KENT, CONN.- William Morrison, owner and founder of the eponymous Morrison Gallery, has been known for exhibiting large scale sculpture in and around the village since founding the gallery in 1998, but this summer he has taken this vision for utilizing strategic green spaces in the beautiful enclave of Kent to a more comprehensive level with the debut of Roots on 7.
The installation of nearly a dozen monumental sculptures from renowned Bucks County, Pennsylvania artist Steve Tobinʼs Steelroots and Earth Bronzes series, one soaring 40ʼ high, commenced on Wednesday, June 19th. Amidst a cacaphony of cranes, forklifts, 18 wheeler flatbed trucks and a team of gallery and studio assistants, the various works will be sited and placed through Thursday along the Route 7 corridor as well as other locations in the village of Kent.
Roots on 7 is the first of what Morrison envisions as an annual sculpture event featuring a cohesive solo show of the worldʼs most dynamic sculptors past and present as an extensiion of the galleryʼs regular summer exhibition program. The annual public show will be on view for one year, and the broader title for the program will be Sculpture on 7.
The organic nature of Tobinʼs work, from the gnarly bronze ʻRomeo and Julietʼ Walking Roots to the obsessive, yet formal Syntax that will be appropriately sited on the grounds of the Kent Library, appealed to me for the kick-off of this annual sculpture event, said Morrison. Not only does Tobinʼs work lend itself to the beautiful natural environment of Kent, but it echoes the townʼs elegant history as well.
Morrison segued from a music career, playing guitar with such legendary performers as the Les Paul Trio, into the visual arts, by founding an impressive exhibition space for emerging regional artists, contemporary luminaries and modern masters. The vast 7,000 square foot main gallery allows for the accommodation of major works and large scale sculpture, while adjoining rooms provide a more intimate setting for smaller pieces. With rotating exhibits year round, and its close proximity to New Yorkʼs art scene, receptions at the Morrison Gallery are a highlight of Litchfield Countyʼs cultural calendar, drawing collectors from NYC, the Berkshires, the Hudson Valley and New York Stateʼs Capital Region.
Tobin, who is best known for his iconic Trinity Root sculpture, the first memorial commemorating the WTC attack on September 11, 2001 that is permanently sited on the corner of Wall Street and Broadway in Lower Manhattan, refers to his Steelroots as metaphors for unseen power.
Route 7 is the ideal natural setting, and the close community of Kent serves to activate the symbology of nature and community in Steelroots, said Tobin. It is rare that formal sculpture does not dominate and obscure surroundings. Steelroots serve to activate their surroundings by bringing the surroundings into the sculpture like the foliage of a tree bending art and vista as one. The open construction of the sculptures are completed by their location.