For the third consecutive year, New England Sculptors Association (NESA) members have juried works placed throughout the outside area surrounding the Alternatives’ Whitin Mill Complex in Whitinsville, Massachusetts (where they’ve been since late fall) and, starting January 12, they’ll be joined by sculptures by NESA members inside the Spaulding R. Aldrich Heritage Gallery.
ValleyCAST, the arts and culture arm of Open Sky Community Services, runs the exhibit. Formerly Alternatives Unlimited, Inc., Open Sky provides services for individuals with behavioral health challenges and intellectual or
developmental disabilities. ValleyCAST and Open Sky provide outreach and events that enrich and empower an inclusive community. In 2015, Dennis H. Rice, who co-founded Alternatives Unlimited, Inc., launched the idea of having sculpture on its Community Plaza, which was named in his honor upon his retirement.
The OUT (side) portion of the exhibit runs through March 2024. A curatorial note graces each sculpture; collectively they provide a warm greeting for the visitors who participate in the many classes and events at this historic mill and community site.
At the far end of the facility’s lower lot, you will find Roe Osborn’s “Red Scare,” a swooping horizontal chain composed of red painted PVC square segments. As you look past it to the row of mill buildings across the river, you can imagine what it was like working there when it was a fully operational mill, with the side-by-side interdependence of mill workers’ lives and homes nearby. The sculpture is a perfect visual for this spot, using image and color to tie “Then and Now” into one vista.