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.