Blackfoot Pathways: Sculpture in the Wild
Park’s development ahead of schedule
Aug. 24, 2018
LINCOLN — Five years ago some 60 Lincoln-area residents got together in the school gym to hear of a new vision for this small mountain community.
Logging and mining were continuing to fade as foundational components of the area’s economy — not gone nor forgotten, but surely diminished.
The speaker that evening was Irish sculptor Kevin O’Dwyer who arrived in Lincoln as the guest of renowned Damascus steel knife maker Rick Dunkerley who he met at Pratt Fine Arts in Seattle, Washington where O’Dwyer was artist-in-residence. O’Dwyer proposed a sculpture symposium inviting international artists to create large-scale sculpture installations that honored the region’s industrial and environmental heritage creating a unique, living “park” that would make the community a focal point for visitors and students from Montana and, eventually, from far away. “Blackfoot Pathways: Sculpture in the Wild will become a Montana art destination once it’s there,” he said in 2013. “It takes a while. This is looking at it over a 10-year period.”
Five years later the sculpture park originally envisioned by O’Dwyer and Lincoln resident Rick Dunkerley is truly a presence in Lincoln, and it is well ahead of that 10-year schedule.
The sculpture park is home to 14 major environmental sculptures by internationally known artists, with three more installations to be added in the coming weeks.
Artistic Director and co-founder of the 26-acre park on the eastern edge of Lincoln, O’Dwyer is delighted with the more than 17,000 visitors who have passed through the gate this year. O’Dwyer states: “I have met visitors during the summer season from as many as 10 States, Canada and Europe. Some are specifically visiting the park as an Art Destination and others have been drawn in by the iconic “Gateway” columns created by Finish sculptor Jaakko Pernu at our entrance. Montana residents are now bringing friends and family, who visit the area, to this wonderful inspiring walk in the park! ”
BPSW’s busiest month - September - is just weeks away. (see related article for events schedule). Activities will abound as internationally known artists will be in residence creating sculptures and music, talking with visitors and students, and adding to the Blackfoot Pathways legacy.
Residents this year include sculptors Cornelia Konrads of Germany, Kate Hunt, from Kalispell, Montana, and BPSW/UM emerging artist Anne Yoncha.
BPSW Composer-in-Residence and cellist Adele O’Dwyer is curating a program that will raise the profile of music at the park and in the community to unprecedented levels. With 8 concerts during the three-week period involving musicians from New York, Ireland, Santiago (Chile), Minneapolis, Helena and Amherst there will be a buzz in the streets and the park!
The musical highlight will come near the end of the residencies: the debut of an original song cycle by Adele O’Dwyer featuring voice and a piano quartet and incorporating works by native American poets Victor Charlo and Heather Cahoon.
O’Dwyer states: It’s hard to believe we are celebrating our 5th anniversary this coming September. It has been an amazing journey for both the artists involved and the many community members who have participated in the development of the sculpture park. I love the enthusiasm of the community members who arrive with their expertise, manpower and machinery to work with our artists. This year’s program is extra special as we are celebrating our 5th anniversary with the introduction of a performing arts program in the Lincoln Community Hall - who are celebrating their 100th anniversary! Plenty to celebrate in Lincoln this September. Concerts are free, musicians are world class, come on out and enjoy a day in the park, a lunch time concert or an evening performance in Lincoln Community Hall.”
With the exception of the Sept. 22 fundraising auction and dinner (which already is sold out), all events in the course of the residencies are open to the public and free of charge. Events include no fewer than eight concerts, all at Lincoln’s 100-year-old Community Hall in the heart of the town. Also planned are evening talks by the artists.
The auction highlights the two-day “Festival in the Wild” Sept. 22-23, which includes public tours and concerts.
August 24, 2018
Blackfoot Pathways: Sculpture in the Wild
Renowned sculptors will be featured in September residencies at Lincoln Sculpture Park;
A variety of music will be added to the mix, and it’s all free of charge
Aug. 24, 2018
LINCOLN — The fifth anniversary of Blackfoot Pathways: Sculpture in the Wild this September promises to elevate further the surprising art park in this small mountain community.
In addition to playing host to renowned sculptors Cornelia Konards and Kate Hunt who will be working on new installations in the 26-acre sculpture park on the eastern edge of town, visitors and residents will be treated to an eclectic range of musical concerts curated by Composer-in-Residence Adele O’Dwyer.
Visitors are welcome during the residencies to observe and, possibly on occasion, lend a hand for the artists. Folks who visited during last year’s residencies will recall the work of sculptor Patrick Dougherty with his small army of volunteers, “weaving” some 13 tons of willow saplings into the “Tree Circus,” which has taken its place alongside the historic Teepee Burner as an iconic centerpiece of the park.
Events planned during the residencies start with the on-going sculpture installations by the artists throughout their Sept. 10-29 residencies. (See “This Year’s Artists” below).
The invited symposium artists are asked to respond to the environmental and industrial heritage of the Blackfoot River Valley in the creation of their large-scale sculpture installations. The three visual artists will also present an evening talk describing their work practice during the residency program. (see “Artist Talks” below).
Music played a role in all the earlier residencies, but there will be much more this year thanks to the residency of composer and cellist Adele O’Dwyer.
Composer-in-Residence O’Dwyer has curated the series of concerts that will feature musical genres including classical, jazz, folk, original music and song. All the concerts — including three lunchtime performances on Wednesdays ( September 12th,19th and 26th ) during the residencies — will be in Lincoln’s unique octagonal Community Hall, a downtown venue that is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. The 40-minute lunchtime concerts will begin at 12:30 p.m.
