Haverhill sculptor Dale Rogers stages his “Big Dog Show” at the Bradford Common Oct. 12-14. (Courtesy photograph)
The Big Dogs are coming to the Bradford Common this weekend—for a good cause. Ward Hill-based metal sculptor Dale Rogers plans to exhibit 20 of his eight-foot “American Dog” pieces in the city at a free art show taking place Friday, Oct. 12, Saturday, Oct. 13 and Sunday, Oct. 14.
This year, Rogers tells WHAV he’s doing it for the kids—and donating proceeds from the event to the Haverhill Public Schools. The artist and his studio staff plan to host 500 students from across the district for a Friday field trip and lunch on the Common, all free of charge thanks to donations from businesses and individuals who sponsored dogs.
“This year, we felt strongly that it should be a Haverhill community event. The money that we’re getting from the sponsorships is going right back into the community,” said Rogers. “The dog show is so simple and it can bring smiles to a lot of people’s faces—that’s enough for me.”
While the exact specifics on dogs decorated by sponsors is kept secret until the weekend, Rogers hints to WHAV the school system plans to sponsor a dog that will take a bite out of their district-wide “Attendance Matters” campaign. The Haverhill Police Department also intends to decorate a dog, Rogers said.
The big dogs have had a whirlwind of a year since they last appeared at the Common. Haverhill’s display follows a three-month exhibit at Boston’s Charlestown Navy Yard, and Rogers is negotiating a contract with the Arizona Humane Society to stage a show out west in time for the exhibit’s 10th anniversary next year.
The artist still pinches himself at times recalling how a few metal dogs—starting with the iconic “Haverhill Hound” sculpture on I-495—made their mark. “This was just some guy’s crazy idea and it’s been going on for 10 years,” he explained.
The Dale Rogers “Big Dog Show” at the Bradford Common takes place from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from noon-5 p.m. on Sunday.