Metal artwork designed to instill pride
Article and Photos by Joshua Maloni
“Lewiston Landing” has arrived at Lewiston Landing.
On Thursday, Black Lab Metal Fab artist and sculptor Dan Buttery installed his new work in the middle of the North Water Street parking lot, in a designated area where concrete was poured last week.
The two-tier marker is meant to be a point of pride both for Lewiston residents and for the tourists who visit each year.
On the top tier, “Lewiston” is displayed in 4-foot letters atop risers. Below that, “Landing” letters are 3 feet tall situated on 6-inch platforms. Next to the wording sits a series of fish, each one just under 5 feet tall.
Buttery explained, “What I did was, on the letters, I just used regular metal. But I used a special paint on them, which is basically a four-step process. It's like a copper patina. So, what you do is you put a primer down, you put the copper paint, put aging solution, and then you put the sealant over top of it. And then the fish itself are going to be raw. They're made out of stainless steel. They're 10 different layers.”
He presented his artwork plan to the Village Board last July, noting a desire to give back to the community.
The original idea actually came before the pandemic.
“We started back in 2019, talking with the mayor, me and Mike Hibbard were talking about doing artwork in Center Street and the village itself,” Buttery said on Wednesday. “2020, with COVID happening, and then with the Brickyard, the brewery burning down – because I did a lot of work there, as well – I felt bad for the community. So, I wanted to do something where I could do a sign for Lewiston to kind of raise the spirits up. But then I got busy with doing the intubation boxes and the protection shields for COVID, for the hospitals and, basically, for hotels, salons and stores.”
Fast-forward to 2022, and “I was talking with the mayor, and we're going back and forth, wanting to do this,” Buttery recalled. Following municipal board approval, Buttery teamed with fellow artist Hibbard, who owns and operates Gallo and Gather restaurants, on a fundraiser to offset material costs.
“It was kind of pricey,” Buttery said. “And I wanted it to be more of a community project, instead of just my name on it. I wanted to kind of have the community be a part of it. So, it was basically just everybody got involved.”
He further explained, “With me being all my life in Lewiston, plus doing a lot of work in Lewiston, I wanted something (to display).
“There was really never a Lewiston sign that stood out, where, say everybody went on vacation, they didn't have a sign where they could take a picture to say where they were at. Now, with this sign and the magnitude of it, I think it's going to be a good sign for Lewiston. It’s going to be a good sign for years to come that, when I talk to somebody about the sign, they're like, ‘I never really even thought about this.’
“And we said it was actually going to be like an iconic piece. So, I think it's going to be a good thing for Lewiston, and it's also going to be a good thing at the start of the Village of Lewiston, with the art that we want to do into Lewiston.”
Village of Lewiston Mayor Anne Welch said, “I’m so excited to have this beautiful art sign donated by local metal artist Dan Buttery.”
Concrete pour images courtesy of Mayor Anne Welch.
Dan Buttery oversees a crew installing the “Lewiston Landing” metal letters.
Metal mastermind Dan Buttery, right, stands alongside Chris Stanek and one of the “Lewiston Landing” fish. Buttery crafted the sign and Stanek’s company – Stanek Electricity – is providing illumination.