RUTLAND, Vt. (WCAX) As cars cruise up and down Route 7, a giant Tyrannosaurus rex stares out at the traffic. It doesn't take long for the cars stop and eager passengers hop out to get a closer look.
"Felix is autistic, he's level three, he's 7 years old and he's really interested in dinosaurs and art, so we thought we'd bring him up," mom Joy Carbonell said.
The dinosaur joins a minion, robot and other metal sculptures in front of the Mac Equipment and Steel Company. Over the last several years, the Rutland business has built a bond with area artists who turn scrap metal from the yard into creative works.
"I love seeing when he is happy and stuff like this in our community is great for all the kids to come and see," Carbonell said.
It was actually a father's bond with his son that helped bring the T.rex to this hill.
"My son actually got me into the welding part," artist Steven Mestyan said.
The carnivore came to life in Mestyan's small shop at his Hampton, New York, home. Mestyan and his son, an art major in college, spent hundreds of hours there honing their craft.
"Every piece I make definitely is a tribute to him," Mestyan said. "It's just a good way for me to keep focus on life."
Mestyan's son died unexpectedly a few years ago from a health issue. Steven Jr. was just 24, but according to those closest to him, he touched a lot of people in his short life.
"Me doing my artwork and people enjoying it, seeing it, smiling, getting a picture taken with it is a good way for me to kind of do what he was doing," Mestyan said.
The dinosaur isn't his only high-profile piece. He's also the man behind the giant Bigfoot in nearby Whitehall.
"The more people that like my work, the more people that I feel like I touch," Mestyan said.
And that now includes countless kids in Rutland, like 8-year-old Ray Barclay.
"It looks really cool and I like it, and it's really creative and artistic," Barclay said.
Owners of the business say the art speaks for itself, but they did say the T.rex plans to live out its days on the property and maybe in the future, it will be joined by more friends.