Dublin Villager

Three new pieces added to Arts Council's 'Riverboxes'

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JENNIFER NOBLIT/THISWEEKNEWS
Artist Julia LeBay installs one of three new Riverboxes in Dublin last week. Riverboxes are hidden public art in Dublin parks.

Residents will have three new reasons to hit Dublin parks, thanks to the Dublin Arts Council.

Three new pieces of art were added to the Arts Council's "Riverboxes: emerging" series last week, bringing the total of small public artworks hidden in Dublin parks to 13.

Riverboxes were first placed in Dublin parks in 2007 and the most recent series is the fourth addition to the collection.

To find the artwork, participants use clues and global positioning system devices coordinates; the activity is modeled after geocaching.

"We have 10,000 interactions each year," Janet Cooper, Arts Council marketing and public relations manager said of the Riverboxes.

The artwork has been used to get the public into parks near Dublin's waterways and the recent additions are no exception.

Bowling Green State University graduate student Julia LeBay installed her artwork at Kiwanis Riverway Park last week and said she hadn't heard of Riverboxes before her involvement with the project.

"I had no idea what it was before this," LeBay said.

"I knew what geocaching was because my son is a Boy Scout. He explained it to me."

LeBay's artwork, The Nest, combines her focus on home with nature.

"I was looking at things like birds and mud wasps that make nests in the area," she said.

"I found out that some cliff swallows have nests under the (Bridge Street) bridge. This is like a ground version of that.

"It inspired the shape. My work is usually about home and domesticity. I intermeshed the two."

LeBay also intermeshed steel and fiberglass for her work that sits near the Scioto River, braving the elements and waiting for geocachers to discover it.

"I've never done anything as permanent as this installation," she said.

"It was a good experience to do something different."

Other new Riverboxes installed last week include Caementum Charta Riverbox in Donegal Cliffs Park, crafted by Thomas Ansel of Ohio University Chillicothe.

The Riparian Riverbox was installed on the Dublin Arts Center grounds at 7125 Riverside Drive by artist Nathan Mayfield of the University of Akron.

Each Riverbox contains a stamp made by the artist, information about the site and a journal so everyone can record the day they found the artwork.

Cooper said she's seen all kinds of comments in the journals at each site and in an online journal the DAC keeps. People have searched for the Riverboxes for birthdays with family and as team building exercises.

By August Riverboxes will also work to keep Dublin's riverside parks clean.

Thanks to a grant from SWACO, kits with trash bags and educational information will be placed in the Riverboxes.

The initiative is part of geocaching.com's "Cache In, Trash Out" program and the launch will coincide with Dublin's Mike Utt River Cleanup Day Aug. 16.

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