Fostering curiosity in kids (and their parents) since 2011

Through the Lens of The Five-Year-Old: The Bunny at East Dedham Shopping Plaza

The Regal Rabbit is a giant fiberglass rabbit covered with swirly lines, circles, and glitter.

The Regal Rabbit (c) 2012 Catherine Gruetzke-Blais. (Photo: Shala Howell)

The twelfth 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 “Regal Rabbit” by Catherine Gruetzke-Blais. Local readers can find the bunny at the East Dedham Shopping Plaza on the corner of Bussey and High Streets.

According to the blog Dedham Tales, Gruetzke-Blais’ inspiration for her Regal Rabbit was not the court of Versailles as I had originally assumed, but her beloved Dalmatian puppy, Trooper.  Gruetzke-Blais and her family had been hunting for a Dalmatian to adopt for months when the opportunity to paint a rabbit came along, and spots were very much on her mind.

To create her rabbit, Gruetzke-Blais used a variety of artistic techniques. Although her rabbit photographs white on The Five-Year-Old’s camera, in person you’ll see that its base color is actually more like marble with golden highlights. Gruetzke-Blais used stippling to create that marble effect. The rabbit’s spots aren’t simply painted on either, but made of paper like a collage. The eyes are a mosaic of glass tiles.

When she’s not applying mixed-media techniques to gigantic fiberglass bunnies, Gruetzke-Blais teaches art at Thurston Middle School in Westwood and at Tenacre Country Day School.

The placement of this rabbit between two tall clumps of grass is lovely, but it created some difficulties for our Junior Photojournalist, who could not figure out a way to obtain her usual side shots without crushing the landscape. Which is why the two usual side shots are missing this week.

And with that, The Five-Year-Old presents Regal Rabbit by Catherine Gruetzke-Blais.

In this portrait, the five-year-old somehow cut off the ears.

(Photo: The Five-Year-Old)

From the back.

The Regal Rabbit's tail is painted in Gold, so of course it was my daughter's favorite feature.

(Photo: The Five-Year-Old)

Your close-up.

Regal Rabbit's eye is made of a mosaic of dark red and green stones.

(Photo: The Five-Year-Old)

And The Five-Year-Old’s new favorite shot, “The Bunny Eye-View.”

A view of the top of Regal Rabbit's head.

(Photo: The Five-Year-Old)

Be sure to tune in next week, when The Five-Year-Old visits Lady Bugs Bunny by Susan Hoy.

Mark Your Calendars…

The great Dedham Shines Bunny Hop Auction will be held in two parts this fall. The live auction event will be on Saturday, November 3, at First Church, with online bidding slated to begin October 20 at www.biddingforgood.com/dedhamshines. All fifteen bunnies will be auctioned off to raise funds to support the arts.

And for those of you who like to organize these sorts of things, the first planning meeting for the Dedham Shines Bunny Hop Auction will be held Monday, September 10, at 7 pm at Endicott Estate.

Regal Rabbit (c) 2012 Catherine Gruetzke-Blais

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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5 Responses to “Through the Lens of The Five-Year-Old: The Bunny at East Dedham Shopping Plaza”

  1. Cathy

    The color scheme is kind of “regal” I thought. Interestingly, my husband is from France and we go there sometimes…another source of inspiration? – Catherine Gruetzke-Blais

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    Reply
    • Shala Howell

      Thanks for visiting Caterpickles, Cathy! We love your rabbit and find it very regal indeed. Although Dalmatians are fairly regal dogs in our opinion, anyway. The Five-Year-Old was wondering if she could meet you in person. We know that back to school time is very busy, but if you could fit us in your schedule sometime in September for a quick interview, we would appreciate it. You can email me at shalahowell@gmail.com.

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