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Story Ideas for 2012 Schoodic International Sculpture Symposium

July 22-Aug. 30 at the University of Maine

For more information or to set up an interview, contact Jessica Bloch at (207) 581-3777 or; or Tilan Langley at (207) 263-6057 or

Opening event: Meet the artists and see a slide show of their work. Free and open to the public, 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m., Thursday, July 26 in the Hudson Museum at the University of Maine’s Collins Center for the Arts.

Artist talks: Free and open to the public, 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m. every Thursday in the McIntyre Room of Buchanan Alumni House at the University of Maine
Aug. 2: Hwang Seung-Woo and Tim Shay
Aug. 9: Andreas Von Huene and Johnny Turner
Aug. 16: Koichi Ogino and Ton Kalle
Aug. 23: Shan-Chi Teng and Lee Zih-Cing

UMaine courses: The University of Maine is offering two courses related to SISS, which provide students the opportunity to work alongside the symposium sculptors while creating their own works of art or documenting the event.
The courses are:
Sculpture: UMaine assistant art professor Greg Ondo is leading the class, during which each student will be assigned to an SISS sculptor to investigate aspects of that sculptor’s culture and creative process. The students will also create their own sculptures from stone.
Documentary: Students will work in a variety of documentary media, including video, audio and photography to create a dynamic archive of the event.

UMaine assistants and interns: Richard Reichenbach and Matthew Foster, who are both 2012 UMaine graduates, are serving as lead assistants to the eight SISS sculptors while another group of students from UMaine and other colleges are serving as interns to the sculptors. Reichenbach and Foster were both student interns at SISS last summer, helping the artists in all aspects of the creation of their sculptures, including morning setup and evening cleanup. Reichenbach retired in 2007 from the Coast Guard and now works as a painter and sculptor. His work has appeared in the Parent Gallery in Belfast and the Center for Maine Craft in West Gardiner. He was a studio art and art education major at UMaine. Foster has a degree in fine arts/sculpture and has exhibited at UMaine’s Lord Hall Gallery. He recently received the Elizabeth Warren Graves Art Fund Award, a Solo Exhibition Award from the University of Maine; was nominated for the International Sculpture Centers Outstanding Student Achievement Award; and after graduation, received the Good Idea Grant from the Maine Arts Commission. Foster will be a participating artist this fall at the J.C. Stone Sculpture Symposium in Jefferson, Maine.

Bus tours: The University of Maine Division of Lifelong Learning offers bus tours to many Down East Maine sites of sculptures from previous years’ symposia. Each tour starts at UMaine followed by a narrated daylong tour of different routes:
Tour 1: Thursday, Aug. 9 – Orono, Ellsworth, Bar Harbor/Southwest Harbor
Tour 2: Thursday, Aug. 23 – Orono, Ellsworth, Machias
The cost is $85 per tour, including lunch and tour bus fees.

Summer camp: The SISS Summer Camp program will be held each Saturday throughout the symposium. Students will meet and interact with the artists, and observe the progress of the sculptures to learn various sculpting techniques and styles. Students will also make smaller sculptures of their own. The camp is open to those in grades 6-12 and costs $125 for five Saturday sessions. Tools and materials are included. Contact Rich Reichenbach at or (207) 263-6057 for more information.

Tim Shay: Indian Island resident Tim Shay, a participating sculptor in this year’s symposium, is creating a sculpture for the University of Maine’s Percent for Art site at Nutting Hall. Shay was born on Indian Island and is believed to be among the first Native American artists to be selected for a Maine Percent for Art project, a program that sponsors public art for state buildings. Shay’s previous public commissions include works for the Penobscot Nation Housing Authority, the Lucy Nicolar Poolaw Family Museum on Indian Island, and the Oklahoma State University Wellness Center.

Married sculptors: SISS selected Lee Zih-Cing and Shan-Chi Teng as its first artists from Taiwan. Lee and Teng are also the first married sculptors to participate in the symposium at the same time. Lee will create a sculpture for Oxford Hall on the UMaine campus and Teng will create a piece for Orono.

Artist fieldtrips: Aug. 20, the SISS sculptors and staff will travel to Saint John, New Brunswick to engage the artists who are participating in the first Sculpture Saint John Symposium, an event inspired by and modeled after SISS. The fieldtrip is an all-day event that includes stops at SISS sculpture sites. The artists and staff will attend a hosted event at Schoodic Arts for All at Hammond Hall in Winter Harbor on Aug. 26. Although the artists will not be at the Steam Plant parking lot site those days, the site will be open and staffed by volunteers.

Orono student participation and local art educators: All Orono students in kindergarten through grade 12 will visit SISS before it closes. In addition, local art teachers will bring students to visit the SISS site. Many teachers participated in a workshop in April, during which they heard about educational opportunities for students at all levels. Several teachers are willing to be interviewed about why they feel it is important to bring students to the SISS site, even in the summer when school is out, and how they will incorporate SISS into their lessons.

Closing ceremony: SISS will mark its closure for the summer with a public event at 3 p.m. on Aug. 30 in the Steam Plant parking lot. The finished sculptures will be on view before they are moved to their permanent locations.

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