Dayton will celebrate two new works of art

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Arduous Journey will be dedicated at 3 p.m. on the corner of First and Commercial streets in Dayton.

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Sculptor Keith McMasters stands beside his newest — yet unfinished — creation, The Stationmaster. Dayton had a stationmaster at the train depot until 1971.

DAYTON — Dayton on Tour this year features two new pieces of public art, as well as a number of other local artists’ works.
Sunday, visitors can tour several of Dayton’s historic homes.

The centerpiece of the weekend event is the recently installed statue of Sacajawea, titled "Arduous Journey." The larger-than-life sculpture will be dedicated at 3 p.m. on the corner of First and Commercial streets.

The statue is the work of the late Carol (C.A) Grende. It will be dedicated to "all women who enrich community with their service," Blue Mountain Heritage Society board member Elizabeth Thorn said.

The guest speaker for the dedication is Sacajawea scholar Amy Mossett. Mossett, a member of the Mandan/Hidatsa tribe of North Dakota, has extensively researched the oral and written histories of Sacajawea. Her presentation includes descriptions of Sacajawea’s life experiences and her contributions to the Lewis and Clark Expedition along with her lasting legacy.

The dedication ceremony will also include Northern Cheyenne flute music played by Charlie Rising Sun of Dayton and a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the Historic Pathway.

The Historic Pathway links with the dike walk along the Touchet River. Additional trails are planned.

The Blue Mountain Heritage Society of Dayton purchased the bronze with a combination of donations and grant money. The donors and supporters are named on bronze plaques and will be recognized during the dedication ceremony.

The other public sculpture is a project in progress. "The Stationmaster," a life-sized sculpture of a stationmaster standing on the platform checking his watch, a clip board under his arm, will be displayed at the Dayton Depot Museum Saturday.

Local artist Keith McMasters will demonstrate sculpture techniques during the day.

The sculpture is presently in clay form, and details are presently only suggested. When complete, details will include Union Pacific buttons on the stationmaster’s uniform, McMasters said.

Another detail will be a separate sculpture of a dog perched on two old-fashioned leather suitcases.

"The Stationmaster" is a joint venture of the Task Force and the Dayton Depot Historical Society.

"In a matter of months, they’ve raised the first $25,000 they needed to get locally," McMasters said.

The sculpture will cost about $77,000. It is hoped it will be in place by Memorial Day 2010.

For McMasters, who launched his professional art career here about nine years ago, having his first piece of public art and his first life-sized piece placed in Dayton "means a lot to me."

McMasters’ success has been in Western art, and he was featured in the June issue of the Western Art Collector magazine.
The Dayton Depot had a stationmaster until 1971.

McMasters is looking forward to the viewing of the sculpture Saturday.

"I’m excited for people to see it. It’s been a little graphic, a picture, up to now," he said.

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