Experience Oglebay’s historic Bissonnette Gardens like never before as Oglebay launches the new Garden Works Sculpture Exhibit at The Hilltop.
Through October 22nd, the lush beauty of the Bissonnette gardens will be accentuated by 15 captivating works created by acclaimed artists hailing from West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Constructed from repurposed stainless steel, bronze, polymer and other materials, these fascinating artworks are sure to intrigue and inspire guests of all ages. The Garden Works Sculpture Exhibit is free and open to the public.
ABOUT THE BISSONNETTE GARDENS
From 1975 – 1992, Joseph F. Bissonnette served as Director of Development for the Wheeling Park Commission. The beautiful 16-acre gardens located throughout The Hilltop was rededicated in Bissonnette’s honor in September of 1999. This beautiful, public garden display includes more than 30 flower beds, dozens of colorful hanging baskets and multiple fountains.
ABOUT THE SCULPTURES
- Victorian Loveseats by Alan Cottrill – Using an organic serpentine curve design to create a Victorian loveseat form, Alan has created a bench wherein two people sit facing opposite directions to avoid amorous behavior. While sculpting, Alan realized that the benches resembled an American Indian canoe and he allowed the sides of the bench to become a form very similar to the large, clay storage vessels that Indians once used to store grain.
- Coalminer by Alan Cottrill – Having completed nine life-size or larger coal miner monuments, this life-size version is one of Alan’s “loosest” handlings of the clay surface.
- Drum Major by Alan Cottrill – Frozen mid-march, this piece captures the energetic movements of a marching drum major.
- Infant Memorial by Alan Cottrill – This monument was created to provide a degree of solace to those who have lost a beloved infant. This work depicts two infants, one lying in death cradled by an angel’s wing, the other soaring on a wing skyward.
- Justified Status by Alison Helm – This piece was inspired by the beautiful statice flower. The unusually tall stem, the sharp, triangular structure, and the elegant cluster of flowers come together to form a stylized representation of this natural wonder. An understanding and exploration of natural beauty is evident in this sculpture. Symbolically, there is significant meaning imbedded deep within the mysterious structure of Justified Status.
- Miss West Virginia by Jeff Forster – In the spirit of this American made object, this piece was designed with a powerful, strong aesthetic. This project also incorporates the idea of reuse with the incorporation of discarded materials.
- Faldan ll by Anders Anderson – This piece was fabricated using steel splice plates commonly used in heavy riveted structures such as bridges. The parts are combined in a way to present complex and interesting shapes, voids and shadows that transform as viewer’s viewpoint shifts.
- Nike l by Anders Anderson – This abstract fabrication from deformed steel sheet has figurative connotations due to its scale and proportions enhanced by the strong movements and rippled planes suggestive of drapery. The title refers to the classical Greek sculpture remarkable for its powerful flow and dynamic stance.
- Native Gift by Duncan MacDiarmid – This sculpture depicts a symbolic figure of Nature. Rising organically from her base, she stands, supported by forms that suggest rock and soil. In her hand she holds one of her life sustaining creations – a tree. Research has shown that beyond global warming and habitat, native trees are instrumental in providing a nourishing food source for young birds. Bird populations have experienced significant declines since the 70s due partially to non-native tree cultivation in our backyards.
- The Beast Beneath Your Feet by Duncan MacDiarmid – How would you envision a living landscape? This dragon-like sculpture envisions the landscape as a terrifying yet majestic beast that can be benevolent and nurturing.
- Queen Buzzy Bee by Michael Loop – His current body of work stems from our cultural obsession with collectibles, or more specifically Americana, through the lens of formal art making. The intent is to create a familiarity with the objects that created without being too representational through the deletion of parts, form, or particular visual aids. In doing so, Michael seeks to circumvent immediate understanding and create a sense of investigation that elicits a sense of nostalgia, while also creating a new perspective to an otherwise familiar abstracted form.
- Battery by Jeremy Entwistle – Battery is a piece that attempts to reference domestic infrastructure issues in a figurative, mechanical form. The track hints at function, but is closed off and confines the piece to the footprint of the track.
- Bedtime Stories by Sarah Simmons – This sculpture represents the wondrous journey we embark on when reading. This bed is made from discarded books that were outdated and/or damaged. The books themselves create the framework of the bed, evoking in the viewer a sense of thoughtfulness and dreaming, much like a bedtime story.
- Walking Figure by Patti Menick – Whenever I feel I can’t move, I picture myself briskly walking, casting off my shadow like so many leaves.
- Untitled by Tom Cords – Laminated birch plywood brings an added dimension to this wood sculpture. While the laminated layers accent the shape of the sculpture, the eye is drawn in for a closer look at the high quality birch.