Salmon Sculpture by Steve Anderson. (Courtesy photo)

SKOWHEGAN — Main Street Skowhegan and the Wesserunsett Arts Council have commissioned five sculptures for a public art project called Kennebec on Fire. The grand unveiling and lighting of the five fire brazier sculptures will happen at the Kennebec on Fire Festival Sunday, Aug. 29, 4 p.m. until dark at Coburn Park in Skowhegan. 

The festival features a lineup of Maine talent. Live music performed by Morrigan Knox McLeod with a drumming session called “No Judgement” from 4-5 p.m. She will provide drums for those interested in joining. Sunday Project, a jazz band, will perform from 5-6 p.m. Artist and Crafter Vendors will be on site from 4-7 p.m. Food will be for sale by the Skowhegan Women’s Club. Fire brazier sculptures will be lit at 5 p.m. until dark. Viewing spots of the sculpture lighting include Coburn Park and the riverside beach accessible via Mount Pleasant Avenue in Skowhegan. 

Entry is free however donations are gratefully accepted and will benefit the Friends of the Skowhegan Opera House.

The fire brazier sculptures were made by Maine metal artists including Steve Andersen (Salmon Sculpture), Jay Sawyer (Canned Corn Sculpture), Terrence Parker (Wheat Spire and Fire Vessel Sculptures), Magdaleena Rouhiainen and William Josiah Glover (Pine Cone Sculpture). The artists will be on-site for the lighting

“We are excited to be able to invest in the community’s creative economy,” says project coordinator Saskia Reinholt. The project is funded by a $75,000 grant from the Maine Arts Commission and a $10,000 grant from the Maine Community Foundation. 

The metal sculptures will each include a fire brazier that can be filled with wood and lit during festivals and other events. Mounted to floating bases, the sculptures are installed in the Great Eddy, just below the gorge, in Skowhegan and are visible from Coburn Park and Route 2 on the north side and from recreational trails on the south side. 

Kennebec on Fire is a collaborative project between Main Street Skowhegan and the Wesserunsett Arts Council, made possible by funding from the Maine Arts Commission, Maine Community Foundation, Brookfield Renewable, and Skowhegan’s GFWC Semper Fidelis Club. 

Main Street Skowhegan is a nonprofit organization working to revitalize Skowhegan. The Wesserunsett Arts Council is an umbrella organization for Open Arts, the Somerset Cultural Planning Committee, and HooSkow Radio.  All three branches of the Wesserunsett Arts Council strives to connect the people of Somerset County to its heritage, agriculture, and art. For more information please contact Saskia Reinholt at 207-313-4878.