Tag Archives: sculpture

Amy Toyen Sculpture (Avon, CT)

Date Of Visit: September 9, 2017

Location: parking lot of Avon Free Public Library, 281 Country Club Road, Avon, CT

Highlights: A life size sculpture of Amy reading a book and clutching a teddy bear

Tips:

  • The sculpture is located in the parking lot next to the left side of the library

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Sixteen years.  Who could imagine so much time has passed?

One hundred and fifty six people with ties to Connecticut died on that tragic day.  A memorial rests on the grounds of the Avon Free Public Library to memorialize one of these, and indeed all of the victims of this day.

Amy Toyen, a resident of Connecticut and employee of Thomson Financial in Newton, Connecticut.  As a side note, when I researched this memorial and Amy, I never knew she worked at the very same corporation I used to work at.  It’s amazing how we all seem to be connected in some way.

Amy, a 1995 Avon High graduate, was killed Sept. 11 while she set up her company’s display booth for a trade show on the 106th floor of the World Trade Center’s north tower.

Dedicated by the 2001-2002 Avon High School Student Government and the Avon community, the 22″ bronze statue depicts a young child, Amy Toyen, on a granite bench reading a book, a teddy bear resting in the crook of her elbow.

To help create the sculpture, Amy’s parents selected a group of photos that portray their daughter as they remember her.

The sculpture shows Amy in daisy print dress, her favorite sneakers and ponytails tied with pompom rubber bands

 

A scholarship was also started in Amy’s name. The first recipient of the annual Amy E. Toyen Memorial Scholarship went to Christine Bialaski, an Avon High senior and honors student who is active in community service, music and field hockey.

Coincidentally, the Bialaski family lives down the street from the Toyens. As a young child, Amy Toyen often waited for the morning school bus at the Bialaskis’ home after her mother left for her teaching job at Renbrook School.

The sculptor, Marilyn Parkinson Thrall of Canton, Connecticut, stops by every once in a while to polish and clean up the sculpture.

The statue, a reminder of all that was lost that day, remembers Amy in a younger, more carefree time.

Amy’s obituary can be found here.


SculptureNow (Lenox, MA)

Date Of Visit: June 4, 2017

Location: The Mount, 2 Plunkett St, Lenox, MA

Dates and Hours of Exhibit: June, 2017 – October, 31, 2017, The Mount is open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm through October 31st, except on early closing days (please see below). The Mount is open from 10:30 am – 3:00 pm most weekends in November through February. Please call 413-551-5100 to confirm hours.

Cost: $18 for adults, $17 for seniors (65 and older), $13 for students, children and teens (18 and under) get in free, $10 for military personnel (cost includes a tour of the Edith Wharton house and if you return within 10 days you can get in free again with your receipt)

Parking: There is ample parking available at The Mount.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes.  The trail is dirt bit wide and even for the most part.

Dog Friendly: No, except for service dogs possibly

Highlights: art on a easy trail, scenic views

Website: SculptureNow

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As if the Mount wasn’t beautiful enough, there are 30 amazing sculptures to compliment its beauty.

There are 30 sculptures along the trail.  But, when I went to visit in early June, not all of the sculptures were up.  I did the best I could to photograph as many as I could find.  But, I didn’t have a map or any other guide at the time to find them.  So, it was something like a “scavenger hunt” when I did visit the sculptures.  It looks like I found 22 of the 30 sculptures.  The art has a modern feel to it.  All thirty sculptures should be up now for your viewing pleasures.

The numbers next to the descriptions correspond to the descriptions in the map of the trail where the sculptures are located.  The link to the trail map is attached above in the website link.

1. The first sculpture is called Stall by Nancy Winship Milliken.  Nancy describes her sculpture as the following:

“This site-specific memorial honors the activities and architecture of a New England past. The horsehair gestures towards the building at The Mount which was at one time Wharton’s stable.”

2. The second sculpture is called Day’s End by James Kitchen.  James says his sculpture this way:

“Does our fast-paced, distraction filled world allow time to think, read and reflect, enjoy art in all its forms? Exhausted, we let media affirm our feelings rather than inform us.”

3. The third sculpture is by Harold Grinspoon.  According to Grinspoon, his art is:

“Giving new meaning to objects that have aged out of their original purpose, I invoke nostalgia for the familiar and an appreciation of new forms of beauty.”

4. 3. “Fallen Sky” by Coral Penelope Lambert is the next sculpture.  Coral explains her art this way:

“My work explores forces of nature and seeks to address the darker issues related to Earth’s resources such as mining and contamination where traces of the process remain.”

