Two birds in flight, a swimming shark and a fanged fish are just a few of the sculptures that make up the “Creatures Great and Small” exhibit outside of the Art and Media Center (AMC). Each of the eight pieces is done by a different artist in materials such as bronze, granite, steel and resin. Pamela Tarbell of PR Tarbell Fine Art curated the exhibit, which is on display throughout this school year.
One of the pieces, “The Understudy,” by local artist Bob Shanahan, is housed inside the AMC. The sculpture, built out of natural materials such as bark and twigs, depicts a Diatryma, a dinosaur that roamed New England millions of years ago.
The other pieces line up in front of the AMC. Morris Norvin’s “Piscator II” is the largest —steel, painted gray and bent into the shape of swimming shark. The smallest is the sleek “Epoxy Cheetah” by Wendy Klemperer. New visual art faculty member and Netso Gallery director Shirin Adhami says a favorite of the younger students on campus is “Toothed Fish,” composed of granite and quartz by artist Thomas Berger.
Shirin’s Art History class discussed the pieces and she said many students are really responding to the exhibit’s “creatures” theme. In past years, outdoor installations focused on abstract work, so visual arts department chair Ian Torney said he asked the curator to think of a figurative theme, and from that came the idea of finding work that represented creatures.
The installation took place at the start of this school year, when all the artists brought their work on same day. Some pieces required some tricky lifting and heavy bases to anchor the pieces. Milton’s facilities team helped with the installation. One of the artists, Beverly Benson Seamons, Class of 1946, passed away in 2012, so her son did the installation of her “Osprey,” a bronze sculpture.