“I think she was one of the best sculptors of animals in a long time,” Schon said.
Seamans could also create portraits of particular animals in commissioned works, which Schon said takes remarkable skill.
“The subtlety of animals’ features — it’s so hard to find features that are different,” she said. “She could do it. She had a way with animals.”
In addition to re-creating the ducks from Robert McCloskey’s children’s book in Boston, Schon’s own public sculptures of animals have included a pair of prairie dogs for a botanical garden in Oklahoma City and several raccoons in Nashville, Tenn.
“I can say things with animals that I can’t say with people,” she said.
She also likes the fact that people of all ages feel comfortable interacting with sculptures of animals, which they rarely do with human figures.
“You put a 2-year-old on my Bacon, and they’re so happy they don’t know what to do with themselves,” she said.
In a catalog for the show, which will be available to visitors, Schon contrasts the work of sculptors with painters.
“As a painter, one has to make the viewer see a third dimension from a two-dimensional form,” she writes. “Further, the objects in paintings can be flying all over the place, like Pingree’s Flying Horse.
“We, as sculptors, must indicate a form from infinite sides, and somehow that form or that sculpture has to be grounded, even a mobile. As you look at the sculptures, you might want to think about that.”
Along with the pieces by Schon, Seamans and Friedman, the exhibit will include works by Gordon Frost and Gene Sheehan of Salisbury, Michael Updike of Newbury and Lindley Briggs of Newburyport.
The show will also feature an appearance by Groveland sand sculptor Justin Gordon, who will create likenesses of three students from Monday through next Saturday in front of the school, where the public is welcome to watch him work.