SIMSBURY — The sculpture sensation that swept across Simsbury, two years ago made its highly anticipated return on last Friday, according to an email from the Chamber. The Simsbury Chamber of Commerce Art Trail will once again delight visitors with 37 lifelike bronze sculptures depicting people doing everyday activities placed outdoors throughout town. The works of internationally renowned sculpture artist Seward Johnson will be on display from through September 29.
The Simsbury Chamber of Commerce is bringing the Art Trail back to highlight the town’s 350th Anniversary celebration.
“When we first brought the Art Trail to Simsbury, we could not have imagined a more sensational and memorable event.” said Morgan Hilyard, executive director of the Simsbury Chamber of Commerce. “People traveled from all across the U. S. and the tri-state area in order to visit these sculptures and we expect an even better response this year given that our Art Trail offers a safe, fresh-air, family-fun experience during this extended COVID-19 quarantine period.”
Members of the local business community have been fervent supporters of the art installation and committed to sponsoring the 37 new pieces of art as soon as they were selected.
“We cannot express our extreme gratitude to our sponsors that have made our new sculpture installation a reality,” adds Hilyard. “Although it is too late to sponsor a sculpture, donations will be accepted to fund this beloved community project that is entirely self-supporting.”
Visit www.simsburyarttrail.com for more information about the event and to donate.
Seward Johnson, who passed away this March at age 89, was an artist, an advocate for the arts, and a philanthropist. His “Celebrating the Familiar” series, which makes up the greatest portion of this exhibition, was his first body of work. The sculptor went on to create two subsequent popular series: Icons Revisited, which includes the Forever Marilyn piece sited in Simsbury at Ensign House, and Beyond the Frame, a series inspired by the Impressionist master painters. The Simsbury show includes one such sculpture brought to life from a painting by Renoir in its display at the historical society. Johnson, who was the grandson of Johnson & Johnson co-founder Robert Wood Johnson, found his true calling as a sculptor in l969 when his first sculpture, “Stainless Girl,” won first place in a national art competition called the U.S. Steel Award. Johnson’s “Celebrating the Familiar” series features painted bronze figures engaged in the ordinary activities of daily life. The sculptures can be found in plazas and parks across the country, as well as in Italy, France, China and Australia. Johnson was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2013 and was given the International Sculpture Center’s lifetime achievement award in 2019. More information about the artist and is works can be found at www.sewardjohnsonatelier.org.
“Because in our busy society — filled with so much technology and mindless distraction — it’s easy sometimes to forget the simple things that give us pleasure. If we open our eyes, life is marvelous. The human spirit triumphs, if only for moments in a day. I try to have my work call attention to those moments,” said Seward Johnson.