The Washington Art Association (WAA), based in Washington Depot, Connecticut, is hosting an art event this summer and fall featuring stunning sculptures by the likes of Frank Stella, Julian Schnabel, Caio Fonseca, Wendell Castle, William Talbot, Mark Mennin, Fitzhugh Karol, and a host of other top talents—from the obvious to the emerging. Curated by WAA trustees Mark Mennin and Barbara Talbot, the Sculpture Walk, held from July 14 to November 1, is organized by the Washington Art Association & Gallery in collaboration with community partners and the town of Washington Depot.
“To exhibit here, especially under Mennin’s curatorship, will lend a bucolic spaciousness—beyond the white-box gallery—to ponder what it is that sculptors do with form, light and air,” said Fonseca. This bucolic little corner of Connecticut has always drawn an eclectic, creative crowd of writers, artists, musicians, and architects. Jasper Johns, Alexander Calder, Phillip Roth, Meryl Streep, and Jim Dine, to name a few, have chosen to live in Litchfield County.
“What’s the most beautiful place two hours outside of New York? The compass pointed to Litchfield County,” explains Mennin. “Unlike the Hamptons, where you know everybody the first week you get there, people here are fine in their properties in a beautiful landscape, coming up for air once in a while to be social,” he says. The Sculpture Walk was conceived by co-curator Talbot “as a way to get people out of their cars, allow them to explore and discover the town.” Her idea has since mushroomed into a community-wide effort transforming a tiny, peaceful village into an outdoor gallery.
Sixty-one pieces from 40 sculptors ranging in age from 23-year-old Jake Paron to 95-year-old Tim Prentice are dotted throughout Washington Depot, a hamlet resting at the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains about 80 miles north of New York City.
Stella’s stainless steel Star with Square Tubing sits in front of the local market; Prentice’s attenuated wire mesh and steel spider Charlotte lurks near a picnic table; and Phillip Grausman’s fiberglass bust of a woman, called Heather, greets customers as they grab some lunch at gourmet eatery the Pantry. The show will include everything from Paron’s vast earthwork in Titus Park to Mary Adams’s petite bronze beauty After the Bath.
“A beautiful New England summer day is the best possible backdrop that there is for sculpture,” says Karol. Fellow sculptor Fonseca agrees: “I recently visited Mark Mennin’s studio with its vast array of suggestive stones. After lunch he showed me his hills and lakes and the winding roads that carve and ride the landscape. An exhibition of works here cannot help but be in dialogue with the enveloping air.”
This meandering walk through carved stone, marble, and granite in cool northwest Connecticut makes the perfect excuse to get out of town and see art in the fresh air this summer. The schedule will be packed with pop-up events, beginning with a large opening party on Saturday, July 14, an undulating dance performance by MOMIX, talks by Mennin and Karol, and guided art tours. For those who want to take a piece of the show home with them, WAA is hosting an exhibition, “Maquette: The Art of the Model,” in which maquettes by several sculptors in the sculpture walk will be shown and available for sale. And for those whose favorite holiday is Halloween, WAA is hosting a costume-soiree closing party on October 27, when guests come dressed as a sculptor or a piece of sculpture. explorewashingtonct.com
Herewith, a other highlights from the sculpture walk:
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