International Sculpture Symposium kicks off in Nashua

By KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent
May 11. 2017 11:42PM

Tony Jimenez of Costa Rica is one of three artists now in the Gate City preparing granite sculptures to be displayed in Nashua. (COURTESY)

NASHUA — Celebrating culture and ethnicity, three talented artists have arrived in the Gate City to create public sculptures designed to inspire the community.

“This is our 10th annual International Sculpture Symposium, and we are quite excited about the event,” said Kathy Hersh, one of the organizers.

The symposium kicked off on Thursday with an opening reception for the sculptors — Mai Thu Van of Vietnam, Tony Jimenez of Costa Rica and Tom Huff of New York.

Local families are hosting the sculptors, who will be working on their masterpieces over the next three weeks.

“We believe that art is part of everyday living, and so when we facilitate the creation of these sculptures by professionals who are from international places, we are encouraging people to appreciate art every day,” said Hersh.

Each artist will create one granite sculpture that will be permanently placed near Lovewell Pond in southwest Nashua. The artwork will be created in the next three weeks inside of the Nimco building within the millyard, and the public is encouraged to visit the sculptors from 8:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. on weekdays from Monday until June 1, according to organizers.

“Nashua is the only city in the United States with an annual international sculpture symposium,” Nina Stylianos, a member of the Nashua International Sculpture Symposium Committee, said in a release.

This is the first time the symposium has invited back sculptors who have participated in the event previously. This year’s artists had attended the symposium in either 2008, 2012 or 2013.

There are about 25 public sculptures displayed throughout Nashua — all of them created during the annual event. Several of the pieces are housed outside of the Nashua Public Library.

“We are a firm believer that art is something you can sit on, climb or touch. We create the sculptures with that in mind,” said Hersh, the city's former community development director.

The sculptors will be directed by John Weidman, a sculptor and co-founder of the Andres Institute of Art in Brookline, and the new sculptures will focus on a centralized theme of togetherness, according to organizers.

While City Arts Nashua is the fiscal sponsor for the event, the symposium is a volunteer program that is also privately funded through grants and sponsors. The cost of the event is about $18,000, and relies heavily on in-kind services.

Each artist is paid a stipend to cover the cost of airfare and other related expenses, and Weidman is also paid to serve as the event’s artist director. Additional money is used for art materials and supplies.

The closing reception will occur at 1 p.m. on June 3 behind Nashua City Hall, at which time trolleys will be available for the public to travel to the three newly installed sculptures.

khoughton@newstote.com


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