The exhibition features site-specific contemporary sculptures by 24 Boston-area artists who found fresh inspiration at the former summer home, studio and gardens of noted American sculptor Daniel Chester French.
Stockbridge, Mass. – East meets west at Chesterwood this season in the innovative, site-specific sculpture exhibition “Boston Sculptors Gallery at Chesterwood 2015”. The temporary installation, on view daily at Chesterwood from May 23 to Oct. 12, features new works by 24 members and alumni of Boston Sculptors Gallery, based in Boston’s South End. The striking artworks in the show represent a diverse range of media and styles, created in response to sources of inspiration found by the artists at Chesterwood, the former summer home, studio and gardens of Daniel Chester French, America’s foremost sculptor of public monuments. The exhibition has been supported, in part, by a grant from the Artist’s Resource Trust.
“We invited the Boston Sculptors Gallery to organize an exhibition inspired by Daniel Chester French’s life and work as well as Chesterwood’s landscape that French designed himself. Twenty-four artists from the Gallery took up the challenge and visited Chesterwood several times over the course of a year as their ideas for three-dimensional work in a variety of media and scale took shape,” said Executive Director Donna Hassler.”
“As sculptors, one of our tasks is to imagine and re-imagine the connection between earth and sky. Chesterwood offers the perfect landscape and setting for this,” said Boston Sculptors Gallery co-founder Murray Dewart.
Chesterwood is notably one of the earliest venues in the United States to successively showcase large-scale abstract, conceptual and figurative works in an outdoor setting. Since 1978, the works of more than 500 emerging and established sculptors have been exhibited at Chesterwood, including Glenda Goodacre, Sol LeWitt, Albert Paley, George Rickey and Richard Stankiewicz. Chesterwood’s annual sculpture exhibition commemorates Daniel Chester French’s distinguished life and career and provides an important platform for contemporary American sculptors.
“We are thrilled to bring our work to Chesterwood and to being a part of the incredible array of arts-focused places in the Berkshires,” said Boston Sculptors Gallery artist Nancy Winship Milliken, who co-organized the exhibition with colleague Andy Zimmermann and Chesterwood’s executive director.
During the past year, the exhibiting artists visited Chesterwood to select locations for their sculptures—choices that included the French family estate’s home, verdant lawns, formal gardens, bucolic woodland paths and French’s newly restored studio—and have created works in reaction to experiencing this historic and picturesque site. As a result, some artists branched into the use of new materials and sculptural techniques. For others it was an opportunity to bring their indoor studio practices into a fresh and inspirational environment. The exhibition represents a rich and diverse variety of sculptural languages in a wide range of materials including stone, steel, wood, bronze, fiberglass, plastic and paper.
Participating artists include Elizabeth Alexander, Caroline Bagenal, Kim Bernard, Murray Dewart, Donna Dodson, Rosalind Driscoll, Laura Evans, Sally Fine, Peter DeCamp Haines, Mags Harries, Niho Kozuru (alumni), David Lang, Michelle Lougee, Nancy Winship Milliken, Andy Moerlein, Eric Sealine, Nancy Selvage, Marilu Swett, The Myth Makers (a joint collaboration of Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein), Andrea Thompson, Nora Valdez, Leslie Wilcox, Andy Zimmermann and Christina Zwart.
An artist’s reception for “Boston Sculptors Gallery at Chesterwood 2015” will be held on Saturday, June 27, from 4 to 7 p.m. The event will include walking tours with artists whose works are on view. Admission is $10 for Chesterwood members and $20 for non-members.
In conjunction with the exhibition, artists from Boston Sculptors Gallery will present “Saturday Art Programs”, a family-friendly series of art tours, demonstrations and workshops, including talks about their work in relation to Chesterwood and the surrounding Berkshire landscape, from June 6 through Sept. 12 at 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The programs are free with admission.
“A Walk in the Woods”. Explore outdoor sculptures in “Boston Sculptors Gallery at Chesterwood 2015” with artists Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein, whose work is in the exhibition. 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free with admission. Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein, the Myth Makers, will greet curious sculpture enthusiasts and stroll the lovely landscape of Chesterwood contributing inside information on the sculptures on display. This Mythic duo know well the personalities behind the work and have pertinent information about the media and concepts presented in this large exhibition by the Boston Sculptors Gallery. Dress for the weather and enjoy some space outdoors with art.
Art program with sculptors Nora Valdez, Michelle Lougee and Caroline Baganal, in conjunction with the exhibition “Boston Sculptors Gallery at Chesterwood 2015”. 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free with admission.
“Pollinators of the Garden and the Imagination”. Explore nature’s pollinators and sculptures on Chesterwood’s grounds with scientist Bill Stubblefield, naturalist Kimberly Lenz, and sculptor Nancy Selvage, whose artwork in the exhibition “Boston Sculptors Gallery at Chesterwood 2015” was inspired by the pollination process. 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free with admission. Bill Stubblefield is an evolutionary biologist with a research focus on Hymenoptera, the order of insects that include bees, wasps, ants, and sawflies. Kimberly Lenz is an artist and naturalist with extensive field experience. Nancy Selvage created a sculpture inspired by the process of pollination for the Boston Sculptors exhibition at Chesterwood.
Opening reception with the artists of “Boston Sculptors Gallery at Chesterwood 2015” featuring 24 site-specific sculptures and installations. Includes walking tours with the artists. 4 to 7 p.m. $10 members; $20 non-members.
“Sculpture and the New England Landscape”. Tour Chesterwood’s grounds with sculptors Rosalyn Driscoll who will discuss how the sculptural installations in “Boston Sculptors Gallery at Chesterwood 2015” correspond to New England’s architectural elements and landforms. 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free with admission.
