Londonites part of Brutus parade

 
 Kim and Dave Lattimer hang out with "Woddy Hayes Brutus," one of six statues the London couple designed for "Brutus on Parade," an art installation at the Jerome Schottenstein Center on The Ohio State University campus. The project is a fundraiser for the university’s William Oxley Thompson Memorial Library.

 
 Hail Brutus
 
 Tin Brutus
 
 Safety Brutus
 
 Break A Leg Brutus
 
 Doctor Brutus

The Ohio State University’s mascot, Brutus Buckeye, is sporting more than a striped shirt and red sweatpants this season, thanks in part to Kim and Dave Lattimer of London.

The university commissioned the Lake Choctaw residents and other artists to design a variety of looks for more than 30 life-size statues of the nut-headed spirit leader. The result is "Brutus on Parade," an art installation located outside the Jerome  Schottenstein Center on OSU’s campus. The statues will remain on display through the end of September. The project is a fundraiser for the renovation of the university’s William Oxley Thompson Memorial Library.

Kim Lattimer is not new to sports-themed creativity. An artist and art teacher by trade, she has created portraits of sports figures on commission since 1988. These pieces led to limited edition prints, the most successful of which are pen-and-ink drawings titled "The Three Faces of Woody" and "Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler."

The Brutus on Parade project stretched Lattimer’s horizons.

"I had never worked in three dimensions before," she said. "I had no idea what I was getting into, but it went smoothly."

Each of the Brutuses started as a 6-foot, 2-inch tall, 150-pound fiberglass sculpture. Working from their own designs, those by other artists, or suggestions from sponsors, the commissioned artists used everything from paint and props to clothing dipped in diluted weld-bond glue to outfit the statues.

Between the two of them, Kim and Dave Lattimer designed six Brutuses. The work was done over the last year-most of it this past summer, all of it in their kitchen and garage. London resident Joe Mosier, who is among the organizers of "Brutus on Parade," delivered the blank statues to the Lattimers’ home.

"When I was working on the Brutuses in the garage, people would drive by, stop, back up and take two or three looks to see what the heck these statues were," Kim said. "Sometimes their curiosity would get the best of them, and they had to get out of their car and ask what they were."

Each of the Lattimers’ creations has a story to tell.

1. "Woody Hayes Brutus"-Kim designed this statue to pay homage to the former OSU football coach. It was one of the four original statues the "Brutus on Parade" organizers used to pitch the idea to potential sponsors. The other originals, created by other artists, honor university president Gordon Gee and Christopher Columbus, as well as the spirit of rock-and-roll.

One of the fun details involves Woody’s glasses. Kim created a template for the oversized spectacles and found a photo of the football team on the field. She recruited friend Dwain Dorr to cut out the glasses and print the photo image on them to look like a reflection.

2.  "Hail Brutus"-If you’re tall enough to look closely at the wreath of leaves on the hat of this Julius Caesar-inspired Brutus, you will see the buckeye tree nuts Kim cut in half and placed among the leaves.

You’ll also see the artistry that she and her mother, Bonnie Brooks, achieved with fabric and well-bond glue.

"My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in May. This project helped her and me keep our minds off of things," Kim said.

Bonnie helped her daughter fashion Hail Brutus’ toga, sash, and ball cap (made from a hat pattern tripled in size to fit the statue’s round head).

Dominion Homes sponsored this statue.

3. "Break A Leg Brutus"-This was one of Kim’s favorite statues to design. Taking cues from "Phantom of the Opera," she and her mother created a cape, then tackled the mask.

"That was a doozie, just finding the right materials to get the right shape. I finally went with a plaster

form kit I got at a hobby shop, and I used Liquid Nails to glue the mask to the face," Kim said.

4. "Doctor Brutus"-The Ohio State Medical Center sponsored this Brutus, right down to providing

the scrubs. Kim perched a plastic DNA model on a wooden stool at the doctor’s feet; the stool had been in her family for many years.

5. "Safety First Brutus"-Anderson Concrete and ALD Precast sponsored this Brutus, whose feet are "stuck" in a pile of concrete, thanks to Kim’s ingenuity.

"He’s a lot heavier than he started because of it," she laughed.

6. "Tin Brutus"-While Dave Lattimer helped his wife with parts of the aforementioned statues, he was the primary creator of "Tin Brutus," fashioned after the Tin Man in the "Wizard of Oz."

"First, I covered him in drywall mud to get rid of the ripples in the statue," said Dave, a billboard advertising salesman by trade. "Then, I cut aluminum flashing with tin snips."

To dull the space-age shininess of the aluminum, he used galvanized paint and then stained the seams for the look of rust. The finishing touches include a yellow-brick road painted on the base of the statue and an oil can. He found all of his materials at Dwyer’s Hardware in London.

Kim and Dave finished everything in late July and were on hand, along with the other statue designers, for the official unveiling of "Brutus on Parade" in early August.  

"When I saw them at the Schottenstein Center, it was like seeing an old friend. You work on them for so many hours, they take on a personality," she said. "I hope a lot of people go out and see them."

Kim holds a degree in fine arts from Ohio University. She also studied advertising and illustration at the Columbus College of Art and Design. Her artwork has won awards in galleries and exhibits throughout central Ohio.

Other Brutuses in the display cover themes like adventure, freedom and "luv and peace," personalities including Archie Griffin, Dave Thomas, and Coach Jim Tressel, and Buckeye marching band traditions from "Dot the I" to drum major.

For more information and to see pictures of all of the statues, go online to www.brutusonparade.com, call 614-247-BUCK, or send e-mail to info@brutusonparade.com.

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