by Ardeana Hamlin of The Weekly Staff   Bucksport is one of seven communities, along with Surry, Lubec, Calais, Harrington, Jonesport and Castine, that will have sculptures created and placed in public spaces as part of the 2014 Schoodic International Sculpture Symposium this summer. Artists from Maine, South Korea, Bulgaria, Spain, Washington state and Republic of Georgia will carve the sculptures. “We have a magnificent waterfront and we wanted a magnificent sculpture. We want people to look at it and say, ‘Wow!’” said Hans Kirchels, chairman of the Flag Point Sculpture committee that is helping to guide Bucksport’s sculpture project to fruition. The artist chosen to create a sculpture with that “wow factor” for Bucksport is Matt Foster, 25, of Milo, who received a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the University of Maine in 2012. “It was wonderful,” Foster said of the day he learned that Bucksport had picked him to create a work of art for the town. “I had been hoping Bucksport would choose me. They were one of my first picks.” After he was chosen, Foster visited Bucksport, met with the members of the Flag Point Sculpture committee, was shown around town and acquainted with the town’s history. “Using that experience and my own research on the town’s history, I started making sketches,” Foster said. Foster crafted a model based on one of his sketches, and delivered it to Bucksport during an ice cream social in his honor on June 26 at the Alamo Theater. His finished work will stand 10 feet tall on a 3- to 4-foot pedestal, weigh more than 10 tons and be installed at Flag Point on the Bucksport waterfront. “A lot of people ended up seeing aquatic themes,” he said of reaction to his model of what will become the full-fledged sculpture. “That’s OK with me. All my work is abstract. It allows people to bring their own experiences into it. Different people see different things.” In honor of the occasion of seeing for the first time what the finished sculpture will look like, Bucksport Poet Laureate Pat Ranzoni composed and read her poem, “The Young Sculptor Delivers Himself.” “The arm-length model for what he will chisel and carve to the height of his imagination draws deep sighs and applause. ‘Sails,’ he reveals his spark. One sees this. One sees that. One, flashes and splashes of fins and wings and plants of the river-run fisheries and their companion wildlife and health returning to the Penobscot …,” Ranzoni wrote. “ He has felt the life in local granite, turned and returned to it. Freed it to move …” “It was quite an honor,” Foster said when he heard the poem. The granite for the sculpture Foster will carve was donated by Jeff Gammelin of Freshwater Stone in Orland. “I went up to the Freshwater Stone quarry on Mosquito Mountain in Frankfort. They let me walk around and select my own block [of granite],” Foster said. “I think we have a very beautiful sculpture,” Kirchels said. Bucksport’s journey toward obtaining a sculpture for Flag Point began more than a year ago when the town learned that its application to the Schoodic International Sculpture Symposium had been accepted. Cindy Kimball headed up the project’s eight-member fundraising committee. “We had a cocktail party at the Alamo Theater as a kickoff,” she said. “We raised $8,000 that night. The minute we got the OK to begin raising the money, we started.” So far, the committee has raised $15,000 through the sale of hot dogs and hamburgers on the Bucksport waterfront, selling Pennsylvania Dutch crafts during Orland’s River Day celebration and in other ways. “We’ve done a little bit of everything,” she said. Committee members will put out donation jars during at the Bucksport Bay Festival Friday and Saturday, July 25-26, to raise additional funds. “Everybody has been so wonderful,” Kimball said. She credited the Bucksport Garden Club with being one of the sculpture project’s most ardent supporters. Members of the funding committee and volunteers will be on hand 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays, Aug. 4-Sept. 8, the six weeks when Foster will chip away at his block of granite, creating the sculpture for the town. The work site will be open to the public. “We will be picking up shards, selling cards and T-shirts,” Kimball said. Local teachers were quick to recognize the educational aspects of the sculpture project. “We knew early on there was a huge potential for educational benefits. We hope to get every student [in Bucksport] to walk down the day of the installation [of the sculpture],” said fourth-grade teacher Melissa Lalonde of Bucksport. “This will belong to them for the rest of their lives. They will get to take home a piece of granite [from the block of stone]. Matt is an amazing person and the process has unfolded in such a wonderful way. Everyone wins here.”