The Bushnell Plaza Sculpture Garden, located on Bushnell Plaza (at the corner of Gold Street & Main Street) is a collaboration between the Bushnell Plaza Association, the iQuilt Partnership and Joan Hurwit, the creator of the sculpture garden at the Governor’s executive residence. Objects in the Bushnell Park Sculpture Garden were created, transported and installed by Connecticut artists, all at no charge. The installation includes works by Ann Mallory, Jonathan Waters, Denis Curtiss, Tom Doyle, Joe Gitterman, Peter Kirkiles, David Skora, David Hayes, Brian Walters, Bradford McDougall, Michael McLaughlin and Emily Weiskopf.
Sculpture Garden Artists
Kent native Denis Curtiss developed a kinship with wood and metal during an apprenticeship restoring fine antiques. Denis has shown his award-winning sculptures in juried shows, galleries and museums across New England. He has worked in a variety of media since the early 1970’s, and in 1976 he began teaching art, and studying it, all around the world — in Europe, Africa, Asia and the South Pacific. Amboseli reflects his admiration for the beauty of animals.
Tom Doyle has worked with wood for most of his life. Influences seen in Doyle’s work reflect the works of 19th-century bridge builders and abstract expressionist artists, particularly Franz Kline. He cuts and carves shapes that relate to the forms taken by trees as they react to the forces of nature, and begins each cut freely, without any preconception as to the final form a sculpture will take or become.
Carol Kreeger Davidson
Carol Kreeger Davidson used as many materials as possible when she created Reconstructed Issues. She wanted to see if they would speak with their own voices or could harmonize and become one. The two sections of this piece can be moved into different positions or reconstructed entirely, changing the relationships between the forms, shapes, and materials: bronze, stainless steel, aluminum and teak.
This object explores themes that were central to Kreeger Davidson’s work as a sculptor. Angular stainless steel trees with delicate leaf stencils, the imposing middle figure and the cut-out base show the relationship between created forms
and those found in the natural world.
Washington Depot, CT
Joe Gitterman’s works are greatly influenced by the human body, specifically the shapes, gestures and momentary poses created by dancers. Through observation and sketches, he conceives an image of a motion and attempts to infuse that motion into three-dimensional objects using marble, plaster, clay, copper, sheet metal, wax, bronze, aluminum and mirrored stainless steel. He shapes, balances, and captures the potential energy that makes each of his sculptures visually and spatially engaging.
Over the course of six decades, American modern master David Hayes produced a body of sculptural work that concerned itself with geometrically abstracting organic forms. His monumental outdoor sculptures contemplate the relationship between a work of art and the environment it occupies, and demonstrate the influence of teacher David Smith and friend Alexander Calder.
South Kent, CT
Peter Kirkiles’ Rule Segment (Red) was among the first works installed in the Bushnell Plaza Sculpture Garden. Rule Segment (Red) is made from white oak and stainless steel, and the graduations on the rule are full-scale, a one-to-one proportion. Scale is a central theme in Kirkiles work, which has been exhibited at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, the Hubert Gallery, The Tremaine Gallery at Hotchkiss, and in the Sculpture Garden at the Governor’s Residence.
This sculpture honors the sacredness of water. It is fifth in a series of vertical sculptures titled Water’s Scrin, made in the tradition of Inuit stone totems, pre-historic European menhirs and anthropomorphic Stelaw. This standing stone sculpture is a modern-day communal signpost. Scrin is an Anglo-Saxon word used to describe a secure container that held writing. The word has evolved to mean both script and shrine.
McDougall’s inspiration for Y-livia, and the series it belongs to, came from the small front yards of the Roland Park neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland, which were designed by Frederick Law Olmstead. The sculptures in this series range in design from static, whimsical animals, based on paintings made by the artist’s 2 year old daughter, to kinetic sculptures like this one. Y-livia is made from rolled steel, aircraft aluminum, stainless steel, braided galvanized wire and square head bolts.
McLaughlin’s bronze sculptures aren’t limited to birds, but it is a prevalent theme in his work. He’s sculpted peacocks, hummingbirds, pelicans, woodpeckers, cranes and owls, as well as other animals. His works are “often allegorical narratives relating the harmony and interdependence found in nature,” according to Pamela Siemon of the Fenn Gallery of Contemporary Art. McLaughlin’s work can be seen in the Sculpture Garden at the Governors Mansion and at the New Britain Museum of American Art.
New Hartford, CT
Skora was visiting Valencia, Spain when he came upon the palace of the Marqués de Dos Aguas. After seeing the dramatic variations of Baroque style architecture that enveloped the entrance to the building, he wanted to create a sculpture that reflected the character and dramatic intensity of this building. This piece is a welded fabricated metal sculpture of abstracted forms created in the modernist tradition. It interprets the intense emotions and experience of baroque art.
Black & Red is a welded, fabricated metal sculpture made with abstract steel forms, created in the modernist tradition. Visual tension of contrasting elements speak of motion, or of the suggestion of elements frozen in space while in the process of movement. Skora believes that sculptures should become a source of contemplation as well as inspiration to those who view it.
Brian C. Walters, II
Walters began work on his Urban Totem series in 2008. It is composed entirely of salvaged materials, ranging from antique farm implements to modern car parts. This series draws on the artist’s background in welding, and captures the spirit of the American trade worker. Walters considers totems to be spiritual objects and wants these pieces to act as altars, themselves, creations that makes the viewer ponder and reflect.
Jonathan Waters created his Samurai series to explore the visual and physical relationship of static structure and fluid form through dissimilar materials. Incorporating line and plane, his sculptures are essentially dimensional drawings in space, constructed in the moment. Meant to convey the energy of their making, all are similar, yet different, and each is individual to its installation site.
Unparallel Way interprets life’s ups-and-downs in a true state of mind. It is a humorous twist on the yellow line that is supposed to “take you there.’ It holds open the nature of the paths people follow and the landscape that it creates. Weiskopf’s large-scale site-specific works directly relate to the installation site through their formal interaction with the grounds.