Lincoln Youth Concert will feature the children of the Lincoln School Choir. The concert will take place on the evening of Thursday the 27th at 7:00 pm. The program will include work prepared as part of the Sculpture in the Wild Montana-Ireland Song Exchange and Collaborative Composition Project, as well as a performance by the school band. Present in the hall that evening will be a gallery of artworks, writings and mural panels inspired by the exchange project.
The Closing Concert will feature an original composition by O’Dwyer for voice and piano quartet. The song cycle incorporates the poetry of native American poets Victor Charlo and Heather Cahoon. This specially commissioned work will premiere at the Community Hall at 7:30 pm on Sept. 28.
Festival in the Wild @ Sculpture in the Wild
A weekend of sculpture park activities including tours and music events will be held on September 22nd and 23rd.
On the evening of Saturday, Sept. 22, will be what’s billed as a Café Music Night concert featuring pianist Phil Aaberg, singer/song writer Pan Morigan, Adele O’Dwyer and the BPSW piano quartet. That’s also the night of the park’s annual fundraising auction — the only event of the entire three weeks for which admission is charged, and it is sold out.
Sunday, September 23rd at 3 pm will showcase. Pan Morigan and Friends. Morigan is a highly regarded singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist. Writes Roger Treece, a multiple Grammy winner, “As both singer and songwriter, her music evokes in me what few artists have. I believe the world needs to hear her music; it’s beautiful and compelling.” The concert will take place in Lincoln Community Hall.
BPSW is also celebrating it’s 5th year of our education program. The Sculpture in the Wild education program provides an opportunity for over 300 students per year from the Blackfoot Valley catchment area to meet internationally recognized artists and to receive an introduction to the language and visual vocabulary of contemporary sculpture. During the program students visit the sculptors working on site, engage with sculpture installations from previous symposiums and participate in a hands-on sculpture session. Over 1,200 children have had the opportunity to participate in this program over the past 5 years.
Sculpture Launch – September 29th
The BPSW official launch of the new sculpture installations will be held on September 29th. The public are invited to meet with artists Cornelia Konrads, Kate Hunt and Anne Yoncha in the TeePee Burner at 2 pm and proceed to the new sculpture installations.
After the launch, music will be provided in the Teepee Burner by Steve Gores and Friends.
This Year’s Artists:
Cornelia Konradswas born in Wuppertal, Germany, studied philosophy and has worked as a freelance artist since 1998. Her interest typically focuses on site-specific installations — indoors and outdoors, temporary and permanent. She has done works for public spaces, sculpture parks and private collections
As a passionate traveler, she has realized concepts through her experiences of expositions, residencies and commissions in Europe, Asia, Australia and America.
Her starting point is always a reflection of the location of her work and its particularities — a close dialogue with the architecture, topography, vegetation and history of the surrounding area.
“I like this idea of showing that there is something invisible to be found in the visible. I like to awaken the joy of thinking about possibilities, about what might be. […] What I'm most interested in is order and chaos. The visible and invisible. The material and immaterial. And I don't see them as contradictions. They're like poles that are in everything. I like moments of amazement and irritation. On the whole when we look, we don't see. We wander in a sort of monologue with ourselves. This irritation and amazement shake us out of this mental drowsiness.”
Kate Hunt grew up in a small town on Montana’s vast plains, and she says her art has been influenced by the subtle power of landscape. “I have a personal conversation with the concept, materials and the world around me. It's a back and forth type exchange with me saying over and over, "what if......."
Her object-oriented works employ steel, twine, boat-building epoxy, and newspaper. She is a graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute and Cranbrook Academy of Art. She has been awarded a Montana Arts Council Award and the Gottlieb Grant. Hunt’s work has shown nationally and internationally and it is featured in many prominent collections.
BPSW/University of Montana Emerging Artist Anne Yoncha plans a unique installation entitled “Tree Talk” that revolves around electronic communication with and among the trees found in Blackfoot Pathways: Sculpture in the Wild, especially the ponderosa pines. She is working with University of Montana PhD candidate Gerard Sapes.
Adele O’Dwyer has performed extensively on both sides of the Atlantic having won leadership and section positions in the Savannah Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Opera Theatre Company and Irish Film Orchestras as well as in a number of festival chamber orchestras in Ireland and in the United States.
Her background includes working under the guidance of numerous internationally known cellists and composers. Adele cultivated a taste for a wide variety of music and it is this interest which has shaped her style of musical composition. From Black is the Earth, inspired by the great Bog of Allen in Ireland to North Circular Road Blues, influenced by the raw energy of the Chicago Blues and Utah, a hauntingly beautiful Native American Indian melody, Adele’s compositions draw the listener in through their story-telling character. Adele has many CD recordings to her credit both as performer and as composer/arranger.
Konrads and Hunt will present artist talks starting at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18, at the Montanan Steakhouse in the heart of Lincoln.
Yoncha will explain her unique work Thursday, Sept. 13 at 6pm, starting at the Teepee Burner in the park.
More detailed information about this year’s sculptors and the composer in residence, as well as their work, can be found at the BPSW website, http://www.sculptureinthewild.com/events-2018.html
How to Get Here
Lincoln is centrally located in western Montana near the Continental Divide — about halfway between Missoula and Great Falls, and just 60 miles north of Helena.
Thanks to new road signs, Blackfoot Pathways: Sculpture in the Wild is easier than ever to find. It lies in the ponderosa pine woods about half a mile east of Lincoln, on the north side of Montana Highway 200. It is straight across the highway from the U.S. Forest Service’s Lincoln Ranger District headquarters.
A virtual look at the park and the schedule for this year’s residencies can be found at the BPSW website, http://www.sculptureinthewild.com/events-2018.html
Additional information and images:
Becky Garland, BPSW Board President 406 431 0325
Kevin O’Dwyer, Artistic Director 406 205 1661