The eight proposed sites and sculptors for the 2012 Schoodic International Sculpture Symposium have been selected and artists are preparing to create works of art that will be located in Bangor, Orono and Old Town and on the Husson University and University of Maine campuses. The sculptures will be created July 22-Aug. 31, out of native Maine granite, in the Steam Plant Parking Lot at the University of Maine, where the general public will be welcome to visit and observe the process.

Sculptors this year include Lee Zih Cing and Teng Shan Chi, both of Taiwan, Johnny Turner of New Zealand, Ton Kalle of the Netherlands, Hwang Seung Woo of South Korea, Koichi Ogino of Japan and two Maine sculptors; Andreas Von Heune of Woolwich and Tim Shay of Indian Island.

Sites to receive sculptures in Bangor include the Waterfront Park along the Penobscot River, Acadia Hospital off Stillwater Avenue and the Husson University campus. In Orono, the triangle at the corner of Main Street and Bennoch Road, formerly the site of the Katahdin Building that burned in 2009, will receive a sculpture. On the University of Maine campus, Nutting Hall, Fogler Library and Buchanan Alumni House will have sculptures installed, and in Old Town, there will be one placed in City Park on the riverfront.

This is the first year the symposium has moved away from the coast and toward an inland location in Penobscot County. All prior sculptures, created in 2007, 2009 and 2011, are located in towns in Hancock and Washington Counties.

“Since the beginning, people from all over the state have come to see the sculptures, and have asked us to make one for their respective communities,” said Jesse Salisbury, art director and founder of the SISS. “We’ve had a number ask specifically about Bangor and Orono, and we certainly wanted to have the event there — but when you’re working with granite, moving the sculpture is a concern. So it made sense to have the sculptures end up in these communities.”

The community response was positive, with each respective site raising $20,000 to have the sculpture commissioned. Part of the SISS mission is to help communities bring art into the daily lives of its residents.

“Our mission is to work with communities to bring to them large-scale contemporary granite sculptures,” Tilan Langley, SISS project manager, said when this year’s event was first announced in early February. “We provide them with a method of obtaining these granite sculptures that would otherwise be financially difficult to acquire.”

The University of Maine will structure three summer classes around the Symposium, as well as an internship and a documentary filmmaking class. Moreover, the student body will have the chance to interact with world-class artists as they chisel, grind and carefully carve pieces of raw granite into sculpture.

“There’s a real benefit for everyone involved,” said Salisbury, a Steuben native. “There are a lot of opportunities for informal collaboration. A geology student can come in and ask about the granite. An art student can study the process. And, of course, community members can witness this art being made.”

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Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.