J. Seward Johnson’s “Lear” in the open-air courtyard at Grounds For Sculpture is often enshrouded in a mist. It is one of his most enchanting sculptures, I think, and the other day, while driving to Grounds For Sculpture in Hamilton, I noticed a new edition to Sculpture Along the Way, the series of road-side sculpture leading to the park — a larger-than-life Lear!
The 20-foot sculpture, on Sloan Avenue near the Hamilton Rail Station, brings to life Shakespeare’s tortured protagonist.
Mr. Johnson is known for his figurative works capturing people involved in everyday activities. Examples of these sculptures are familiar sights in Hamilton, and throughout the United States, such as the World Trade Center in New York City, the city centers of Rome and Madrid, key public sites in Paris, Hong Kong, London, Lisbon, Sydney, Australia, and Istanbul. This past spring, the 2009 G8 World Leader’s Summit on the environment held in Italy installed Mr. Johnson’s renowned monumental sculpture “The Awakening” to set the stage for the important international meetings. To see more of this artist’s work visit http://www.sewardjohnson.com.
The Sculpture Foundation is a charitable organization that encourages the placement and sharing of public art. The foundation’s curator, Paula Stoeke, notes “One crucial purpose for public art is to initiate dialogue within communities. Any placement of art in a park, or along the streets, brings with it the gift of inspiration and visual stimulation.”
Sculpture Along the Way serves the community by bringing art into the purview of commuters, allowing the benefits of creative expression to be a part of daily life. Seward Johnson notes “I think it is a wonderful opportunity for commuters and visitors to the area to have the vista of large scale sculpture heralding the way to the park. We hope that the monumental pieces will act as guideposts and invitations, ushering art viewers to Grounds For Sculpture for a multi-sensory experience.”
Grounds For Sculpture, located in Hamilton, is a whimsical 35 acre sculpture garden and arboretum on the former site of the New Jersey State Fairgrounds. Founded by Seward Johnson to promote an understanding of and appreciation for contemporary sculpture, the park has been enchanting visitors since 1992. http://www.groundsforsculpture.org