Saturday, October 31, 2020
Let It Snow!
Friday, October 30, 2020
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Two Firsts Celebrate a First
Monday, October 26, 2020
Out and About
While this was billed as a Fall Crafts Fair, there were far more Christmas holiday items available for purchase. That worked for me as I bought 3 hand-made ornaments for the tree we plan to get and decorate this year. Like many others, we'll be home for the holidays, and we're not at all disappointed at that prospect.
Friday, October 23, 2020
Just when you thought you had seen enough scarecrow photos on this blog for the month. Here's a final one for your enjoyment — it's possibly the last one too.
Local business, civic groups, schools and restaurants contributed to this seasonal scarecrow crop. Voting is online and ends this week. Winners get the glory of knowing they've beat all the others this year. And, who wouldn't want that claim to fame?
Today, I checked the online voting stats and, not surprisingly, a dance academy is in the overall lead with 600 votes. It's the middle entry ↑ above with the dancer missing a shoe.The reason for the not surprisingly comment was because in the past 4 years of this annual downtown competition, a school entry — think lots of student and parent votes — has always won the top spot honor.
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Art in the Woods
|Entrance to Brookline, NH, Sculpture Park|
You may be curious about where it came from and how it got to Brookline, NH?
In our case, curiosity led to (no surprise) another day trip, just a 30 minute drive from Nashua, NH. What we found were amazing pieces of art in an incredible outdoor sculpture park. For over 20 years, new and unique works have been created and installed in the woods.
It's called the Brookline Sculpture Park and it's considered New England's largest outdoor sculpture park. What started as several works of art in a front yard is now an outdoor museum with artwork among trails criss-crossing the mountain.This open air museum is free and open to the public year-round, dawn to dusk. Donations are always welcome.
Our visit started with a map downloaded from the park's website; copies were also available at a kiosk in the parking area. Truth is we felt that the map was more confusing than helpful and found it easier to explore the trails with a hiking app. Afterwards, we learned that the Trailforks app was recommended for use on the trails. Unfortunately, we hadn't downloaded it earlier and there's no wi-fi in the park. Thankfully, Grenville had MapMyHike, another hiking app which helped us navigate around. We've since downloaded the other app for another visit.
The Sculpture Park, is located on the grounds of the Andres Art Institute. Artists worldwide have contributed pieces to this collection of metal and stone sculptures spread over the hills of a former ski area. The pieces can be seen along 11 hiking trails which range from easy to difficult. The views change with the seasons.New works are created and installed yearly, some can be more abstract than others. While we could "see" the meaning in a number of the sculptures, there were many where even checking the title of the piece wasn't helpful to us.
|Paul Andres & John Weidman|
Andres combined his love of nature and art and added more sculptures to create a personal sculpture park. In 1998, he joined with sculptor and long-time Brookline resident John Weidman and they co-founded the Andres Institute of Art as a 501(c) (3) charitable organization to sponsor annual sculpture symposiums.
At a symposium, sculptors gather to work and produce a permanent individual piece of public artwork. A sculpture symposium has been called the sculptor's fantasy come true. In 1959, the International Sculpture Symposium movement was spearheaded by Austrian sculptor Karl Prantl.
Coincidentally, the first International Sculpture Symposium in the U.S. was held in New England in Proctor, VT in 1969 under the joint sponsorship of the Vermont Marble Company. Since then, international sculpture symposia have been held in towns and cities worldwide, including in Nashua, NH. The most recent one was in Sept and the works have been installed within the city.
The first Brookline, NH, sculpture symposium was held in 1999. Seven artists from Lithuania, Latvia, England, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Vermont, and NH stayed with local families and worked to create sculptures that were placed on permanent display on the mountain. At first, most town residents were unaware of what was happening on Big Bear Mountain as sculptors cut, bent, and welded steel; split, shape, ground and polished stone.
Volunteers prepared the sites and later moved the completed pieces from the studio with heavy equipment. As years passed, the Sculpture Park has made Brookline, a destination for many.
How It Started
Once a year, up to 4 artists from the U.S. and other countries are invited to travel to Brookline, NH, to immerse themselves in its rural character and create art within a 3-week timeframe. The invitation is part of the Bridges and Connections International Sculpture Symposium sponsored by the Andres Art Institute.
Artists are housed with local residents who sponsor their stay, and work with volunteers who groom and prepare sculpture sites, and operate the heavy equipment needed to properly place the works, some of which are very hefty weighing several tons.According to the Institute’s website, artists receive a small stipend, and are free to create what they like, then to place it where they want. The Institute provides tools and materials.
Hiking along the network of trails was an interesting experience. Some sculptures seemingly
speak shouted out their presence; others remained silent sentries. After all, art is subjective. Our trails exploration was done randomly without checking off each piece we saw. This brought some unexpected discoveries as, more than a few times, we nearly bypassed a sculpture. One of the goals of the Sculpture Park is to include art in nature so that it's unobtrusive. We felt it succeeded.
Arriving for our weekday late morning visit, the lower parking lot was nearly full, luckily an earlier visitor was just driving out. We noticed an equal number of NH and MA license plates; the park is close to the border of both these states. It was very easy to enjoy a socially distanced outdoors adventure. Visitors were requested to keep 6 feet distance between those not in their group and to wear masks, if this wasn't possible. While visitors were walking the trails, it was a rather silent environment. Taking time to rest on one of the well-placed stone benches, we chatted with a few visitors who were doing the same.Sculptures came into view as we walked slowly and carefully along the winding, root-filled and quite rocky trails. The aptly named Quarry Trail had large rock piles, remnants of a former quarry at the site. Some of the sculptures had identifying details, others did not, many had enigmatic titles. We saw works by artists from NH, Zimbabwe, England, Iran, Canada, India, Ireland, Italy and Iceland among other countries.
Follow-up visits definitely are needed to see more of the park because the trails dis take us longer to hike when side steppings rocks and roots (bring hiking poles). We hiked for well over 2 hours (with photo and rest stops) and figure that we saw less than half of the sculptures scattered within the park's acreage.
This was one of several sculptures that we easily recognizable with no information needed.