5. Stack C by Lydia Musco is a combination of nature and architecture:

“Architecture and elements of nature, such the work of gravity, influence this work. The form is built in one additive action, line by line, like layers of stories within memories.”

6. James N Burnes’ sculpture Nine Piece Ring is the next sculpture.  Burnes described his art this way:

“I create forms from nature that express our intimate relationship with Mother Earth. I am drawn to the tension between the natural and organic, man and nature, time and decay.”

7. Biomorphic by Michael Thomas is the next sculpture.  According to Michael, Biomorphic is:

“An undulating, sensual, and playful organic form, often encountered on the periphery of the natural world, realized here in steel. Biomorphic is the fluid movement of mass, coupled together with the visceral experience of color and texture.”

8. Distant by Philip Marshall is, according to Marshall:

“The nude model at a figure drawing held his pose for hours, eyes fixed on a distant point, maintaining his mental distance under prolonged scrutiny; he and the chair becoming one.”

9. Off The Rails by Lucy Hodgson:

“Our country: how we got here and is there a way forward? This is a comment on the decline of infrastructure—among many other things.”

10. Sheep by Madeleine Lord is:

“A pile of galvanized scrap metal sheering implied the subject: Steel Wool. I work the skeletal to the surface and the surface to the skeletal. Pulse arrives after I finish.”

11. Joseph Carpineto’s Walkabout

“This sculpture is inspired by a memory of the coarse undershirts my mother made for me from flour sacks. The rough feel of the rope is reminiscent of those undershirts.”

12. Bench I by Peter Barrett:

“Please, have a seat! I’ve wanted to incorporate some stone into my work since visiting a friend’s marble quarry, and here you have my first attempt.”

13. Anabasis by Chris Plaisted:

“I like to work with steel for its strength and powerful emotion. The subject is the human spirit. I was inspired by the sea and the concept of an upward journey.”

14. Yellow Peril by Setsuko Winchester:

“In 2015 & 2016, these 120 handpinched tea bowls traveled to ten U.S. concentration camps where 120,000 persons (mostly U.S. citizens) were imprisoned during WWII. Their crime was to be Japanese.”

15. Reflective Change by Martina Angela Muller:

“The undulating lines of music and the sculptural force of the wind informed these shapes. Both are continuous game changers that generate inner and outer movement leading to reflective change.

16. Avoidance Attractor by Matt Crane:

“Avoidance Attractor in its first iteration explores structure and materiality with a shift in scale and orientation. An empty piece of signage that invites projection, while remaining stoic and silent.”

17.  Netting For Water by Ann Jon:

“My work is an adventure, exploring new forms and media, hoping the viewer’s eye, mind, and heart will experience the sculpture visually, creating their own narrative or message.”

18. Fenestral by William Carlson:

“This sculpture is intended to pull the audience into the small portals of light as the sun rises and sets. The piece acts like a clock while controlling the viewer’s perception of the landscape.”

19. Blue Pulse by Murray Dewart:

“I want my sculptures to convey both the momentum of ritual pilgrimage and the stasis of meditative mandalas. They gesture in their various ways as resolute guardian forms, protective and consoling.”

20. Gnomon 1 by Christopher Curtis:

“Much of my work seeks context for humankind’s place in the natural world. Gnomon 1, made with stone, stainless steel, and gold leaf, is a good example of this investigation.”

21. Waterstone by Dove Bradshaw:

“Waterstone is a time-sculpture: For a slow action of water boring a hole, limestone was used; for fast boring, salt boulders and granulated salt mounds. Outdoors in winter, vodka replaced water.”

22. Poet’s Cry by Colleen O’Donnell:

“Weepings of unsound. A poet’s cry of light. Reflecting back into herself.”

23. Bittern by Robin Tost:

“The Bittern is a marsh bird who, when alarmed, stretches up its neck so that the striations on its breast give it perfect camouflage in the reeds.”

24. Twelve Cuboid Stack, I by David Teeple:

“My work centers on water as a subject, a material, and an idea. In this sculpture, I am interested in how the reflections and refractions create a new perceptual experience.”

25. Yellow Dakota + River by Stuart Farmery:

“Through abstract forms I reference a passage of time combining art historical sources, such as stone circles and constructivist concepts, with my awareness of current political, environmental, and communal issues

26. Hedge by Gary Orlinsky:

“Inspired by the two rows of linden trees that link the Mount’s gardens, Hedge creates a provocative dialogue between the organic movement of the saplings and the geometry of the boxes

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27. Gilavar by William Brayton:

“This abstract sculpture developed in response to a range of sources, including indigenous wind patterns, Polynesian stick charts, wooden boat building methods, storm tracking data, and chance-based fabrication systems.”

