Celebration of Life and Legacy slated for ‘Crystal City’ creator Robert Blackstone

A Celebration of Life and Legacy for Robert Blackstone, creator of the fascinating, relevant and thought-provoking “Crystal City” exhibition, will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 19 in downtown Dayton.

The ceremony will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. at “Crystal City,” located inside the first floor of the vacant Leigh Building on the corner of Second and Ludlow streets.

Blackstone, born Sept. 19, 1971, died Aug. 1 in downtown Dayton from a gunshot wound in the chest, but his artistic imprint lives on in his sprawling installation that began in 1990 on his grandmother’s dining room table with just a few pieces. Figurines, mirrors, ornaments, stuffed animals and train sets are among the eye-popping kaleidoscope of found objects within the display.

The self-taught Blackstone was a perfect fit for The Collaboratory, who embraced his outsider spirit and passion for the unique.

“The Collaboratory is all about building a better Dayton,” said Peter Benkendorf, founder of The Collaboratory. “We’re really a place of refuge for anybody who has ideas about building a better community and doesn’t know where to go. Bobby wasn’t necessarily a part of the art establishment, but a lot of artists saw ‘Crystal City’ which meant a lot to him. It meant everything to him to say he was an artist.”

For more information about “Crystal City” or to discuss ideas to secure a long-term future for the installation, contact The Collaboratory at 937-732-5123 or visit daytoncollaboratory.org.

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