Apr 242016


International Sculpture (IS) Day, is a worldwide annual celebration of sculpture on April 24 that was established by the International Sculpture Center in 2015 and is meant to raise awareness, appreciation and enjoyment of sculpture in communities across the globe. During the inaugural IS Day last year, over 50 events were held in 12 countries including Switzerland, China, Germany, England, Australia, Austria, Canada, Spain, New Zealand, and the USA. IS Day events include open studios, demonstrations, workshops, public art tours, open museums, brown bag lunches, sculpture scavenger hunts, book signings, foundry pours, pop up exhibitions, opening receptions, competitions, artist talks, and more. The International Sculpture Center website is here — http://www.sculpture.org/isday/

All my life I’ve lived and worked in places where public sculpture was the norm, and I’ll put a gallery of the pieces that have been an integral part of my life, at various times, at the end of my brief comments. Public sculpture as a fact of life reaches back into antiquity.  For me it’s not a question of promoting sculpture, so much as getting the public to PAY ATTENTION. But, I suspect that is a lost cause. Right now I live in Mantua where sculpture in the historic center is everywhere. Mobs of tourists snap photos all the time, whereas locals just go about their business without much interest in their surroundings. That’s normal. I very much doubt that having a special day devoted to sculpture will do much to change that.

To a large degree the location of sculpture plays a part in its reception and use. Placed in a park or other area of general recreation, it’s likely to attract attention; placed on a busy thoroughfare, it’s likely to be ignored by the majority. I don’t see how we can do anything to change that. Nor should we. What I would say, however, is that I feel better when I am living and working in areas where sculpture is all around me than in places that are generally devoid of public art, even though I am not always explicitly paying attention to it. It’s there.


When I first arrived on the campus of the College of Purchase, State University of New York, where I worked for over 30 years, I was immediately struck – as is every newcomer – by the Henry Moore (Large Two Forms) at the end of the mall, site of the main academic buildings. It was kinda hard to miss. Students sat on, in, and around the sculpture on sunny days, and it always drew your eye to that part of the mall. It was, therefore, a tragedy when it had to be moved to make way for a new administration building. I’m not bemoaning the march of “progress” – the building was much needed, and the empty space at the end of the mall was the best place for it. But we all felt the loss, like the death of a dear friend. The Henry Moore (as we called it – few knew its name) was an active part of people’s lives.  I don’t see how you can legislate that. Location, size, design etc. all play a part. It is or it isn’t – but I don’t mind celebrating sculpture on this day. Here’s a gallery of a few of the thousands of sculptures I have lived with over the years in Buenos Aires, Eastbourne, Adelaide, Oxford, New York, Yunnan, and Mantua. A rich life !!

is12 is10 is9 is8 is7 is6 is5 is4 is3

Food sculpture is an important part of my life too, and I have already focused on it in posts in the past. For example, you’ll find my rapture (and recipe) on gingerbread sculpting here — https://www.bookofdaystales.com/christmas-is-over/ and the recipe for a Jupiter structural cake here https://www.bookofdaystales.com/gustav-holst/  Have at it.  Here’s a gallery to inspire:

is11 is13is14is15is16is17is18is19

Your turn !!!