28. Gene by Eric Stein:

“Representing cause and effect, the cast concrete units of molecular design are stacked, colliding randomly. They present an undetermined beginning and illustrate the natural selection of options of creativity, form, and life

29. Tree With Spheres Jacque Metheny

“My sculpture juxtaposes geodesic spheres with the yet more complex structure of a tree. Geometric systems are the foundation of all material form. In nature we understand this as beauty.”

30. Caterpillar Bridge II by Roe Osborn:

“My sculpture combines construction materials in contextual mathematical formulas. This piece joins sections of drainage pipe in a dimensional sequence that captures and defines space in an engaging, yet playful manner.


Irish Famine Memorial (Boston, MA)

Date Of Visit: March 17, 2017

Location: corners of Washington and School St, Boston, MA

Cost: Free

Hours: Accessible everyday, 24 hours a day

Parking:Street parking can be difficult is this neighborhood.  Finding a parking garage is probably the best option.  Also, the Park St train stop on the Red Line is within walking distance (about half a mile) to the memorial.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

While we’re celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day with our green beer and corned beef (pause for the collective yuck) it’s easy to forget about the history of the Irish people and the hardships that brought so many Irish here, especially to New England.

The Boston Irish Famine Memorial is dedicated to the Great Famine that gripped Ireland in 1845.  Potatoes, a main crop in Ireland, stopped growing, leaving many to go hungry and suffer financially as they could not sell their crops.  Mold was the culprit.  Since potatoes were the main crop in Ireland, many of the poor in Ireland suffered from the famine, with about one-eighth of the population dying from hunger or disease related to the famine over the following years. As a result of the famine, Irish immigration to the United States spiked with over 1.5 million Irish arriving on our shores. Boston was one of the main destinations for these new citizens and the Irish remain a prominent part of our community.

Robert Shure’s Boston Irish Famine Memorial displays the pain and, conversely, pride of the Irish people who have suffered so much.  It is a somber, powerful and inspiring display of the suffering and, ultimately, the ability of the Irish to overcome their “troubles”.

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The first statue, located on School and Washington streets, shows three people, presumably a mother, father and child, in the throes of hunger.  Shure was meticulous in his sculpture.  You can see how thin the figures are and, from certain angles, you can actually see the ribs of the figures.

The second sculpture shows three people, presumably the very same family healthy and happy.  Standing up straight and proudly, the family looks happy and healthy.  It is most certainly a sign of how all of us can overcome adversity and how the Irish have been able to withstand so much.

As an aside, I love the diversity of Boston.  Traversing through the memorial, I witnessed people of all walks of life and ethnicities.

A wreath and flower was placed by the Charitable Irish Society at the sculpture of the suffering family and on one of the figures of the memorial to commemorate Saint Patrick’s Day.

A series of 8 plaques encircle the memorial.  One of the plaques, entitled “Let’s We Forget”, gives a nod to the suffering and famines across the globe and how we continue to watch as others starve helplessly.

The bronze and granite memorial was dedicated in June of 1998, marking the 150th anniversary of the famine.

On my way back to the train station, I saw Brig, a beautiful Bull Mastiff.

Please connect with me on Facebook: New England Nomad

 

 


Waterfront Park (Woods Hole, MA)

The last leg of our summer’s swan song at Cape Cod was spent at Waterfront Park in Woods Hole.  Waterfront Park has several statues and sculptures.  The most recent statue is a memorial to environmentalist Rachel Carson, the author of Silent Spring and the Sea Around Us.  Both books are considered influential books in the environmentalist movement.  Carson had worked with Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) which is located in Woods Hole.

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The waterfront also has a shaded sitting area for the weary traveler to rest their bones.

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There is also a sun dial statue dedicated to Robert Crane, one of the original financial supporters of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.  The sun dial was constructed so that you could tell what time it is from any direction.  And, yes, it is accurate. A somewhat elaborate explanation is included on the ground in front of the sun dial.

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The “Flukes” is a bronze sculpture by Gordon Gund.  Gund, a successful businessman, was inspired to sculpt The Flukes after seeing pilot whales off the coast.  It looks like more of a slide or play thing which explains the sign in front of the sculpture.  I suspect it is not much of a deterrent.

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The Waterfront is also the main point of embarkment for the ferry to the islands of Cape Cod, mainly Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.

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The waterfront also has some pretty views of the water and pretty flowers.

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The waterfront park is also known for its friendly visitors.  I met this friendly guy named Charlie as I was leaving.

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Goodbye summer!  See you again in 2016.