Summer art installation proposed

By Cecilia Fox -

TIPP CITY — Hoping to bring a little more art to downtown and draw more people to Tipp City during the summer months, Downtown Tipp City and the Tipp City Area Arts Council have proposed a seasonal sculpture program.

The groups have reached out to a Dayton-area artist and proposed a collaboration that would bring large-scale movable, interactive sculptures to downtown Tipp City during the summer of 2020.

“We see this as economic development, publicity, tourism,” Downtown Tipp City Director Heather Dorsten said. The proposal includes 12 sculptures, two on every block and one in Canal Lock Park.

Similar to summer artwork installations in cities like Troy and Cincinnati, the artwork would be in place during the summer every other year.

The groups made the proposal to city council last week. The estimated total budget for the project is about $84,000, much of which is the cost to build the sculptures, and they are seeking grant funding.

For the first summer installation, the artist designing and building the sculptures would be Tristan Cupp, artistic director of The Zoot Theatre Company. The concept for the installation is Ohio native wildlife and the artwork will be built from recycled and repurposed materials.

The sculptures will be based on designs from Cupp’s imaginary world of Zoot Green. The Zoot Theatre Company typically specializes in puppets and masks, this would be Cupp’s first outdoor installation.

Dorsten said one of the proposed installations is a winged mechanical creature integrated with a stationary bicycle. When a person sits on the bike and pedals, the sculpture would lift its wings.

Council members raised concerns about damage to sidewalks and whether it would leave room for foot traffic and wheelchair users.

Dorsten said the sculptures would be installed in the portion of the sidewalk where there are already trees and benches so they would not block the right of way. She added that the groups had already considered damage to the sidewalk and said that the sculptures would be attached to heavy metal plates, not bolted to the sidewalk.

City Manager Tim Eggleston said staff could look into whether any ordinances permitting an installation would be necessary.

By Cecilia Fox

Reach Cecilia Fox at

Reach Cecilia Fox at