Garden Art in Public Places

During the recent America in Bloom competition, this sculpture was installed at the Northfield Public Library. Made by artist Jennifer Wolcott, the steel sculpture has the working title of Bookheads Dancing. In creating the piece, Wolcott walked all around the library looking for the right place to put the sculpture, and settled on this shady hosta garden near the Washington Street entry.

Placing art in a garden is tricky. It needs to complement the garden around it, without overwhelming the garden or being so small that the garden obscures the art. In a northern climate like ours, the art will be a dominant view in the garden for several months of the year. [While taking photos of the Wolcott piece, I found myself wishing (horrors!) that it were January so the sculpture would stand out more.] What I like about the Wolcott piece is it has many places for snow to rest, allowing the view of the work to change as seasons progress. This is a piece viewers would find intriguing even after it had been in place many years.

Northfield Note: I’m a member of the board of the Friends of the Library, which last night decided to offer partial funding for the purchase and permanent installation of the Wolcott sculpture. Others in the community are looking for additional support for the sculpture. If you would like to assist in funding the sculpture, contact Lynne Young at the library.

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