If you are someone who follows the international sculpture trail, make sure to add Deer Island as a checkpoint on your map.
The New Brunswick island community has raised $16,000 to get its first granite sculpture and has officially booked its spot in the fifth and final International Sculpture Symposium, a.k.a. Sculpture Saint John.
This will make Deer Island a part of the 72 sculpture trail.
"Once the sculpture is in place in mid-September we will be part of the 870 km sculpture trail travelling through Maine and New Brunswick," said D Lynne Bowland from the Fireball Gallery & Studio in Lords Cove. "The island is very excited to become part of this international sculpture trail."
The symposium will be held at the Long Wharf in Saint John from Aug. 11 to Sept. 10.
The islanders have chosen sculptor Jim Boyd from Saint John to create the Deer Island sculpture.
"I am really honoured to be chosen," Boyd said. "Long after I am gone it's a legacy that would remain."
The sculpture will be made of granite and will be about nine feet tall.
Boyd graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts major in sculpture from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 1986. He has participated in all five of the Canadian symposiums and has sculptures in St. George, Hampton, Saint John, and Grand Bay Westfield as well as one in Eastport, Maine.
"I didn’t do any stone carving while in school. I first picked up a hammer and crude chisels about 30 years ago and began my career in carving stone," he said.
The artist said he is excited to see another piece of art that he created join the trail and is still working on his designs.
"It will have a portal through which people can see the Bay of Fundy," he explained.
"Maybe some waves," he said noting that the designs keep changing till the last minute as there can be surprises in the stone.
According to Boyd, the location at Butler’s Point (the ferry landing), where the sculpture will be installed is well-chosen as it highlights nature, and he is looking forward to creating something that people can interact with.
He said it makes him a little nervous as the island's residents have raised the money with a lot of effort, but he is confident that he will be able to deliver something to look for.
Bowland said it was a three-year process to raise the money and the sculpture that was to be established in 2020 got delayed two more years due to the pandemic.
"It's very much an education process about how the pieces are created," said Diana Alexander, executive director of Sculpture Saint John.
She said the event is open to the public, free of charge, and all eight artists are there seven days a week and create their artworks in front of everybody.
"It's an open studio, basically," she said.
Alexander said it will be exciting for the islanders as this will be Deer Island's first piece of public art.
"It's a great gathering place and it is going to be a significant piece at the ferry landing. The place that it's going is beautiful," she said. "The piece will feel like it's theirs."
Deer Island is hosting a donor’s reception kick-off to the symposium, on July 21, between 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Jerome Andrew’s Gallery, 14 Clines Point Rd, to meet Jim Boyd.
The other communities receiving sculptures in 2022 are Saint John (3), Grand Bay Westfield, Oromocto, Moncton and Dieppe.
Rhythm Rathi, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Telegraph-Journal