Andres Institute of Art Sculpture Park, Brookline, NH – 8/27/16

Andres Sculpture Park is a perfect combination of New England nature, art, hiking, vistas, and surprises around every corner. Hiking boots and sticks strongly recommended, since you’re actually climbing Big Bear Mountain – while distracted by the art.

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140 acres and over 80 sculptures on miles of trails, just over the NH border from Pepperell, MA. Print out the trail map before you go – mildly confusing, but fairly well marked. And if you take a wrong turn and miss the trail you were planning on, you get rewarded with more sculpture! There are no public facilities at the entrance at 98 Route 13 (GPS got us there!), just parking and a port-a-john. And then start climbing and gawking.

We begin up the stairs to this piece Negotiation Table. The works in the park are all stone, metal, wood, plastics, wire, maybe some ceramics – durable materials to withstand the outdoors. Doubleclick any photo to enlarge.

And then they just keep coming:

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“Human Boulder”

This one is called “Old Man In The Mountain’s New Home” by Alak Roy from Bangladesh:

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These 4 are “Community & Diversity”

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Community & Diversity

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Community & Diversity

This is “Still Loading” – get it?

It’s a stone version of the whirling circle on your laptop while you’re waiting for a website to load!

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Horse of Inspiration

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Observatory

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“Rebirth I Am Reborn”

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“Touch Me” boulders

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“Silent Conversation” – looks like a shofar

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“Before the Kiss”

Directional sign, but I don’t think we’ll be hiking to either location (no distances listed).

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As we’re approaching the summit we reach this sign for the “Windows Into Big Bear Mountain” artwork, with instructions to sit on the stone seat, think, and leave our written problems on a slip of paper – sort of like leaving written prayers in the cracks of the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

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Cairn collection:

And then we reach a clearing at the top and Phoenix, the largest piece at the park at 15 feet tall and about 11 tons.

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SPOILER ALERT: I hate to give away the surprising delights of this spot for those who’ll get there. So, if you’re planning to go, stop reading and don’t watch the videos……

 

But for those who won’t hike this place, this summit felt other-worldly. At the top of the clearing are benches where you can sit and enjoy the view of the Phoenix and the vista beyond. But not just any benches – these are two curved fiberglass aqua and cream bowling alley benches. In the middle of all this nature, the most unnatural of all sights – but a welcome resting spot. Surreal.

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And the spot has a panel naming the mountains you can see in the distance – apologies for the shaky lack of focus:

Unbelievable spot! What a treat. And then it was time to hike down, and see the other half of the mountain.

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“Cuerpo Díafano”

This one is “In-Side” –

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“Growing With The Flow”

 

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Mbari House

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All Things Are Flowing

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Even the mushrooms are getting artsy:

This next piece “Upheaval” was one of the most striking, creative pieces – spent a good while trying to comprehend/interpret its story:

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Upheaval

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Upheaval’s mouth

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story stones in Upheaval’s mouth

And the trails and sculpture just keep on coming, all produced here at the Andres studio up in the woods:

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“Transitions”

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Enjoying The Stars

This stone and metal sofa, Contempo Rustic, is a good not-cushy resting spot:

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Frida Carrying The Marble Player

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A4 Entrance Gate (Dreamcatcher)

We didn’t hit every trail, but came close. Didn’t photograph every sculpture – my cup already runneth over. Four hours hiking, admiring the art and the view, snacking, and being generally amazed. HOW HAD WE NOT HEARD OF THIS PLACE!!!

And leaving New Hampshire, of course, a covered bridge:

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    What an awesome testament to the AIA Sculpture Park. Thank you.
    All are welcome to visit the park during the symposium, now in
    progress, hike the trails, enjoy all the sculptures, and observe the
    visiting artists at work. Closing ceremony on Oct. 1, 4pm, meet at the kiosk, 98 Rt. 13, Brookline. See the placement of this year’s creations, observe the unveiling of the artists’ work. Public welcome. Hope to see you there. Nancy C. Reinbold


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