wide_laborer_graphic_squareWEST RUTLAND, VT- The Carving Studio and Sculpture Center invites sculptors to submit proposals for SculptFest2015, September 12-October 25. The theme for this year’s outdoor installation event is “Memory Work,” guest curated by dj Hellerman.

 

Located in West Rutland, Vermont amid inactive quarries and former manufacturing facilities of the Vermont Marble Company, the Carving Studio and Sculpture Center (CSSC) is located on a site where the labor of Italian, Swedish, Polish, German, Hungarian and other immigrants has made a significant impact on the ways we commemorate, remember, and memorialize.

 

According to the Vermont Preservation Trust, quarried or locally carved marble from The Vermont Marble Company was used in the Jefferson Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, the Lincoln Memorial, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier as well as hundreds of other monuments and memorials all over the world.1 The art historian Alois Reigle writes, “A monument in its oldest and most original sense is a human creation, erected for the specific purpose of keeping single human deeds or events…alive in the mind of future generations.”2

 

Derived from the Latin monere, which means “to remind,” “to advise,” or “to warn,” the word monument implies thinking about (and listening to) the past so that it can be acted upon in the present as a way to shape the future. It’s a humanist endeavor: artists creating things for the welfare of other people.

 

The process of remembering is subjective and shifty. It is always incomplete, unfinished, and in need of revision. The act of monument building is an ongoing process and will always fail to capture what it is seeking, but that doesn’t mean the act is not worthwhile.  The historian Michael Kammen writes, “societies in fact reconstruct their pasts rather than faithfully record them, and that they do so with the needs of contemporary culture clearly in mind – manipulating their past in order to mold the present.”3

 

Keeping in mind the labor, traditions, and generations of people responsible for the success of the Vermont Marble Company as well as the history of the CSSC, “Memory Work” is an exhibition inviting artists to respond and rethink dominant forms of monument making. Projects focused on traditional approaches to sculpture are always encouraged. But, this is an open invitation for artists to explore new forms of remembering using electronic media for audio, video, and sound installations as well as ephemeral events such as oral storytelling, time based performances and other forms of public ceremony.

 

Proposals should include a project description on one or two pages, sketches or other visual representations, resume, optional statement and up to ten digital images portraying previous site-specific work. Applications are due June 22, 2015.  Materials will be returned if accompanied by a self-addressed envelope with sufficient postage.

 

Address submissions to “SculptFest2015,” The Carving Studio and Sculpture Center, P.O. Box 495, West Rutland, VT  05777.  For more information, please contact us at 802-438-2097 or info@carvingstudio.org.

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[1] http://www.ptvermont.org/revolving/vtmarblemuseum.php

2 Alois Riegl, “The Modern Cult of Monumnets: Its Character and Origin,” Kurt Foster and Diane Ghirardo, trans., in Oppositions, 25; quoted in Tony Vidler, The Architectural Uncanny (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1992), p.177.

3 quoted in Kirk Savage, History, Memory, Monuments: An Overview of the Scholarly Literature on Commemoration (http://www.cr.nps.gov/history/resedu/savage.htm.)