Leon and Shirley Laylin pose with a photograph taken by their niece, Connie Shaw, who took the photo they donated to Dowagiac during a visit to the city. Submitted photo
Leon and Shirley Laylin pose with a photograph taken by their niece, Connie Shaw, who took the photo they donated to Dowagiac during a visit to the city. Submitted photo

Archived Story

Laylins donate photo to City Hall

Published 3:27pm Sunday, December 22, 2013

The people of Dowagiac can be proud of the newest addition to their art collection. A photograph of “Dance of Creation” now adorns the wall inside the City’s Council Chamber.

Novice photographer Connie Shew, of Florida, is the niece of Leon and Shirley Laylin. On a visit to Dowagiac, Connie was excited to capture the essence of the area sculpture collection. Connie seized “Dance of Creation” on film.

Her eye is drawn to the spirit of small details in our everyday lives. It may be a weathered barn, unusual architecture, an old beached rowboat or the way her environment speaks to her.

On that day, the way “Dance of Creation” stood with pride looking with anticipation towards the future captured her attention. The sculpture’s hair was a swirl in a pirouette, her gaze of anticipation on the horizon, the clear blue sky a backdrop for our country’s flag standing in the wind seemed to be the perfect storm of excitement – and it all spoke to Connie and her camera lens.

Upon seeing the photo, the Laylins felt the shot captured the way they too felt about their hometown. Last week, Leon and Shirley proudly gifted the framed work to City Hall for all to enjoy. Leon said he liked the symbolism of the photo and the year the sculpture was installed was of great significance and pride for both he and Shirley. That was his first year serving his community on the City Council. The sculpture’s silhouette would later become a logo for the City. As for Shirley, that year brought the installation of “Dance of Creation,” the first of what would become a collection of 15 sculptures.

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