, Newburyport, MA


September 19, 2013

Lasting impressions of sculptures in the park


The wonderful thing about Sculpture at Maudslay is that we all feel free to experiment. The exhibitors range from artists with lengthy resumes to newcomers to art. I think I speak for everyone when I say that we all feel supported by our fellow artists and by the viewing public. There is an unspoken agreement between us all that, in the spirit of the gift of the beautiful space that is Maudslay State Park, we approach all the art with a generous and open heart.

For me, Sculpture at Maudslay has a life beyond these three weeks in September. Just as I will never walk in Central Park again without seeing echoes of “The Gates,” I always feel the resonance of past sculptures in Maudslay State Park. In 2011, I did an interactive piece called “Play at Maudslay.” Small blank books of Tyvek hung from a tree branch and visitors were invited to contribute their thoughts and feelings about the park. My little book told mine:

Ever since I participated in my first Maudslay outdoor sculpture exhibition, the park has changed for me. It has become a richer, more vibrant place. It is populated not just by trees, shrubs, bridges, ponds, wildflowers, wildlife and visitors, but by the echoes of past sculptures. I can’t walk by the pond without seeing Ann McCrea’s frogs, pass the tree by the wall and not want to pull the cord and make Bert Snow’s branches move, or look down the green corridor and not be amazed by David Davies’ orange portal. I still see John Ashworth’s sticks moving in the wind, hear Jay Havighurst’s instrument chorus in the garden and Cameron Sesto’s prayer wheel as I view the river. There are too many more to mention, but they are all here, layered in time and space, adding to the offerings of nature and history in this magical place.


Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord lives in Newburyport.

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