October 21 2019

Burlington Sculpture Park Plans Coming Together

By: Tad Stephanak

Burlington may have a new Sculpture Park as early as June. 

The idea of a sculpture park originated with the Master Plan Steering Committee to make use of the green space in the center of town. To help with implementation a Sculpture Park Subcommittee was created under the Planning Board. With members from the Planning Board, Board of Selectmen, the high school, the library, Town Meeting and the business community the committee has been meeting about once a month since 2016. 

Jon Sachs, Chair of the Sculpture Park Subcommittee, spoke on the proposed location.

“We consider the town center to be the Common and there’s a nice little field between the police station and Grand View Farm which is an underutilized space,” Sachs said. “We want visibility so we want to use the tippy corners of the Common that would be visible to drivers.”

As far as funding Sachs said the Nordblom Company has proposed a gift and there are also other developers who’ve discussed funding as well. Sachs noted the most likely involvement and expense by the town would be the DPW helping with the installation of sculptures. 

Although guidelines for the types of sculptures are still being finalized, Sachs said the presentation to the Board of Selectmen will pitch works that are engaging.

“Work with no specific theme because we want to be open to all styles and subjects,” he said. “Colorful works that delight all ages will be welcome.

The Sculpture Park Subcommittee has partnered with the New England Sculpture Association to help reach out to sculptors in New England and possibly beyond.  The timeline for the project, pending approval from the Board of Selectmen, is to put out calls for entries mid-November through December. Final decisions could be made in January which would let the sculptors create, begin installations in the spring and in June have an unveiling ceremony. Sachs explained how the sculptures themselves would be displayed. 

“We’re going to rotate them over a two year period for display but we also want to have the option to purchase,” he said. “If there’s one the town really loves then we would try and find a way to raise the money to purchase it.”

Sachs summed up the intent of the Burlington Sculpture Park.

“We want people to drive by the common and say ‘That’s really cool,’” he said. “So instead of when you say ‘Burlington’ people automatically say ‘the Mall’, we want people to say ‘Burlington, that’s the cool town with the sculptures. But for now we just want to do something delightful so when people go through the center of town they get a lift in their day.” 

The Sculpture Park Subcommittee will present to the Board of Selectmen in November.


 

 
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