46th Annual Contemporary Sculpture Show at Chesterwood

46th Annual Contemporary Sculpture Show at Chesterwood

Posted by Lauren Clark on

“Birth of a Shadow” is a 2024 site-specific contemporary outdoor sculpture exhibition, guest curated by gallerist Lauren Clark of Lauren Clark Fine Art and Childs + Clark Gallery.  Clark has chosen seven regional sculptors whose work serves as an evocative exploration of the intersection between light, space, and form—thoughtfully placed throughout Chesterwood’s woodland walks and grounds.  The artists include Peter Barrett, Peter Dellert, DeWitt Godfrey, Wendy Klemperer, Michael Thomas, Natalie Tyler, and Joe Wheaton.


June 29th 5–6:30pm

Reserve your FREE tickets


The Birth of a Shadow


Sculpture is the most elemental of art forms, and even more so when displayed outside—exposed to the elements, as it were.

To be sure, many of the fundamental elements of indoor and outdoor sculpture are the same, except for the use of more fragile materials like paper, fabric, or delicate ceramics and glass in work not meant to withstand the weather. But the sturdier components of sculpture created to hold up in the outdoors—those composed with wood, stone, metal, durable glass and ceramics, and even manmade materials like plastics and composites or found objects repurposed into art—must be considered not only for their ability to withstand the elements, but also for how they reflect, complement, or even distract from or conflict with the natural world in which they are installed. Their setting literally changes throughout the day, as the movement of the sun and clouds across the sky continuously shifts the light in which they are viewed (in contrast to the controlled light in a gallery).

Natural light, cast by the sun and sometimes the moon, creates an ephemeral fourth dimension as it meets and interacts with a three-dimensional work of art and its environment. Shadows formed by that interaction are part of the work and can capture the viewer’s focus, particularly in a bucolic environment.

“Birth of a Shadow,” this year’s site-specific sculpture show set on Chesterwood’s exquisite grounds, serves as an evocative exploration of the intersection between light, space, and form. The varied sculptural works created by seven artists invite viewers to contemplate the nuanced dance between existence and absence as shadows seemingly come to life in conversation with bold, three-dimensional artworks and the verdant landscape.

The diverse materials utilized to create the (insert number when known) pieces in this show range from stainless steel, rebar, tools, catalytic converter covers, i-beams, random reclaimed metal, and glass. The artists in this show have seamlessly blended elements of light and shadow with the solidity of the chosen medium, creating a harmonious fusion that beckons viewers to engage with the artwork from multiple perspectives, encouraging a profound contemplation of the interplay between substance and absence. As viewers navigate around and through the sculptures, the dynamic relationship between light and shadow unfolds, inviting introspection into the nature of creation and the hidden dimensions that give life to the tangible and intangible. Every curve, contour, and angle invites tactile exploration, prompting the viewer to feel the energy and tension encapsulated within the sculpture and bringing forth thought-provoking narratives that resonate long after the encounter. These works stand as a testament to each artist's mastery in capturing the intangible and making it tangible, inviting us to embrace the beauty found in the birth of shadows.


-Lauren Clark, Stockbridge, MA, 2024


Peter Barrett, “For Sanjiban”, Stainless Steel

Peter Dellert, “Many Handed Buddha", Recycled lawn mower body, vintage radiators, vintage hand tools, carved locust wood, found objects, recycled steel, vintage glass lenses, vintage automobile chains. 102" x 40" x 16” 

DeWitt Godfrey, "Audrey and Hattie”, Corten Steel, (photo: Gregory Cherin)

Wendy Klemperer, “New England Gothic”, Salvaged Steel, (photo: Gregory Cherin)

Michael Thomas, “Leaf”, Repurposed Salvaged Steel, Paint, (photo: Gregory Cherin)

Joe Wheaton, "Kabuki Series, Refuge”, enamel on steel, 9’ x 24’ x 8’, (photo: Gregory Cherin)


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