Eight sculptors from as far away as New Zealand and as near as Old Town gathered one last time at their University of Maine campus work area to unveil the massive granite works of art they’ve been creating for the past six weeks. The 2012 Schoodic International Sculpture Symposium, held since early July at the Steam Plant parking lot on the UMaine campus, came to a close Thursday, Aug. 30.
“It’s been an incredibly exciting and fulfilling six weeks, and what a beautiful day for it to come to a close,” said Jesse Salisbury, director of the SISS.
The sculptures vary widely in shape and intention, from Japanese sculptor Koichi Ogino’s whimsical, rounded, amorphic figures, which will grace the Bangor Waterfront, to Arrowsic artist Andreas Von Huene, who will have his work set at Acadia Hospital in Bangor, and who hopes his sculpture will become a place where patients there can gain some comfort.
“I can draw a parallel a bit between me working in the woods … to the remarkable transition the mental health care world has gone through in the last decade or two,” Von Huene said. “The kind of caring, empathy and healing you find there is matched by the real ability to make a difference in relatively short order. So just as I drove up here to find so much support, I hope that this piece can do the same for [those at the hospital].”
Dutch sculptor Ton Kalle’s work, “All Along the Watchtower,” has already been installed at River Park in Old Town, and in the coming weeks the other seven sculptures will be put in their permanent homes in Bangor, Orono and on the University of Maine campus. The other sculptors that were part of this year’s symposium are Lee Zih-Cing of Taiwan (Oxford Hall, University of Maine), Hwang Seung-Woo of South Korea (Husson University campus), Shan-Chi Tent of Taiwan (Katahdin site, Orono), Johnny Turner of New Zealand (Buchanan House, UMaine) and Tim Shay of Old Town (Nutting Hall, UMaine).
All the sculptures in the symposium are created from Maine granite, from sites that include the Crotch Island quarry in Stonington, Fletcher’s quarries in Jonesboro and Addison, the Freshwater Stone Quarry in Orland, and Sullivan Memorial Stone Works’ Quarry in Sullivan. The eight pieces created this year will join the 19 other sculptures created in 2007, 2009 and 2011, in communities all over Hancock and Washington counties. For a map of all the sculpture sites, visit schoodicsculpture.org.