Fostering curiosity in kids (and their parents) since 2011

Through the Lens of The Five-Year-Old: The Bunny at Paul Park

A five year old girl sits on the back of a giant tiger-striped rabbit, hugging its remaining ear. The other ear has been lopped off and a gauze bandage applied to its stump.

The Five-Year-Old comforting the Bengal Bunny as best she can. (Photo: Shala Howell, Bengal Bunny (c) 2012 Sal D’Antona)

The eighth entry in The Five-Year-Old’s ongoing Photo Documentary series about the Dedham Public Art Project.

This week on Through the Lens, The Five-Year-Old visits the Bengal Bunny by Sal D’Antona. Local readers can find the bunny at the Gregory M. Riley Memorial Playground at Paul Park on Tower Street.

As you may remember, the Bengal Bunny made the news last week when local vandals hacked off one of his ears. While vandalism is always a risk with a public art project, The Five-Year-Old and I hate that it happened. Especially after learning that to paint the Bengal Bunny, Sal spent hours studying the specific stripe patterns on Bengal and Siberian tigers to ensure that he got the markings on the Bengal Bunny’s face and ears exactly right. (Although we have to admit, that bandage is pretty awesome.)

Sal D’Antona’s Bengal Bunny before he lost his ear. (Photo courtesy of Dedham Shines)

As we mentioned last week, Dedham Shines is collecting donations to help defray the cost of restoring the missing ear. If you would like to donate, you can:

  • Make checks payable to “Dedham Shines” (write “DPAP” on the memo line, please) and mail to Dedham Shines, PO Box 1023, Dedham MA 02027
  • Make an online donation here.

(All donations are tax-deductible.)

When he’s not busily disguising gigantic fiberglass bunnies as Bengal tigers, Sal D’Antona paints homes in New England, Florida, and California. And while he does do the straight painting work you thought of when you read that sentence, Sal also does more formal decorative art, Venetian plaster, and whimsical murals, such as this one based on Robert McCloskey’s children’s book Make Way for Ducklings.

And with that, The Five-Year-Old presents Sal D’Antona’s Bengal Bunny:

(Photo: The Five-Year-Old.)

From the side.

(Photo: The Five-Year-Old.)

From the back.

(Photo: The Five-Year-Old.)

And your close-up.

(Photo: The Five-Year-Old, with a little crop from Mommyo)

Be sure to tune in next week, when The Five-Year-Old visits “Avery Oak” by Cat Ciccolo Tucker.

Bengal Bunny (c) 2012 Salvatore D’Antona

Did you know that I’ve got a book out about the 2012 Dedham Public Art Project?

My book, What’s That, Mom? provides 15 accessible, practical strategies for using public art to spark conversations with children between the ages of 3 and 10 — no artistic talent or insight required.

In addition to providing tips for viewing public art with kids ages 3-10, What’s That, Mom? offers much more detail on the 15 giant fiberglass rabbits included in the 2012 Dedham Public Art Project, including a complete set of (higher quality) photographs, influences on their various designs, and several interviews with the local artists who painted the bunnies.

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