NEWBURYPORT — The city has installed yet another new sculpture along the Clipper City Rail Trail, just south of March’s Hill.
Joseph Gray’s “Together We Climb,” an 11-foot-high granite standing stone with two sets of handprints carved into the top, was put in last week.
The piece is made of stone from Belisle Granite Quarry in Hooksett, New Hampshire, and was donated by Gray after it was displayed for a year at the Newburyport Art Association’s Range Light Sculpture Park.
Geordie Vining, Newburyport’s senior project manager, described the sculpture as “a beautifully shaped piece of granite” and said he felt it harkened back to the early days of mankind.
“For me, the handprints made me think of ancient cave paintings, which connects us back thousands of years to these ancestors,” Vining said. “I really felt like there was something timeless with this.”
The rail trail has more than two dozen permanent sculptures, including another sculpture crafted by Gray at the fish pier embayment near the harbormaster building.
Many of the sculptures were donated or provided at a significant discount to the city, which Vining said has allowed the city to give the trail a unique appeal.
“It adds a whole other layer of experience for anyone using the trail, and it definitely makes the new public space more distinct than any other trail in the region,” Vining said. “People have really responded to having this collection along the trail. They’re focal points to help draw people along the trail.”
Gray is a skilled stone mason and has been working with stone and creating art for decades. In a press release from the city, he expressed joy in being able to contribute his artwork to the rail trail.
“I feel strongly about community art and the legacy it leaves to the community and to my children and grandchildren,” Gray said. “I hope everyone appreciates the simple elegance of the piece and the sense of community togetherness it invokes.”
For more information on the Clipper City Rail Trail project, contact Vining at 978-465-4400.