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“La Familia” by Tony Jimenez at Park Social at Labine in Nashua. Courtesy photo.




Sculpture savvy strolls
Three walks for art lovers

05/28/15
By Kelly Sennott ksennott@hippopress.com



Meredith Sculpture Walk
Where: Downtown Meredith
Miles: 1.5
Difficulty level: Very easy
What to bring: Camera, cash for tasty treats as you pass by Main Street, and sculpture map, available starting June 15 at greatermeredithprogram.com and also at the downtown post office; at the Courtyard on Main Street; at the entrance to Hesky Park; and at the entrance of Scenic Park.
Highlights: 32 sculptures scattered around downtown
After success in 2014, members of the Meredith Sculpture Walk Committee have decided to install sculptures in downtown Meredith yet again. Many of the 25 that decorated the city last year will return, but artists needed to go through the same jurying process, said committee co-chair Bev Lapham via phone.
“We got about 65 submissions, which was great. The jury has met and selected, from those, 32 sculptures. Some were from last year, but most are new,” Lapham said. 
Last week the committee was meeting to decide which sculptures would go where. Installations begin June 1 and continue through July 15. 
Lapham said this year’s trail will take walkers to 14 new locations. Thirteen sculptures will populate Main Street, 13 in Hesky, Clough and Scenic parks, and six are within the Inn at Mill Falls complex. Maps will become available June 15, online and in brochure holders in front of the post office, by the Courtyard on Main Street, and at the entrances to Hesky and Scenic parks. You can drop in at any spot; Lapham said there isn’t a clear start or finish, though if you’re to visit each one, he estimates the trip is about a mile and a half.
“It’s the kind of thing families can do with their children. They can take the maps, and it’s almost like a treasure hunt. And this is public art, so they can touch it, feel it and take pictures in front of it. It’s not like going to an art gallery or museum,” Lapham said.
During the “treasure hunt,” walkers pass by greenery and Lake Winnipesaukee as they move via the asphalt footpaths. (There’s a slight slope to Lower Main Street, but Lapham said he thought it was doable even via wheelchair.) They’ll pass by Lee’s Candy Kitchen, the Innisfree Bookshop, Ben & Jerry’s, Hermit Woods Winery, art galleries, and numerous food and coffee shops.
There are guided tours most Saturdays at 10 or 11 a.m. that start at the Mill Falls Marketplace in front of Innisfree Bookshop (312 DW Highway, Meredith), though groups can also schedule tours by calling 279-9015 or visiting the website. 
If you want to bang out two walks during your visit to Meredith, there’s also a historcal walk available through the Meredith Historical Society; visit mhsweb.org for more on this trail.
 
Andres Institute of Art
Where: 98 Route 13, Brookline
Miles: About 10 miles of trails
Difficulty level: Easy to moderate, depending on the loops you walk
What to bring: Camera, good walking/hiking shoes, a printable map from andresinstitute.org; this map also has different routes you can take based on how long you want to hike — they take an estimated 15 minutes to one hour. This map also tells you where you’ll find the sculptures. If you want to bring a picnic lunch, there are numerous sites to eat, including on the picnic trail near the trailhead and parking lot.
Highlights: More than 80 sculptures, most of which were created through the Andres Institute of Art’s annual sculpture symposium
The Andres Institute of Art is a series of trails on Big Bear Mountain with more than 80 sculptures, nearly all of which were created right on site as part of the Andres Institute of Art’s annual international sculpture symposium held in the fall. It was co-founded by engineer Paul Andres and sculptor John Weidman in 1996, and it gets visitors during all seasons.
The website, andresinstittue.org, has a (slightly outdated but still very helpful) printable map with different loop options, tailored to how long you want to hike, from 15 minutes to an hour. (There’s also an option that, while steep, is paved and thus handicap-accessible.) The only new trail is accessible just off the trailhead near the parking lot, called the Picnic Trail, which contains a picnic bench and a couple new sculptures.
The artists who created for the trails are from all over the world, and while not all are installed, most sculptures are accompanied by name and artist plaques. Weidman said hikers may also pass by the spring-fed quarry, if they take that path, and wild critters like bird and deer.
“Young kids love it,” Weidman said via phone. “One guy told me how he came by one day — he was really down, but by the time he left, his spirits were up. … We try to put the work in a natural environment, rather than have everything manicured and having to charge people money to see it. We want people to come on their own terms and interpret the work on their own. There are some basic hints in the titles of the pieces, but it’s all up to the individual how they see them.”
 
Nashua Sculpture Walk
Where: Downtown Nashua
Miles: Depends on how many sculptures you’re seeing; to see all in the immediate downtown is about 3.5 miles
Difficulty level: Easy
What to bring: Camera, cash if you want to stop someplace downtown for food or drink.
Highlights: Sculptures in prominent downtown Nashua locations
The past eight years, the city of Nashua has invited international artists to create sculptures for the city as part of its annual symposium. Today, 18 of these pieces are permanent decor for some of Nashua’s most prominent places. Two more are being installed, and three were just completed as part of the symposium, which ends this weekend; visit nashuasculpturesymposium.org. Come summer, there should be 23 total.
There is no official sculpture route or printable map — City Arts Nashua president Kathy Hersh said this is something the nonprofit would love to do in the near future — but you can get sculpture details and location information at nashuanh.gov. Under the “Maps” tab on the right side of the home page, click “Explore the Art of Nashua.” This map contains not only sculpture photos, names and artist information, but also details on the pieces’ inspiration.
Around the immediate downtown, sculpture walkers will stop to see art at Rotary Common (where there are three sculptures), City Hall, the Nashua Public Library (where there are about four), a couple schools (Ledge Street School, Elm Street Middle School) and the city’s many parks (Bicentennial Park, Park Social at Labine, Mine Falls Park, etc.).
If you’re tired of sculpture, you’ll notice the website also contains a map of the city’s murals; some are brand-new, like “Vivian’s Dream” at TD Bank, and some are a bit older, like “Yankee Mural,” painted by former New Hampshire Artist Laureate James Aponovich in 1997, next to Citizens Bank. 
 
As seen in the May 28, 2015 issue of the Hippo.

 






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