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Dennis Green looks back on the experience matter-of-factly. Standing in his East Indianapolis workshop, surrounded by his steel and stained glass creations he explains why he is so motivated to create. A bout with the insidious Coronavirus changed him forever.

“My heart stopped three times on the operating table,” he said, recounting how surgeons opened him up to remove blood clots from the arteries feeding his heart. “They had to resuscitate me all three times. When the surgery was finally over, with them trying to get all the blood clots out, I came out brain dead. No brain function at all.”

Green, a full-time industrial millwright, made a miraculous recovery and is back at work. Now, his near-death experience has ignited a fire in him to create more of his innovative work.

“I just realize, now, life is short,” he said sincerely. “You never know what’s going to happen. This is my passion and I’m going to go about trying to make it happen.”

Green sold one of his first major works 16 years ago to the late Celedon Trucking founder Stephen Russel. That piece, a large steel creation entitled “Face Behind a Nation,” still stands on IndyGo’s East campus where Celedon trucking used to be located. The piece is tangible evidence that Green’s pieces are not only beautiful, they are unfailingly durable. Green now hopes to share his work with Indianapolis’s inner-city neighborhoods. He’s created the Inner-City Sculpture Initiative with the goal of putting sculptures in Indy’s underserved neighborhoods, “and give them something nice to look at for a change,” said Green. “If you have a passion for something, you should do it!”

Green does commission work and pieces of personal inspiration too. For more information on Green and his sculptures, visit his website here.