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Bob Keyes

Bob Keyes has written about the arts in Maine since 2002. He’s never been much an artist himself, other than singing in junior high school chorus and acting in a few musicals. But he’s attended museums, theaters, clubs and concert halls all his life, and cites Bob Dylan as most influential artist of any kind since Picasso. He lives in Berwick.

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Posted: May 29, 2014

5 outdoor sculpture shows to see in Maine this summer

Written by: Bob Keyes

See some art outside. Check out these five places for outdoor sculpture. Also check out Maine Audubon’s outdoor sculpture hiking tour.

"Cormorant" at the Art Gallery on the University of New England’s Portland Campus. This piece is part of the 13th Annual Sculpture Garden Invitational from June 6 through October 31, 2014.

“Cormorant” at the Art Gallery on the University of New England’s Portland Campus. This piece is part of the 13th Annual Sculpture Garden Invitational from June 6 through October 31, 2014.

The Art Gallery at the University of New England
in Portland hosts its annual Sculpture Garden Invitational from June 6 to Oct. 31. The works of 17 sculptors will be on view in the vestibule and around the gallery grounds. In addition, several works will be placed on UNE grounds along Stevens Avenue. Artists include Lin Lisberger, Nancy Nevergole, Jean Noon, Constance Rush, Jesse Salisbury, Andreas von Huene and others.

Art Gallery at UNE, 716 Stevens Ave., Portland; the gallery is open 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday and 1 to 7 p.m. Thursday, but the sculpture garden is available for visits at all hours. Free; 221-4499 or

"Apple Blossoms with Bees" by Christopher Russell at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.

“Apple Blossoms with Bees” by Christopher Russell at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens at Boothbay spends much of its season exploring pollinators and pollination. For its summer art exhibition, the gardens asked sculpture curator June LaCombe to put together an exhibition of New England artists whose work fits the theme. Using a variety of materials, artists created insects, flowers and other natural forms that are part of the pollination process. John Bowdren carved flower forms from wood. Christopher Russell made ceramic bees and beehives. Andreas von Huene carved butterflies from basalt. Dozens of pieces are on view in the gardens.

“Pollinators” opens with a reception from 5 to 6:30 p.m. June 19 and will be on view through Sept. 30.
Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; $14 adults; $12 for 65 and older; $6 ages 3 to 17; free for age 2 and younger; 633-4333 or

In Portland, one of the best places to view art is the Portland International Jetport. This spring the jetport installed “A Spirit of Its Own,” a pair of spheres by Warren sculptor Jay Sawyer on Jetport Access Road, which runs along one of the runways. The spheres are made from sheer rings salvaged from a hangar at the now-closed Brunswick Naval Air Station. An outer sphere is set on a stand that thrusts high into the air. A second, smaller sphere hangs inside the larger one, and moves with the wind.

“A Spirit of Its Own” joins two large granite pieces by Steuben artist Jesse Salisbury near the check-in and baggage claim areas at the terminal, and “Glimpse,” a collection of wildlife from steel by Wendy Klemperer tucked among the trees and grassy areas along the main airport road.

Portland International Jetport, 1001 Westbrook St., Portland; always open.

Cabot Lyford’s “Otter” at the Ogunquit Museum of American Art.

Cabot Lyford’s “Otter” at the Ogunquit Museum of American Art.

The Ogunquit Museum of American Art spent much of its off-season working on its sculpture gardens. It reinstalled several wooden sculptures by the late Bernard Langlais. The sculptures had been removed and refurbished to address rot. The museum also acquired an abstract bronze piece by Abbott Pattison to go along with its treasured garden sculptures by Robert Laurent, Cabot Lyford and others.

Museum director Ron Crusan invested time and money reshaping the sculpture gardens in hopes that visitors will stroll through the grounds. The gardens provide spectacular views of the ocean and peaceful spots for quiet reflection. “We want people to discover the rest of our property,” he said. “We want to lure them out of the museum and into the gardens. Our goal is to further develop our sculpture gardens, and I would like to add more contemporary work out there.”

Ogunquit Museum of American Art, 543 Shore Road, Ogunquit; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; $10 adults; $9 for 60 and older and students; free for age 11 and younger; 646-4909 or

In Augusta, Viles Arboretum now has a half-mile sculpture trail with a dozen or so stone sculptures by Jessie Salisbury, Andrea von Huene, Roy Patterson, Mark Herrington and others. These are permanent installations, making the arboretum one of Maine’s best desinations for a sculpture hike.

Viles Arboretum, 153 Hospital St., Augusta; dawn to dusk, seven days a week; free; 626-7989 or

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