would survive.

        While I was in California recently, somebody I met mentioned Hamilton's sculpture.

        Just this week I saw a magazine advertisement that read, “Come to the "City of Sculpture.' From contemporary art to historical creations and buildings, Hamilton has it all. Come see it.”

        Now, there is yet another sculpture, donated by Dennis C. Baker, artist-in-residence for Hamilton's City of Sculpture program.

        The work, called “Over Eight,” is on display in the lobby gallery at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts, where a number of sculptures stand.

        When I heard about the donation, I went to the Fitton to see it. The piece is 6 feet tall and made of recycled scrap-yard metal. It is an intriguing thing, a rectangle standing upright, with large holes and silver color and a red figure 8 on the bottom.

        “I find that creating artwork out of discarded industrial materials is very satisfying,” Mr. Baker said. “I never know from one trip to another what I will find. It's kind of an industrial egg hunt. I have a huge need to create, and steel fulfills that need in some primal way.”

        The scrap angle is interesting for Hamilton, which was once a mighty little industrial city. Mr. Baker, of Cincinnati, keeps a studio at Hamilton Scrap Processors, where he works on the weekends.

        Mr. Baker says he leaves industrial “fingerprints” on his work, something bent or cut with a laser or torch — anything to identify “a past life of the scrap.”

        The Fitton is at 101 S. Monument Ave., downtown. It is open on weekends but you should call for hours and other information. Telephone: 863-8873.


        LEBANON — The Ohio Valley Civil War Association, featuring artillery, cavalry, sharpshooters, a signal corps and a sanitary commission, will camp on the lawn of Glendower State Memorial on July 21 and 22.

        Glendower, a Greek Revival mansion, is at 105 Cincinnati Ave., south of the downtown. There is no charge to watch the encampment, but admission to Glendower is $3 for adults and $1 for students through grade 12.

        Glendower is open from noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sunday.

        For more information, call 932-1817.


        MIDDLETOWN — “Explore a Career in Chemical Technology,” a two-day program for high school juniors and seniors and college students, will be held July 16-17 at Miami University Middletown.

        Students will conduct experiments in the campus' chemistry and instrumentation laboratories. On the second day, they will visit company labs at Procter & Gamble and Equistar.

        Cost, $10. For additional information, call 727-3372.


        SOUTH LEBANON — The Salvation Army needs volunteers to help at the Thrift Shop and to pick up supplies from Costco and Kroger. For more information on volunteering, contact Marge Israel at 494-1911 or the Volunteer Resource Center in Lebanon at 932-3987.

        Randy McNutt's column appears on Saturday. Contact him at The Enquirer, 7700 Service Center Drive, West Chester 45069. Telephone: 755-4158. Fax: 755-4150. E-mail:



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