CHESTERTOWN — The Chestertown Public Art Committee is delighted to announce the installation of six more sculptures from the Hanna and Peter Woicke Collection of Public Sculpture. Together with the installation of Jay Lagemann’s “Reading Dog” at the Kent County Public Library in October, these works embody the central place of the arts in Chestertown and Kent County.
Members of the Public Art Committee worked with the Town Council and Town Hall staff to find fitting locations across the town for the works. Installation was overseen by Miles Barnard of South Fork Studios and facilitated by Level Art Installations. The Chestertown Public Art Committee coordinated the acceptance of the gift of 24 sculptures to the Town, and is managing the placement and installation of each work.
The new installations feature two works by Serbian sculptor Magdalena Miočinović Andrić, the first permanent installation of the artist’s work in the United States. A versatile artist who works in bronze, wood, and stone, Andrić explores the borderlands between representational and abstract art.
The two newly installed works, “The Big Courtship” next to the Kent Cultural Alliance’s newly refurbished Raimond Center and “The Great Yes” along the Gilchrest Rail Trail where it crosses High Street, both arise out of the deep artistic traditions of bronze figural sculpture while exploring new forms.
“Vessel” by Peter Burke, which has been installed in Louisa Carpenter Park, is another work that explores meaningful ways to represent the body, as the widely-exhibited English artist has done for over forty years. Constructed out of small steel bars welded together, the sculpture presents a human body on its head waiting, as the name implies, to be filled up. The sculpture asks its viewers to consider what exactly it is that fulfills them.
Another work, “Figure” by Walter Bailey, presents a similarly mysterious human form in the pocket park at 107 S. Cross Street. Working with a chainsaw in wood, the English artist created a faceless figure out of sinuous lines, evoking a spiritual or ghostly form.
The American artist Susan Stamm Evans also created an air of mystery in “Face Fragment III” which has been installed in Remembrance Park along Horsey Lane. Noticing the unsettling effect of works of art where we cannot see a person’s eyes, Evans removed the eyes altogether for this series of sculptures. With its lips slightly parted, the viewer is left to wonder what secret knowledge, exactly, the sculpture might be trying to impart.
The final work to be installed is “Sentinel,” a lively representation of an owl by the American artist Don Rambadt. Gracing the new rain garden at the Cerino Center in Chestertown Marina, Sentinel pays tribute to the vibrant confluence of art and nature that animates so much of Chestertown and Kent County.
With seventeen sculptures yet to be installed from the extraordinary gift of the Woicke Collection, Chestertown will be seeing many more new arrivals in the near future. Dave Hegland with the Chestertown Public Art Committee said the hope is to install another eight or nine sculptures in 2023 and the remainder in 2024.
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