Sculpture finds temporary home on River Road
People gathered across the street from River Road Plaza Friday, June 26, to celebrate Konnected, a new sculpture loaned to the town by artist Carole Eisner of Weston and the Silvermine Arts Center in New Canaan.
First Selectman Bill Brennan was the first to arrive. He placed a small plaque under the sculpture that named the piece and its lenders, and then waited for people to come, shaking hands and greeting them as they did.
As the crowd filled out, Brennan called them to gather and began to speak.
“Sculpture is one of the oldest forms of art,” he said, “and that’s interesting. We have always felt that Wilton is an interesting town, but we want to make it a little more interesting. This is a very popular area for walking, and, you know, one of our selectmen said to me one day, ‘sculpture makes you think.’”
He admired the artist, saying, “Carole Eisner is an amazing person as I’ve gotten to know her and looked at the collection of work that she’s done over 40 years; it’s unbelievable. And I am so appreciative of having this piece of art in our community for a year, at no cost to the town. And in collaboration with the Silvermine art guild, we’re looking into future projects.”
After thanking Eisner, he thanked those others who were involved with the sculpture, and even those who were not.
“I am thankful to all of you; this is just great. It’s in a good spot; we’ve added a couple of delicate lights for insurance and safety; now come shop, buy, eat, and enjoy yourselves in Wilton,” he said, and then introduced the artist to comment on her creation.
The artist speaks
“Three large cutout scrap metal discards picked up at a machine shop were stored in my studio,” began Eisner. “They were always interesting to me, but I couldn’t decide how to use them. They were in my studio for a few years. They were beautiful, graceful and looked like very large fish, maybe whales. How to put them together and what other objects from my scrap heap would work with them puzzled me.
“I decided just to go ahead and work with them even if I didn’t have a clue how they would develop.
“Eventually it all came together when I designed other pieces in the same genre and assembled them all on a base, adding and eliminating pieces in the process. At last Konnected came into its own.
“This sculpture is different than mostly anything I’ve ever done. While it is totally abstract, it is evocative of a family group; a mother and child; a family.”
“I found that by painting Konnected yellow, I transformed the sculpture from a serious family group to a more abstracted sculpture, with no sign of the whales.”
Silvermine Arts Center Gallery Director Jeff Mueller spoke after Eisner, commenting on the importance of art itself.
“It’s exciting to see this all come to fruition, he said. “Art should be a part of your daily life. It should be a part of your morning walk, and your evening moment of contemplation. Not outside of life, a part of it.”
He thanked Eisner and Brennan before concluding with a nod to the future.
“This is the beginning of a journey.”
After the ceremony, those in attendance remained to socialize, and Eisner offered more thoughts.
She said she painted before turning to sculpture as her main focus, and that even then she never created anything conventional, always leaning toward a more abstract style.
When asked about her sculpture’s new home, Eisner appeared to be pleased.
“It’s very exciting. This town is beautiful, and it’s thrilling to have the sculpture here.”
“I learned to weld in my aunt’s studio in Westport,” said Eisner. “My son is an architect. He built a home studio for me 20 years ago.”
Eisner’s husband, Richard Eisner, who introduced himself as Dick, was excited about his wife’s craft, and added this, smiling: “Carole used to go into junkyards to find industrial parts to use as materials. Pretty amazing, no?
Eisner currently has an exhibition at the Silvermine Arts Center. It opened June 6 and will continue until Oct. 18.
Information: caroleeisner.com, silvermineart.org.