Sculpture show a first for Wilton Library

A terra cotta portrait called Emma by South Windsor artist LeeAnn Cogswell was the first place winner at the juried show presented by the Society of Connecticut Sculptors at an opening reception on Friday, June 5. More than 25 works by 16 members of the society will remain on display at Wilton Library until June 26.
Second place was awarded to Rene Beland of Stamford for her  semiabstract mahogany piece, Escape, and taking third place was Lee Greenberg of Westport for Off to the Game, a bronze statue.
It was the first time the library curated an all-sculpture exhibition and the first time the sculpture society has exhibited in Wilton.
“The opportunity arose and we were pleased to be able to bring this type of art to the library and the community. We’ve had sculpture pieces in exhibitions previously, but this is the first time we’ve showcased this media in an entire show,” said Ed MacEwen, the library’s art chairman.

Works featured at the exhibition included bronze, terra cotta, mahogany, and alabaster sculpture.
Wilton resident and society member Frankie Davies had two featured pieces, one, a terra cotta bust of her 15-year-old granddaughter, Wilton High School student Severn Davies, Portrait of Severn; the other, also terra cotta, a statue of her daughter’s dachshund Lawyer’s Dachshund.
“When I was sculpting the bust,” said Davies, “I did not see the likeness until three-quarters of the way through the process. At first she looked like her mother; then she became her father, then two different aunts before she was really Severn. It was an unforgettable journey.”
According to Davies, the production of Lawyer’s Dachshund became an interesting endeavor when she realized her sculpture was beginning to exhibit the same back problems to which live dachshunds are predisposed.

“Due to the quality of the material and the nature of the subject, I had trouble supporting the back. The result was a depression that, to me, symbolizes the breed’s affliction," she said.
“The use of terra cotta is perhaps the most unforgiving of the traditional sculpting methods. It will do anything you ask of it, but if you fail, that failure cannot be attributed to the tenacity of the material. It’s your own fault."
Dr. Fay Stevenson-Smith, another featured artist from Wilton, provided two bronze pieces: Circus Acrobat and Himba Dancer.
The exhibition was judged by Michael Keropian, notable for being commissioned to create nine larger-than-life tiger sculptures for Comerica Park, the new home of the Detroit Tigers, in 2000. He has earned a number of accolades throughout his career, including the Hudson Valley Art Association’s Gold Medal.
Wendy Swain, a Stratford woman who has been the president of the society for three years, was satisfied with the outcome of the evening.
“This has been one of our biggest and most successful receptions yet. I couldn’t be happier,” she said.
Many of the works are available for purchase with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Wilton Library.
The Society of Connecticut Sculptors was established in the Hartford area in 1992. It is a  nonprofit organization specializing in exhibitions, workshops, social events, field trips, lectures, and other educational projects.
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