artist: Ralph Helmick
date commissioned: 1988
location: Scioto Park
address: 7377 Riverside Dr.
cell tour: 614-368-6999, Stop 1
Leatherlips, Dublin Arts Council’s first Dublin Art in Public Places program project, was created by Boston artist Ralph Helmick. The sculpture, a 12-foot high portrait of the indigenous Wyandot leader Leatherlips was installed in Scioto Park in 1990. The head is a composite structure of various sizes of native limestone stacked and mortared. The sculpture is open on the top and has stacked stones extending back along its sides, creating a small enclosure that enables visitors a view of the river, the sunset and the amphitheater.
Leatherlips was executed in 1810 by fellow tribesmen at a location very near Scioto Park. In fact, Leatherlips’ last hunting camp is said to have been located 2 miles north of Historic Dublin along the banks of the Scioto River near the location of the present-day park. Early histories by the white settlers of the time described Leatherlips as intelligent, dignified and peaceful. Leatherlips — known as Šaʔteyarǫnyes in Wandat, the traditional Wyandot language — gained his English name from white settlers because “his word was as strong as leather.”