The Cateraptasaurus Story

Thu October 25, 2018 - Northeast Edition #22

Derek Arnold and his creation — the Cateraptasaurus
Derek Arnold and his creation — the Cateraptasaurus

Derek Arnold, the artist who created the Cateraptasaurus in display at Alban CAT, was in attendance during the Cat-A-Thon. The Cateraptasaurus weighs more than 12,000 lbs. and stands 13 ft., 4 in. tall.

Arnold, who primarily works with metal, has been maintaining and operating his studio in Harford County, Md., since he graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 1993.

He created the Cateraptasaurus in 2000 for “Sculpture at Evergreen,” an outdoor sculpture exhibition at The Evergreen House in Baltimore, Md.

“Near my house in Harford County, there's a junkyard and I made a deal with them for a 1946 Caterpillar scraper,” Arnold said. “I cut the machine up in exchange for parts. I then got a commission from Johns Hopkins for the Evergreen House, and they gave me some funding. Then, I approached Jamie Alban and he gave me the rest of the funding to build it. In exchange for that, he got to own it afterward. They gave me all kinds of parts … anything I needed. Probably half of the parts came from the Caterpillar scraper, from the junkyard, and they gave me the rest. Alban also painted it.”

While mostly residing at Alban CAT's headquarters in Rosedale, Md., the Cateraptasaurus tours on occasion.

“It was at Evergreen House for like a month or two for a sculpture show there,” Arnold said. “Then, it came back here to Alban CAT. A few years passed, and then I loaded it up on my truck and took it to Key West to a sculpture show there where it stayed for probably two or three months, and then I brought it back up here. It's also been to Merryweather Post Pavilion. Recently, Alban has been taking it to the Delaware State Fair and Maryland State Fair. It sounds like they are having a good time with it.”

Arnold said he specializes in making all kinds of art.

“I do some blacksmithing, barricading pieces,” he said. “I do some repair work on metal stuff. I have to do that because I haven't quite made a living at making sculpture all the time. It's not every day that you get really awesome projects to build. I actually have a 30-foot Chinese dragon in the shop right now.”

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