Penny Portrait! Art program with sculptors Christina Zwart and David Lang, in conjunction with the exhibition “Boston Sculptors Gallery at Chesterwood 2015”, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free with admission.
Help us honor Daniel Chester French and his iconic design of Abraham Lincoln for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. Since an image of his sculpture also appears on the penny, come help build a portrait of our 16thpresident out of pennies! Help yourself to our stash, or bring your own!
Thirteen Ways of Looking at Sculpture
Art program with sculptors Murray Dewart and Eric Sealine, in conjunction with the exhibition “Boston Sculptors Gallery at Chesterwood 2015”. 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free with admission.
Murray Dewart and Eric Sealine will discus the "why?" as well as the "how?" of the works. They will tour the grounds and discuss the sculptures. They will answer questions and provide insights about the work. Each piece has a story.
“Walking the Line A Drawing/Mapping Workshop for all ages" led by Laura Evans of Boston Sculptors Gallery. Tour Chesterwood’s grounds and then create a map – either real or imaginary. 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free with admission. Families welcome. We will walk together to see and respond to the sculpture on display. Afterwards we will draw a map of a walk we’ve taken - either at Chesterwood or a familiar daily path. Materials provided.
"A Walk and Talk about Process and Substance," Art program with sculptors Niho Kozuru and Leslie Wilcox, in conjunction with the exhibition “Boston Sculptors Gallery at Chesterwood 2015”, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free with admission.
“Folding Fans and Billowing Bark WORKSHOPS” with sculptors Sally Fine and Leslie Wilcox of Boston Sculptors Gallery. Learn about the history and language of fans and make small, accordion-folded, paper hand fans. Fine’s “Fan Scepter” sculpture is on view in the exhibition “Boston Sculptors Gallery at Chesterwood 2015”. 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free with admission.
Sally Fine will make small accordion-fold hand fans with sheets of paper, wooden sticks and glue. Your newly made fan can be used to cool yourself as you stroll the grounds on this August day and view the other sculptures. Sally will discuss the history and language of fans during this workshop.
Leslie Wilcox will ‘hem’ and shape bark-like shards of soft wire screen such as those embellishing her piece BARKMOORE. Leslie will talk about her techniques for working with metal screens and will describe her process for tailoring each sculpture to its’ site.
Sculpture and the New England Landscape
Art program with sculptor Nancy Milliken, in conjunction with the exhibition “Boston Sculptors Gallery at Chesterwood 2015”, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free with admission.
Tour the grounds of Chesterwood with Nancy Winship Milikin who will be talking about Boston Sculpture Gallery’s installations in relation to the architectural elements and landforms of New England.
“Pinwheels and Floating Flowers Workshop”. Join sculptors Kim Bernard and Andy Zimmermann of Boston Sculptors Gallery in this playful and engaging hands-on workshop and sculpture tour for adults and children. Participants will make pinwheels and floating flowers and learn about kinetics and wind power. 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free with admission.
Alongside Chesterwood’s “Boston Sculptors Gallery at Chesterwood 2015”, the Concord Art Association in Concord, Mass., is presenting an exhibition of the work of 24 Boston Sculptors Gallery artists in the exhibition “Boston Sculptors in Concord”. The show runs from June 18 through Aug. 15 and is curated by renowned sculptor Joseph Wheelwright.
In an interesting twist, Daniel Chester French was the first president of the Concord Art Association’s board of directors in 1922. During French’s tenure, the 60 painters and 18 sculptors exhibiting at the then-named Concord Art Centre were many of the period’s most significant American artists, including Claude Monet, John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt, Childe Hassam, Thomas Dewing, Robert Henri, Frank W. Benson, Cecilia Beaux, Laura Coombs Hills, Alexander Stirling Calder, George Bellows, Willard L. Metcalf…and Daniel Chester French.
About Boston Sculptors Gallery
Founded in 1992 by 18 prominent Boston-area artists to present and promote innovative, challenging sculpture and installations, Boston Sculptors Gallery is the only sculptors’ organization in the United States that maintains its own exhibition space. The cooperative has presented more than 250 exhibitions and has supported the work of 58 sculptors in 48 states and 36 countries.
Boston Sculptors Gallery articulates, challenges, and promotes the role of sculpture in the public sphere, in communities, and in the lives of individuals. In addition to the continuing program of exhibits in the gallery in Boston’s South End, the organization has presented exhibitions of its sculptors in other venues and countries including “Ovid’s Girls – Overlaps and Undercurrents – Boston/Berlin” (Berlin and Memmingen, Germany, 2014), “Visions/Visiones” (Cusco, Peru, 2013), “Convergence” on the 14-acre Christian Science Plaza (Boston, 2013), “Re-Shaping Reality” at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center (Vt., 2010), and at the Fitchburg Art Museum (Mass., 2007). For more information, see www.bostonsculptors.com
About Concord Art Association
Since its’ founding in 1917, the Concord Art Association promotes and advances contemporary art through exhibitions, lectures and classes. It also maintains a small permanent collection of art produced by leading early 20th century artists. For more information, see www.concordart.org
Chesterwood, a site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is the summer home, studio and gardens of America’s foremost sculptor of public monuments, Daniel Chester French (1850-1931). French is best known for his sculptures of the Minute Man (1875) and the seated figure of Abraham Lincoln (1922) for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.
Situated on 122 acres in the idyllic hamlet of Glendale near Stockbridge, Mass., the property and its buildings were donated to the National Trust for Historic Preservation by French’s only child Margaret French Cresson (1889-1973). Chesterwood is recognized as both a National Historic Landmark and a Massachusetts Historic Landmark. For more information, see www.chesterwood.org.
All photos courtesy Paul Rocheleau.