The Andres Institute of Art is proud to be celebrating the 13th year of its International Sculpture Symposium, a testament to the longevity of the program.
The three-week event will kick off on Sunday, Sept. 11, at 3 p.m. at the Town Hall in Brookline. This year four sculptors — two men and two women — from the United States, Europe, Africa and South America will participate, according to sculptor John Weidman, who organizes the event. The theme this year is “What’s in Your Heart?” but Weidman cautioned that the theme wasn’t overly important — the artists won’t be sculpting large hearts or anything; it serves to brings attention to an idea and allows the public to identify specifically with each symposium.
“It is more about what is in your heart,” Weidman said.
Sculptor Jon Barlow Hudson may be from Ohio but he has spent his career carving sculptures around the world. A brief read through his career is enough to get you frequent flier miles. He has worked in Tibet, India, Scotland, Senegal, Spain to name but a few places. His works vary greatly, including ones that are definitively modern and others that appear to be thousands of years old.
Gricelda Lopez’s abstract talents will arrive from Chile, and Alexandra Harley, who works in wood, stone and paper, will be coming across the pond from the United Kingdom. Of her work, Harley has said she tries to “encapsulate a combination of movements rather than just a static pose,” according to her website, www.alexandraharley.co.uk.
The fourth artist is Hassan Kamel, who was born in Cairo in 1967, fell for bronze at an early age and was inspired by Ancient Egyptian sculpture.
Weidman said sculptors apply to be part of the symposium but also hear about it from fellow artists. As their work will be created during their three weeks in New Hampshire, there is no formal proposal, so they are judged mostly by previous work. But Weidman said he also looks at the artist’s ability to work with other people and the public. Besides the opening and closing ceremonies, there are guided tours every Saturday; nature walks up Bear Mountain, which is home to the sculptures; receptions; potluck dinners, and a finished sculpture unveiling. With so much good will, Weidman wants sculptors who will continue spreading the spirit of the symposium long after the three weeks have ended.
That seems to be happening. Now in its 13th year, Weidman said organizers have received lots of feedback from sculptors who have participated in previous years.
“A lot of them say when they think of the Andres Institute it puts a smile on their face,” Weidman said.
The 13th Bridges and Connections International Sculpture Symposium (that’s the official title) has even inspired some offspring, like the Contemporary Arts International in Acton, Mass., which invited four artists this past year, one of whom was Weidman.
“Some sculptors see our website and say they are proud to be part of this,” Weidman said. “So many of these sorts of things flash up and disappear, but we’ve been able to maintain it and will do our best to keep it going.”
They will be assisted by public support, which is why the Andres Institute is holding an Iron Melt Workshop on Saturday, Sept. 3, at 1 p.m. At the demonstration, which acts as a fundraiser to provide living stipends for the artists, every participant will get his or her own mold and will learn about the materials and the process. When it is time to pour, the participants will step aside and let sculptor Joseph Montroy take over and dazzle with the amazing colors that are produced.
“Everybody gets to keep what they make,” Weidman said. “It isn’t just something that is novel either. It will last forever.”
It costs $35 to participate, which includes all materials; Weidman said pre-registration is a must so they can have the correct number of molds available.