The local artist recently built 50 life-size Labrador retriever sculptures to honor the "superheroes" of Southeastern Guide Dogs.
Scott Joseph Moore has always enjoyed working with his hands. After years of working in skilled labor jobs, like construction, concrete and foundry work, he earned a degree in computer animation from the Ringling College of Art and Design in 2000. But after two years of working in the industry, he realized he missed the hands-on nature of working directly with materials, so he used his experience to pursue sculpting.
Moore recently teamed up with Southeastern Guide Dogs to put his sculpting skills toward a cause he finds especially meaningful. As a part of its Superheroes on Parade public art initiative, the nonprofit organization is installing 50 life-size labrador retriever sculptures around Sarasota, each outfitted in a cape, poised to jump into flight. The dog sculptures will each receive a custom paint job by local artists before being unveiled and displayed permanently at area businesses and iconic locations.
Moore was the man behind the mold. He worked with the nonprofit to perfect the model, starting with a maquette, or small-scale model, then creating a master mold, from which he could create all 50 dogs.
A week before the initial unveiling event, Moore says he's been honored to tackle the project and use his artistic abilities for a cause he says he respects.
"While I was working on this, I kept thinking to myself, 'What do these dogs really do?'" says Moore. "What they're doing is giving people a way to not live in fear. For people who are blind, it has to be a scary experience, but through these dogs, they can see. They provide people with that safety. It's truly a good cause. After all, we all need a hero."