Langlais Sculpture Preserve pays tribute to Maine native


MAINE.>>THESE THAT ARE HERE ARE ALL
FIXED AND READY FOR THE NEXT 40
OR 50 YEARS. STEVE MINICH: IT’S A WALK
THROUGH ART HISTORY WITH AN EYE
ON THE FUTURE. THANKS TO A RARE COLLABORATION,,
THESE WHIMSICAL, BERNARD
LANGLAIS SCULPTURES ARE BACK ON
FULL DISPLAY ON THE VERY GROUN
THEY WERE BUILT.>>YOU SEE ALL THESE OLD
PHOTOGRAPHS OF HIM ENTERTAINING
AND THE STORIES THAT PEOPLE HAVE
SHARED WITH US ABOUT COMING HERE
AS A KID, PLAYING ON THE
SCULPTURES, BEING AROUND STEVE MINICH: FROM THE MID
1960’S TO 1977 ’BLACKIE’ AS HE
WAS AFFECTIONATELY KNOWN, SPENT
THE FINAL 11-YEARS OF HIS LIFE
ON THIS 90 ACRES OF LAND IN
CUSHING, BUILDING DOZENS OF SCULPTURES.>>HE WAS OUT OF THE BOX, HE WAS
KIND OF AN OUTSIDER ARTIST. HE WAS VERY SUCCESSFUL IN NEW
YORK CITY AND CAME UP TO MAINE
TO COME BACK TO HIS ROOTS AND
CHOSE TO TO THESE BIG WONDERFUL
SCULPTURES. THERE WAS THIS VERY LARGE
SCULPTURE THAT WAS OUTSIDE. STEVE MINICH: THE WORK TO
PRESERVE THOSE SCULPTURES BEGAN
SOON AFTER 2010 WHEN LANGLAIS’
WIFE DIED, BEQUESTING THE ENTIRE
PROPERTY TO COLBY COLLEGE. COLBY FORMING A PARTNERSHIP WITH
THE LOCAL GEORGES RIVER LAND
TRUST TO CONSERVE THE LAND, AND
THE WISCONSIN BASED KOHLER
FOUNDATION TO REFURBISH THE
SCULPTURES, MANY OF WHICH HAD FALLEN INTO DISREPAIR.>>PART OF WHAT MAKES MID COAST
MAINE MID COAST MAIN IS THIS
CREATION OF ART. SO WE FELT PRETTY STRONGLY IF WE
WERE GOING TO BE COMMITTED TO
THE WA THE LAND WAS USED THAT WE
— THE WAY THE LAND WAS USED
THAT WE NEED TO STEP UP AND SAY
YEA IT WAS USED FOR ART AS WEL YOU CAN ACTUALLY SEE WHAT IS
INSIDE AN ELEPHANT’S BELLY. STEVE MINICH: TODAY, VISITORS
ARE FREE TO WALK THE TRAILS AND
EVEN TOUR THE INSIDE OF LANGLIS’
HOME AND WORK SHOP WHICH STILL
CONTAINS SOME OF HIS UNFINISHED
WORKS. LOCAL SCHOOL STUDENTS SPEND
SEVERAL DAYS A WEEK HERE, BOTH
LEARNING ABOUT ART AND HELPING
ENSURE LANGLAIS’ LEGACY
SURVIVES.>>IT’S BEEN GENERATIONS THAT
GAVE ENJOYED THIS PLACE AND NOW
FOR THE CHILDREN TO COME HERE
AND SHARE STORIES WITH THEIR
PARENTS AND GRANDPARENTS WHO
KNEW, A LOT OF THEM KNEW BLACKIE AND HELEN, A LOT OF THEM GREW UP
PLAYING IN THIS INCREDIBLE PLACE
AND NOW THE CHILDREN GET TO
SHARE IT AS WELL. STEVE MINICH: THE PRESERVE
REMAINS A WORK IN PROGRESS, WITH
EVEN MORE SCULPTURES SET TO BE
RESTORED, A LASTING TRIBUTE TO A
MAN WHO WAS HAPPIEST WHEN OTHERS
COULD ENJOY HIS WORKS, I AM CERTAIN THAT BLACKIE
HIMSELF WOULD BE ESTATIC THAT
PEOPLE ARE HERE ON THE PROPERTY
AND ENJOYING THE ART, IT’S WHAT,
I THINK, HE LIVED FOR. ST

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