“Light Dodger” Project to Commemorate Reed Brothers Dodge

Titled “Light Dodger,” the sculpture by Tj Aitken will stand 19 feet high and will have stained glass lens components over 6 feet in diameter. Currently being fabricated in Michigan – the home of its accomplished sculpture, Tj Aitken – it is slated to be installed March 2015 at Bainbridge Shady Grove Apartments at the entrance to the Shady Grove Metro Station on the Red Line to Washington, DC.

The project will commemorate Reed Brothers Dodge and focus on the dealership’s history to turn the brunt of the complex into a prominent residential landmark in Rockville.

Dodger proposal

Bainbridge wanted an artist who could design something modern, abstract but still using the automotive theme. Tj presented many alternatives after studying the Dodge line and history for the former Reed Brothers Dodge site.

site model miniature

Site Model Miniature

A large concrete sculpture was chosen titled “Light Dodger” which melds the design of two classic lamp and fender designs from the Dodge line into one three dimensional work of art. Aficionados will recognize the ’39 Dodge and the ’57 Dodge pick up in the sculpture which is currently being constructed in concrete.

studies for Hemi Street Lamp

Studies for Hemi Street Lamp

Along with the Light Dodger, a set of “Hemi street lamps” will grace the curving walkway. These functional  lamps are based on the famous Hemi piston.  They will be flaked by head gasket graphics along the walkway that winds along the building promenade towards the metro train station.

 About Tj Aitken

Tj Aitken is an Installation artist and established Industrial Design Consultant. He creates public sculptures and has had commissions and exhibitions in many cities. Tj grew up near Detroit, worked assembly, die models, show prototypes, and then did a sculpture BFA in ‘77. In the 80’s his Colorado studio cast museum replicas and his work. ‘87 back in Michigan, he managed 3D auto design and became a Design Director, while sculpting art privately. Living in Europe in the 90’s and lecturing at the University of Hertfordshire School of Art and Design he began developing the ideas for Art Savvy. He worked in Milan, Cologne, Munich, and Coventry. These years allowed him to study the art masters in Paris, Amsterdam, Florence and Rome and gave him a new perspective on Americans and their relation to art. His work on aesthetics has been validated in studies published by the University of Michigan in 2004. He taught thousands how to understand beauty and craftsmanship in industry at companies like Johnson Controls, General Motors, Avery Dennison, Newell Rubbermaid, and Tata of India. He holds design and process patents and his materials have been translated into 5 languages. He has been a conference speaker on “Quantifying Aesthetics” at the Harvard “Front End of Innovation,” The Innovation Network, and the Creative Problem Solving Institute’s annual conferences.

Website: Sculpture by Tj


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About Reed Brothers

I am a co-owner of the former Reed Brothers Dodge in Rockville, Maryland. Lewis Reed, the founder of Reed Brothers Dodge was my grandfather. We were a family-owned and operated car dealership in Rockville for almost a century. I served in the United States Air Force for 30 years before retiring in the top enlisted grade of Chief Master Sergeant in July 2006. In 2016, I received the Arthur M. Wagman Award for Historic Preservation Communication from Peerless Rockville for documenting the history of Reed Brothers Dodge in both blog and book format. This distinguished honor recognizes outstanding achievement by writers, educators, and historians whose work has heightened public awareness of Rockville’s architectural and cultural heritage, growth and development.

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