By Jackie Demaline
Enquirer staff writer
If you’re looking for Dennis Baker on weekends, start at Hamilton Scrap
Processors. Baker lives in Montgomery but, as official City of Sculpture artist-in-residence
for four years, his favorite weekend pastime is discovering metal “found
objects” for large and small sculptures.
By day Baker, 49 is in the operating room, where he helps install cardiac
pacemakers as a consultant for medical supply company Medtronics.
On weekends he dons his hardhat and steel-toed shoes and creates dreams from
odd pieces of scrap by welding them into art. Hamilton, he says, “is my
He became the program’s unpaid artist-in-residence “almost by accident,” and
access to the Scrap Processors yard and tools – including a crane – has
changed his life and his art.
He lives within commuting distance and has free access to material, equipment
and a 30-foot-by-30 foot warehouse studio space, costing City of Sculpture
City of Sculpture commissioned him to create a 20-foot stainless steel abstract, “Star
Formation” which was installed on Monument Avenue across from the Fitton
Center for Creative Arts two years ago.
Baker contributes work for sale and auction to benefit the program, and now
dreams not just of making art, but of an artist colony in Hamilton.
He can’t wait to share his warehouse space. “I foresee artists working
with children throughout Butler County,” he says. “Teaching sculpture
in schools.” That dream is closing in on reality. Hamilton High School
instituted classes in three-dimensional art two years ago.
“Identifying kids who have a talent in welding. My hope in years to come
is to help produce a sculptor who will achieve national acclaim.”
He looks confidently to a fast-track future, his own and City of Sculpture’s. “We’re
nowhere near where we’re going to be in three or four years.”
Scoop on headaches: Eat slowly
The Pointer Sisters join Cincinnati Pops
Saab, Subaru form compact
Forget car: Pedal power his fave
Ponds on parade