Dublin’s M.L. “Red” Trabue Nature Reserve Public Artwork

Current Status Update: Sept. 27, 2022

Artist Ilan Averbuch located recycled stone in Ohio to use in his sculpture. The stone arrived at his studio in New York and he has started cutting them to fit the steel structure. The stone is from the steps of St. John’s cathedral in Cleveland. Averbuch has partnered with a local Dublin engineer to come up with a full engineering plan. He started forming the boat shape and he says “so far it is going well.”

Update Following the June 25 Community Forum on Public Art Meeting

After extended consultation among Dublin Arts Council and City of Dublin staff and leadership, it has been determined that the project will move forward.

In the coming months, additional information about the project will be added to the Dublin Arts Council website at https://www.dublinarts.org/publicart/

Commission awarded to New York artist Ilan Averbuch

View the City Council presentation
Visit the Dublin Arts Council website for more information

DUBLIN, Ohio— (Jan. 25, 2022) Dublin Arts Council Executive Director David S. Guion announced today the $150,000 commission for Dublin, Ohio’s newest public artwork has been awarded to Ilan Averbuch of Long Island City, N.Y.

Averbuch’s site-specific proposal for The Boat in the Field, a permanent artwork in Dublin’s M.L. “Red” Trabue Nature Reserve consists of two intertwined images. One image is of a stone skeletal structure of a boat raised 11 to 15 feet in the air as if frozen in mid-flight. The other image is of a skeletal tower made of vertical steel beams covered with a sloping round roof. The massive petrified stone boat looks as if it floats weightlessly in mid-air, seeming to defy gravity and the laws of physics. Below, steel beams, some straight and some bent, appear in motion, possibly having walked out of the nearby Karrer Pond.

The sculpture will be 25 feet tall, 18 feet wide and 15 feet deep, created from recycled and Ohio industrial materials, such as stone and Cor-ten weathering steel. The sculpture will be long-lasting and will require very little maintenance.

The sculpture site is proposed in proximity to, but out of sight of the pond at the prominent juncture of two paths, one paved and one natural. The floating boat seems to prompt further questions about the surrounding natural environment of the preserve.

Averbuch’s work in natural, elemental and recycled materials can be found world-wide. He has been selected for nine major commissions in the past five years. Averbuch was educated in both New York and London. His artwork exists in public and private collections in Germany, Israel, Denmark, India, Canada, France, Switzerland and throughout the United States. Averbuch’s presentation included slides of nine different public art projects that are related to the scale, material, engineering and installation considerations for this proposal. His site-specific artwork in the M.L. “Red” Trabue Nature Reserve will serve as both a landmark and a destination for years to come.

The three finalists’ proposals, presented virtually to a selection committee and the public on Jan. 21, included Averbuch’s The Boat in the Field. Jason Klimoski of StudioKCA, Brooklyn., N.Y., presented Spring and Adam Kuby of Portland, Ore. proposed Community Bats. The three artists were selected from a national pool of 151 applicants representing 33 states.

Averbuch’s proposal received unanimous support from the selection committee, which convened immediately following the presentations.

“I find Ilan’s proposed artwork alluring,” said Guion. “It raises my curiosity level and promotes discussion, interpretation and response. The intended meaning of the artwork is not just about the artist’s expression, but about the viewer’s own experience and how the viewer interacts with this unique creation.”

The selection committee included eight members: Kristin Helmick-Brunet, a curatorial associate in the Department of Exhibitions at the Wexner Center for the Arts; Neha Dadich, Ph.D., a local artist with a master’s degree in visual arts and a Ph.D. in Folk Arts from Mohanlal Sukhadia University, Udaipur, India; Mary H. Gray, retired Ohio Arts Council Riffe Gallery Director; David S. Guion, Ph.D., Dublin Arts Council Executive Director and adjunct associate professor in the Department of Arts Administration, Education and Policy at the Ohio State University; Michael Hiatt, landscape architect with City of Dublin’s Parks Department with a bachelor’s degree in art and technology and Master of Landscape Architecture; Joan Langholz Krause, Ph.D., a Dublin Arts Council board member and counselor at Columbus Public Schools’ Arts Impact Middle School; Char Norman, Emeritus Dean of Faculty at Columbus College of Art & Design who is also a local artist specializing in fiber sculpture and papermaking; and Barbara Ray, Nature Education Coordinator for City of Dublin and founding partner of the Ohio Wildlife Cooperative.

According to the project timeline, the sculpture is slated for installation in the summer of 2023. M.L. “Red” Trabue Nature Reserve is a 90-acre park with entrances located at 6835 Avery-Muirfield Drive & 6566 Post Road in Dublin, Ohio. The park is best known for its boardwalk, and pond for fishing and observation. Other features include amphibian-filled vernal pools, an arboretum, walking and biking paths, and the historic Fleming cabin, built in 1865. The nature reserve was named after “Red” Trabue, a Dublin naturalist, journalist and television pioneer. Trabue was a writer for the Columbus Dispatch newspaper, specializing in outdoor activities, and also served as host for The Outdoor Show, one of the longest running locally-produced television shows in Columbus, Ohio history.

Red is remembered for his charismatic, friendly demeanor and for the passion he shared for outdoor sports.

The Dublin Art in Public Places program is administered by Dublin Arts Council and City of Dublin. Dublin’s permanent public artwork is funded with hotel/motel tax dollars, which are collected from visitor and corporate employee travel. For every overnight stay in one of Dublin’s hotels, a 6 percent tax is collected and invested back into the community through designated projects and events that enhance Dublin visitor and resident experiences. The Dublin Art in Public Places program is one of those designated projects.


Dublin Arts Council (DAC), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is a thriving local arts agency which administers comprehensive, engaging programs including a variety of award-winning Art in Public Places projects, a yearlong Visual Arts Series and the annual DAC Sundays at Scioto concert series. DAC is committed to programs and events with strong emphasis on education and community-building. DAC serves as a community convener and thought leader for using art as a catalyst for social change and cultural cohesion. Dublin Arts Council engages the community, cultivates creativity and fosters life-long learning through the arts. DAC is supported in part by the City of Dublin’s hotel/motel tax which was established to improve quality of life for residents, corporate citizens and visitors through community investment in projects and events that enhance visitor appeal, enrich the aesthetic of public property, provide cultural arts experiences, support business, attract positive local, regional and national attention, and encourage overnight stays in Dublin. DAC is also supported by state tax dollars allocated by the Ohio Legislature to the Ohio Arts Council (OAC). The OAC is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally and economically. In addition, Dublin Arts Council is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations, fundraising events, gallery sales and in-kind contributions. Dublin Arts Council is located at 7125 Riverside Dr. in Dublin, Ohio. Gallery hours are by appointment Tuesday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and the second Saturday of each month, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call 614.889.7444 or visit https://dublinarts.org/.


Media Contacts:

Janet Cooper
Dublin Arts Council, Director of Engagement
614.256.6831 – Cell
614.889.7444 – Desk

Madi Kregel
City of Dublin, Public Information Officer
614.917.3080 – Cell
614.410.4509 – Desk

Newsroom: https://dublinohiousa.gov/newsroom/

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