Xenia Daily Gazette
CEDARVILLE — James Mellick, a retired Cedarville University Professor of Studio Art, recently won a $200,000 grand prize for his art exhibition “Wounded Warrior Dogs” at ArtPrize, an international art competition, held annually in Grand Rapids, Mich..
More than 1,450 artists from 44 different countries attended ArtPrize, but Mellick’s exhibit captured the attention of thousands of visitors. Mellick, of Milford Center, Ohio, won “People’s Choice Best in Show” and “Best in 3D” categories.
“Wounded Warrior Dogs” featured seven wooden dog sculptures, each representing their human companions wounded in battle. Mellick, motivated by compassion for wounded veterans, spent 14 months creating the dogs.
“In my limited and small way I wanted to pay tribute to the soldiers who served with great sacrifice by creating the sculptural allegory of wounded warrior dogs who were the soldier’s best friend and companion in battle,” Mellick said.
Mellick has sculpted other dogs in the past, but said that this project has been his most purposeful. He uses dogs to tell stories about their human counterparts.
“The response was overwhelming with gratitude and praise for presenting the subject,” stated Mellick. “There were many tears, handshakes and hugs from men and women, dog lovers and veterans.”
Mellick intends to use the “Wounded Warrior Dogs” exhibit to raise awareness about the sacrifice of wounded veterans and to encourage donations to local wounded veteran organizations.
The “Wounded Warrior Dogs” will be on display Feb. 5–March 26, 2017, at the Ohio Craft Museum in Columbus.