by Donna Dodson
“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” – Aristotle
The first International Sculpture Symposium was organized by Karl Prantl, with help from Friedrich Czagan and Heinrich Deutsch, in 1959 at the St. Margarethen Quarry in Austria. The artists gathered to produce permanent public artworks from local stone, a dynamic that would provide the model for many symposia to follow. New Hampshire is carrying on the tradition with two symposia every year: one in Nashua and one in Brookline.
The Nashua International Sculpture Symposium is an annual community event designed to “elevate the awareness and appreciation of public art.” Nashua is the only city in the United States that hosts an annual international sculpture symposium, and 2018 marks their 11th year. This event was inspired by Meri Goyette, a major arts supporter who resides in Nashua, and John Weidman, director of the Andres Institute of Art, Brookline, New Hampshire.
The goal is that the Nashua International Sculpture Symposium will help improve the quality of life for both visitors and residents alike. Visitors can explore the public sculptures on foot or bike along the 2 1/2-mile downtown sculpture loop. Artists from over 21 countries and the U.S. have participated in past symposia. In 2018, three artists were invited: Tony Jiménez from Costa Rica, Carina Fabaro from Argentina and Tom Allan from Scotland.
Jiménez began sculpting at the age of 19, using wood as his preferred medium. His art integrates materials such as chains, wires and stones, or sculpted elements that stand out in their dynamic and surrealist style. For the 2018 symposium in Nashua, Jimenez created “We Are.” This work represents the beautiful city of Nashua with its people of different races, cultures, ages and minds.