Mystic Arts Center

Mystic Arts Center

Poetry box by Dan Potter

Tree as Box
by Dan Potter


Poem and poetry box by Dan Potter, sculptor and actor for the Mystic Paper Beasts mask theatre company which he cofounded in 1976, Dan grew up making paintings and sculpture, puppets and masks with his parents, Alice and Fuller Potter, two artists who married while arguing about good and bad art.

When he was ten, his father entered Dan’s first 3D painting/sculpture icognito in the first Whitney Biennale Exhibition, and when it sold to a Texas oilman, they bought a welding rig, and in 1956 Dan began showing sculpture at Anne Fuller’s Stonington Art Gallery.

Moving from welded assemblages in his teens to pottery in his thirties, anatomical drawing in his forties, and lost wax bronzes and plasma cut sculpture in his fifties, he now shows in galleries on Long Island, Rhode Island, the Cape, Connecticut, Mexico, Istanbul, and Hanoi, as well as New York.

Dan is a graduate of the Putney School, Harvard College, and the Graduate School of Design (after a year of working for Paul Matisse as a designer and another studying at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Strasbourg). He studied with Alex Tzonis, Ricardo Porro, Deane Keller, Don Gale and Peter Zallinger.

Over the past two years, following invitations into Ana Flores’ Poetry of the Wild project, he has created two poems for trees in public spaces. The first, in Riverside Park, New London was destroyed; in a mirrored box with gifts a stencil read: “Long before you came, I was a seed, longing for you.” The second arrangement hung inside a habitable hollow tree that stands by the water before the Mystic Arts Center. Many small gift discs, each read E A R T H as letters in a circle on one side, and on the other: EAR, HEAR THE EARTH; ART, THE HEART.