Boothbay Region Sculpture Trail: Hewn by hand sparked by imagination

Wed, 07/26/2023 - 8:00am

    Created in the imagination and realized in granite, marble, quartzite, bronze, metal and steel ... carved into abstract shapes, archetypal figures, birds, animals, and people – including two children: One in a soap box derby racer; another, flying on a magic carpet with an open book … welcome to the Boothbay Region Sculpture Trail (BRST).

    The sculptors/artists represented on the Trail are Andreas von Huene, Miles Chapin, Chris Lewis, Mitch S. Billis, Roger Milinowski, Dick Alden, Lance Carlezon, Bill Royall, Isabel Catherine Kelley, Sam Betts, Steve Porter, Dale Rogers, Lise Becu, Valery Mahuchy, Dan Ucci, David Randall, Mark Herrington, Mai Morita, Joseph DiMauro, Jaclyn Bonzagni and the late Don Meserve.

    All of the sculptures are for sale and all proceeds from those sales go to the artist, with one exception: the Billis sculpture on the Boothay Harbor Memorial Library lawn. The artist gifted the work to BHML in 2019.  In 2022, five sculptures were sold from the trail by Royall, Mahuchy, DiMauro, Lewis and Chapin.

    The Trail encompasses about 35 miles as it now stretches from Edgecomb at Down East Gallery, to Boothbay at Hall Funeral Home, to downtown Boothbay Harbor, stretching to Linekin Bay Resort; then to East Boothbay and East Boothbay General Store, Bluebird Ocean Point Inn and onward to Southport Island at the elementary school and general store. With this distance, the trail has grown into both a walking and driving tour.

    As co-founder and board member Bill Royall has said from the outset, “Think sculpture city on the lobster coast.”

    The impetus for this ever changing, ever growing Sculpture Trail in the Boothbay Region is rooted in the Meredith, New Hampshire Sculpture Walk where Royall has had work included, back to 2017. Royall pitched the idea for a local trail to his cousin, Patricia Royall, then-executive director of Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce (BHRCC). She had both worked in galleries and had her own in Richmond. The cousins were committed, from that point on, to display public art that showcased the region and its diversity and natural beauty.

    The trail officially opened in June 2018 following the installation of 18 works by members of Maine Stone Workers Guild, created in August 2017 during the week-long Maine Coast Stone Symposium held at Boothbay Railway Village. In 2019, BHRCC partnered with Maine Stone Workers Guild to produce the Maine Stone Symposium held on Boothbay Common.

    The Boothbay Region Sculpture Trail is all about partnerships: with the artists, town businesses, residents and visitors. The Trail’s sustainability relies on the continued support of the business community, finding quality sculptures to add to the Trail and to replace sold work, and attracting young sculptors to the board of directors, like DiMauro.

    Trail board member and co-founder Patricia Royall believes going on the Trail is one of the best ways for visitors to explore the Boothbay Region. “You could do the trail in about 90 minutes,” she said. “This is a special thing for the Region. Yes, there is the Maine Sculpture Trail, but you have to drive from town to town.”

    Royall recalled BHRCC Executive Director Lisa Walby saying the sculpture trail map was the Chamber’s most popular handout last year.

    Speaking of popular, when asked if there were any sculptures on the Trail that stayed because people enjoyed them so much, both Patricia and Bill Royall said: “Soap Box Racer” at Blue Moon Café. Bill created the sculpture in 2017.

    Sculptures have been moving around, and new work will be installed this year. Find out where they all are by picking up this year’s Boothbay Region Sculpture Trail map at the Chamber (192 Townsend Ave.), the Boothbay Register (97 Townsend Ave.) and at all the businesses on the map!