Last fall, residents and visitors to Morrisville had the chance to vote for a tree-themed public art project. Now, Hardwick artist Gordon Auchincloss has been commissioned to build the first of his three winning public art sculptures.
Morristown was one of five communities to receive a planning grant from the Vermont Arts Council for a public art project, and the town settled on a tree theme.
"The community has asked for more trees and green spaces throughout the town," a press release on the project states. "Surveys going back over the course of 20 years all include the people wanting more trees, these sculptures will add trees and so much more."
Steel sculpture designs by Auchincloss won the popular vote last fall, and now the town has received a $15,000 grant from Community National Bank to fund the first sculpture.
"When we travel, one of the things we recall most vividly about a city is the public art and spaces," the town press release states. "Public art has the power to energize our public spaces, arouse our thinking, and transform the places where we live, work, and play into more welcoming and beautiful environments that invite interaction. This is what Gordon’s work will do for Morristown, it will create a sense of place."
The first sculpture will be an interactive piece, located near the Morristown Post Office. The interactive sculpture will be built to be "redesigned" annually.
"Each year, professional artists will work with a local group to create a new visual design using the interactive 'tree' sculpture and communicate their message," the project announcement states. Community groups listed include schools, youth programs, senior programs and other local organizations.
Auchincloss' other two designs are fixed sculptures that will be placed by the Morristown Centennial Library and the Morristown Police Office. Funding has yet to be secured for those projects.
Two other public art projects funded by the Vermont Arts Council's planning grants are also in the works. The Cambridge Arts Council has received funding to design and create murals on two concrete silos in Jeffersonville. And the Poultney Historical Society received funds to fabricate and install two standing slate stones with memorial inscriptions referencing the region's industrial slate history.