Sculptured artwork "Essential Voyage" Amherst North Common
Perhaps it's fitting that in one of his final acts as Town Manager John Musante approved the placement on our historic North Town Common the fragile artwork "Essential Voyage," a life sized sculpture made of raw clay, hemp fiber, chicken wire and wood.
Artist creator Valerie Gilman sees it as microcosm of life and, all too inevitably, death:
"As the clay dries it will shrink and crack and as the rainwater falls on it, it will wash away the clay. This process of decay is part of the piece. We are part of the skin of the earth and our lives are temporary here."
Ms. Gilman has dedicated this timely public art project to the memory of John Musante, gone from this life far too soon.
There will be an open reception during the Chamber of Commerce Art Walk on Thursday, October 1st with the artist and her collaborator Margaret Bowrys, who was the model for the sculpture. Bowrys will also perform an improvisational dance.
Over the course of the next few months the artwork will, by design, degrade. And on December 1st, that which remains will be removed.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.