Doris Park and Steve Maxon met in 1988 at a cast iron sculpture conference in Birmingham, Alabama. MAX-CAST was moving from a sprawling backyard chicken coop foundry complex into a former CASE dealership in downtown Kalona, Iowa. It had three phase electricity and a natural gas line. A foundry building with bridge cranes had been built and the original 1940 building was being remodeled and remains a work in progress.
Doris had studied sculpture with Wayne Potranz at the University of Minnesota and had run a construction company. She was an activist and advocate, a member of our local Soil & Water Commission. Doris was a talented, meticulous animal sculptor. She loved horses, turtles, frogs, dogs, toads and every creature imaginable. Her portrayals of them were beautiful.
For years, Park and Maxon sold their sculpture at art fairs across the nation. It was a tough job hauling heavy bronze and iron pieces to and fro, setting up and taking down the display, being on the road for weeks at a time, arranging care for their dogs and horses. It got to be too much, too much like compulsive gambling. Staying home and working on commissions was more appealing and far less stressful.
In July 2018, Doris suddenly died leaving a great hole in a lot of lives. She is greatly missed. Her sculpture is still available in limited and open editions. We will continue to make them in honor of her memory. In that way, she lives on.