Sculpture will ‘Nurture’ Wilton Center art initiative

It is fitting that a sculpture representative of Wilton’s “nurturing community” should be placed just 100 feet from the playground of the Community Nursery school.

“Nurture,” a sculpture by former Wiltonian Peter Rubino, was unveiled during a ceremony Tuesday, Nov. 25, on an empty piece of town-owned land in Wilton Center as the first piece donated under the Municipal Sculpture Program launched by First Selectman Bill Brennan.

Its curving contours and sturdy construction, Mr. Rubino said, represent the Wilton community’s dedication to family and children in a way that words cannot.

“This is the town where we raised our family and enjoyed vibrant cultural activities,” Mr. Rubino said during the ceremony. “My hope is, first, that the community will embrace the meaning of the piece, and that it becomes an enduring symbol. A destination.”

The artist is an “internationally recognized” sculptor who lived in town for 28 years. said Mr. Brennan. He began sculpture after serving in the military, studying in two New York City art schools.

The piece was designed in a Wilton studio, Mr. Brennan said, whose space was donated by both Peter Keiser and Peter Gaboriault, chairman of the Economic Development Commission.

“Recognizing that this is a worthwhile but not essential endeavor,” Mr. Brennan said in a recent press release, the town has founded the Municipal Sculpture Program to “motivate financial support for a sponsor program without involving public funds to enable the acquisition of sculpture pieces or to develop a sculpture loan program that would enable sculptors to display pieces for a period of time.”

In the near future, the town plans to partner with Silvermine Arts Center to begin a sculpture loan program, an idea fully supported by the center’s gallery director, Jeff Mueller.

“The idea of sculpture is that it’s available 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We really love and cherish how art can affect our daily life,” he said. “A visitor’s experience completes a work of art.”

Within the coming months, Silvermine and the town will bring a collection of sculptures by Carol Eisner to the town center in conjunction with a show at the arts center, Mr. Mueller said.

Ed MacEwen, art chairman of the Wilton Library, Steve Hudspeth, an attorney, Pat Sesto, director of environmental affairs, and Tom Thurkettle, director of the public works department, all sit on the municipal sculpture program advisory group.

Mr. Brennan and his wife, Kathleen, chose to make the initial monetary donation to the project — for the pedestal the sculpture sits on — to set an example for others in the town, he said during the celebration.

“It’s my big idea, after all,” he said with a smile.