Our sculpture garden, curated by Yvonne Shortt, is intended to be a dynamic link between The Norwalk Art Space museum and the adjoining community. The garden aims to inspire interaction and conversation in an artistic, welcoming environment. We have one permanent sculpture and three rotating sculptures which will change every two years. There will be public programming associated with each piece and around public art in general, as well as educational programs offering hands-on learning.
The permanent sculpture by Connecticut-based artist, Gilbert Boro, “After the Race III”, evokes memories of sailing on Long Island Sound. It was selected in part because of our founder, Alexandra Korry’s, love of sailing with her husband and daughters. "After the Race III" is a dynamic construction in welded steel, in which elegant curved surfaces rise 16 feet upward toward the sky. The intersecting planes energize negative and positive spaces around and within the sculpture. The carefully crafted steel plates are painted a vibrant orange, creating an ambience that reflects the light and energy of the day or evening. Gilbert Boro’s "After the Race sculpture series" was developed after many years of sailing and participation in sailboat races and regattas. Mr. Boro has had a distinguished career as a sculptor, architect, educator and international design consultant. His sculpture is concerned with the interplay of space, place and scale. He uses various materials, including steel, in this case, with the 16 foot height of the sculpture intended to help redefine our building as an art hub. Mr. Boro’s highly acclaimed work has been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the United States and Europe.
AFTER THE RACE III
Ms. Teall's "Tulip Bulb" draws on natural imagery of bulbs and wombs to evoke a gestation period in which the sitter can grow through introspection and reflection before re-emerging into the community. In our current environment of political polarization and community-conscious isolation,"Tulip Bulb’s" perforated walls provide a semi-permeable space that encourages the participant to look inwards yet retain the expectation of re-emergence into the community.
Steel and outdoor-grade acrylic paint
Our curator, Yvonne Shortt, is one of the three selected rotating sculptors. Ms. Shortt is a public installation artist creating work focused on African American culture through her series titled, “African American Marbleization: An Act of Civil Disobedience”. Ms. Shortt currently has over 30 public art installations on view throughout the tri-state area and is building a boat to harvest clay from rivers and creeks to tell African American narratives.
Ms. Shortt’s "Afro Pick: Don’t Go, Don’t Grow" draws from her own experiences as both a mother and a daughter. It depicts a moment of transition; of taking ownership and letting go. It does so using an object with a rich cultural history over 5,500 years old.
*The top piece of the Afro pick handle will change every so often in celebration of my African American narratives so keep stopping by.
AFRO PICK: DON'T GO, DON'T GROW
Our third sculpture is titled "Shotgun Home" by Margaret Roleke.
Margaret Roleke is a contemporary mixed media artist based in Brooklyn and Connecticut. In 2020 she was awarded a Connecticut Commission on the Arts and was also awarded grants for public art projects at Creative Arts Workshop in New Haven and the Town Green District in New Haven. She had a residency at Governors Island in New York City through the organization 4 Heads from mid-August 2021 through mid-November 2021.
Roleke has had solo exhibits at Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT, Pen+Brush Gallery New York, NY, AHA Fine Art New York, NY, and Norwalk Community College, Norwalk, CT among others. Her work has been included in shows at The Aldrich, Katonah Museum of Art, Art Space New Haven, ODETTA Gallery, and Ethan Cohen (Kube), and other venues. Roleke has participated in art fairs including Spring Break, Pulse, Scope, Governor’s Island, Cutlog, Flux, 14c, Fountain, and Verge.
"America faces large challenges; racism, gun violence, global warming, and an assault on the truth. My work is an urgent response to these issues and a call for dialogue. Recently, I began making cyanotypes that explore Black Lives Matter protests and the effects of the pandemic. During the Trump presidency, I made work that implored compassion through cage-like structures that alluded to the prisons used to house immigrant men, women, and children at the southern border. Living near Sandy Hook Elementary School, the site of a 2012 mass shooting, inspired sculptures made out of shotgun shells, and to this day, I donate a percentage of all work sold to organizations that work for gun control. I move between these themes creating sculptures, installations, and prints that urge action on injustice."
Shotgun Home 2021
Steel frame, spent shotgun shells, cable, zipties, fencing, mirror, caution tape
6'6"H x 4'6"W x 4'10"D
This piece attempts to start a dialogue on guns, gun control and gun violence in America. The artist donates a portion of all sold work to organizations that work to end gun violence.
The second selected sculpture, “Tulip Bulb” is by artist Emily Teall. Ms. Teall is a multimedia artist with particular interests in sculpture, painting, and installation art. Ms. Teall’s current work draws from experiences with social anxiety and the role of the body in (particularly a female) identity. Ms. Teall is also a member of the The Norwalk Art Space’s inaugural class of Resident Artists.