Thursday, May 26, 2016

Wind, Waves, and Light: Kinetic Sculpture by George Sherwood

George Sherwood, Memory of Water, 2014. Stainless steel, 78 x 78 x 78 in. Photo by Addison Zinner

George Sherwood is the artist and engineer behind the stainless steel sculptures peppered throughout the Museum grounds. The sculptures play with the concepts of space, time, and movement, provoking viewers to interpret each of the pieces differently. Sherwood’s work is highly influenced by the motion of nature, symbolizing the shimmering of sun rays through tree leaves, the shine of the light on the scales of a fish, the movement of waves, and the flight and migrant patterns of birds.

Sherwood’s piece Turns, which can be found at the Museum duck pond, is counter weighted by small turns that hide under the “feathers” of the two metal birds, invisible to onlookers but accurate to their representation of nature. 

George Sherwood, Turns, 2015. Stainless steel, 36 x 18 x 24 in. Photo by Addison Zinner

Memory of Fibonacci, the circular piece that hangs on the wall of the Round Barn, was initially inspired by the mathematical Fibonacci sequence, seen in the center of a sunflower. Mixing organic ideas with inorganic creation, Sherwood’s art mimics the structure and gestures of objects and creatures found in nature. 

George Sherwood, Memory of Fibonacci, 2014. Stainless steel, 60 x 60 x 5 in. Photo by Addison Zinner

George Sherwood received an engineering and arts degree from the University of Vermont and the Hartford Art School. He currently lives, works, and creates in Ipswich, MA. The Vermont landscape and his relationship to the area as a student at UVM gave him the perfect context to exhibit his work at Shelburne Museum.

Join George Sherwood on May 28th at 2:00pm for his presentation at the Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education, followed by a walk through of his sculptures on the museum grounds. The eight alluring sculptures in his show Winds, Waves, and Light: Kinetic Sculpture by George Sherwood will be on display at Shelburne Museum through October 31, 2016. More information on George Sherwood and his work can be found on his website and the Shelburne Museum page.

George Sherwood, Wind Sphere, 2002. Stainless steel, 168 x 72 x 72 in. Photo by Addison Zinner
Article by Addison Zinner

Friday, May 6, 2016

2016 Lilac Watch: Interview with Landscape and Gardens Manager Jessica Gallas

Lilac buds as of May 5, 2016
The lilacs are beginning to bud throughout the Museum grounds. Soon, the Museum campus will be painted with fragrant shades of purple, white and dark burgundy bushes. Come enjoy these beautiful plants over the next few weeks.

Lilacs have always been an important feature of the Shelburne Museum landscape, with over 400 bushes of 90 varieties situated throughout the grounds. Museum founder, Electra Havemeyer Webb said “[Lilacs were] one of the first collections that I made since Watson and I were first married… When we moved to Vermont, we brought two hundred and fifty lilacs from our Westbury home to the Museum grounds.” Below is a short interview with Landscape and Gardens Manager Jessica Gallas.

Lilacs in full bloom on the north end of the Shelburne Museum grounds, May 2015.

How long have the lilac bushes been part of the Museum landscape?
Some of the lilac bushes on the grounds today have been part of the landscape since the Museum opened in 1947. The lilacs located between the Dutton House and the north end of the grounds came from the Webb estate in Westbury, Long Island. All the others were bought from nurseries around this region and planted in the 1950’s and 1960s. We continue to add new hybrids today, as some of the older varieties are succumbing to disease.

What is the significance to the placement of the bushes within the landscape?

The lilacs and apple trees were chosen for the Museum grounds, knowing they would be in bloom about the time the Museum opened each spring. Their placement was designed to enhance the natural appearance of the historic structures they surrounded.

Why are lilacs so popular in Vermont/New England?

Lilacs are popular in the New England region because they are hardy (like many New Englanders!), they survive the cold Vermont winters, and have been around since the 18th century. Plus they produce beautiful flowers and a strong, elegant scent. 

Lilacs in full bloom, May 2015.