by Vic Riesau
Catching Frogs was dedicated on December 19, 1998. Its path as the Festival’s 3rd public art project was rather unusual. The piece was displayed in the Sculpture Garden at the 1996 San Dimas Festival of Arts National Western Art Exhibition and Sale. When the Board of Directors decided to embark on a second public art program, this piece was suggested with an inviting location in the San Dimas Civic Center Plaza pool. However, the Festival Board chose the Tongva mural, Between the Sun and the Moon as the second San Dimas Festival of Arts Public Art project instead of Catching Frogs.
Naturally the story did end there, but lingered in the mind of one Festival Board Director who believed this piece belonged in the Civic Center Plaza - where it would be viewed by thousands of people attending civic events and private parties. He sought and received approval from both the Festival Board and the San Dimas City Council, with the understanding that it would be a private commission and donated to the city. It is the only public art piece that did not have a public dedication. Only family members gathered and dedicated it to Lina R. “Moppy” Poff, a matriarch of a loving family.
This public art project has another distinction. It is the only public art piece that gets dressed up once a year during the National Western Art Exhibition and Sale. In the dark of night a mysterious person enters the water and attaches articles of clothing to the two boys and the frog. A different theme is selected each year and because it is a committee of one, suggestions are not welcomed.