New sculpture honors Dillon brewmaster
summit daily news
Matt Luhr was a beloved brewmaster at the Dillon Dam Brewery, and now his memory will be honored with a bronze sculpture.
Well-known sculptor Paula Blincoe Collins will unveil her piece titled “Matt Luhr and his dog Syndy Lu” at noon Sunday at the brewery.
Luhr was an award-winning brew master who died suddenly last October of an aneurysm at age 46.
Luhr moved to Summit County after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in soils science from the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana in 1984. In college, he learned everything he could about brewing, and he worked as a brewmaster at the Dam Brewery for about 10 years.
His brews earned numerous awards and medals. His last brew, Sweet George’s brown ale, won a gold medal at the 2008 Great American Beer Festival while he was in intensive care. His fiancee accepted the medal, and Collins added the medal around Luhr’s neck in her sculpture.
The piece will stand in the restaurant near Luhr’s brewing area facing patrons who enter the brewery, so “they will be greeted by Matt and Syndy Lu,” Collins said.
“Matt was beloved by all who knew him,” she said. “His co-workers, and the owners of the restaurant ” including my brother ” at the brewery all contributed to have the memorial sculpture created.”
Excess donations will go The Brain Aneurysm Foundation Research Fund.
Collins began seriously working in bronze when she was commissioned in 2008 to create a bronze sculpture of a family’s triplet sons.
“My joy is to bring to life the vision that my clients can’t quite see and are unable to do themselves ” my hands are at their disposal,” she said.
Her love of sculpting began when her instructor at the University of Missouri, where she took her first ceramics class, “placed a lump of moist earth in my hands in 1968,” she said.
“It was terrifying, and I wondered how on earth can I make my living with this?”
Despite fears, she graduated with a bachelor’s in art from the University of Iowa in 1973 and soon found herself creating a 10-foot-by-84-foot bas-relief glazed brick mural for the executive cafeteria of the Conoco Oil Corporate Headquarters in Oklahoma. In 1996, she created a 6-foot mural for the soccer venue at the Athens, Ga., Olympics.
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