Sculpture is an invitation, according to art consultant Rebecca Reynolds. It wants to share a space, and asks for a response. It demands and rewards our precious time.
“Three-dimensional art typically requires one to walk around the piece to appreciate what it offers,” she said. “And, in this way, sculpture also involves the fourth dimension, that of time. Anything that we devote our time to, our precious fleeting moments, compels us to consider its worth. It asks us what we value and hold dear.”
The longest days of the year are ideal for taking the time to really see an art form that makes outdoor spaces even better. This summer on the Seacoast, there’s new sculpture at the beach, gardens, and galleries where you don’t have to lose a minute of sunshine and fresh air. Here’s your invitation.
Find out more
Rebecca Reynolds leads a lecture about “Sculpture on the Seacoast: From Massachusetts Bay Colony to Our Modern Art Colonies,” along with Ron Crusan, director of the Ogunquit Museum of American Art, on Sunday, June 28 from 3 to 4 p.m., at the Discover Portsmouth Center, 10 Middle St., Portsmouth.
Reynolds will address the history of modern sculpture in this region, beginning with the iconic graphic designs of 17th-century stone carvings. Crusan will speak on the development of modernism in America and the artists who gave voice to the movement through three-dimensional form.
The fee is $12, which includes admission to “Sculpted Spaces, Historic Places” at Governor John Langdon House, 143 Pleasant St., Portsmouth. Registration is required. See Historic New England’s website, historicnewengland.org.
Try it out
Every Saturday through August, members of New England Sculptors Association demonstrate sculpture techniques, and sometimes encourage participation, at the Gov. John Langdon House as part of “Sculpted Spaces, Historic Places.” On Saturday, June 20, Fred Manasse discusses his creative process and shows how he makes sculpture, from 2 to 4 p.m. This event is free.
Governor John Langdon House
Some of the contemporary sculpture in the exhibition, “Sculpted Spaces, Historic Places,” is carefully arranged on the idyllic grounds of this historic site, as well as at the Sarah Orne Jewett House Museum in South Berwick, Maine. Above, “Spyral Gyral Sphere” by Karin Stanley. For an interview with stone sculptor Thomas Berger, who has work on display in the “Sculpted Spaces, Historic Places” exhibit and at other locations around the Seacoast, click here.
African Burying Ground
This new memorial park is full of thoughtful symbolism and words. At one end, eight life-sized figures represent the community coming together to acknowledge, protect, and pay homage to the burying ground, and a decorative railing includes ceramic tiles with traditional motifs re-created by Portsmouth students. The sculptures were designed by Jerome Meadows, of Savannah, Ga.
Children’s Museum of New Hampshire
The recently installed exhibition, “Ascent or Descent,” features inventive figures climbing around and flying off the museum’s facade. It’s the work of six area artists, including three members of Port City Makerspace. Materials used include plastic, steel, wire, aluminum, fabric, and found objects, and a robot contains a solar panel that lights its eye through the night. It’ll be on display through fall, along with the landmark “Giant Blue Crab” by Nate Walker.
Barrington artist Adam Pearson incorporates vibrant color and sweeping curves in this new sculpture, made from found metal. Despite its towering height, the chartreuse green sculpture installed this spring is titled, “Sprig.” It’s on display outside the gallery on 2nd Street through the fall, unless sold, and will be replaced with student sculpture. His artwork is also part of the Children’s Museum’s new exhibition.
Master Sand Sculpting Contest
This weekend, Darlene Duggan (above), of Essex, Mass., is one of 10 sculptors invited to shape 250 tons of sand into temporary works of art. The competition for a $15,000 prize begins Thursday, June 18 and ends on Saturday, June 20, with judging from 1 to 4 p.m. and an awards ceremony on the Sea Shell Stage at 8 p.m. A fireworks display starts at 9:30 p.m. The event is lit at night, through July 5. Local artist Greg Grady has organized the event for 15 years.
The sculpture gardens at Sanctuary Arts are always changing and feature several area artists, including director Christopher Gowell, who has sculpted the human figure for over 40 years. Above is her concrete piece, “Sydney.” A new patio is in progress for this summer.
Ogunquit Museum of American Art
This recent work by Maine artist J.T. Gibson will soon be on display at the Ogunquit Museum of American Art, where it will lend a more contemporary style to the expansive sculpture gardens. “This is Us” consists of two totemic bronzes, side by side, and reaches 8 feet tall. While you’re in town, be sure to check out the “Invited New England Sculptors” exhibition at The Ogunquit Art Association’s Barn Gallery, where there will be a panel discussion on July 23 at 7:30 p.m. Gibson also exhibits at the Corey Daniels Gallery in Wells, Maine.