Art on the Trail: Cherry Valley Artworks event brings sculpture to community; opening to be held Friday, July 2

‘The Whole Earth Cabinet’ by the Dora P. Manny Collective in West Winfield is an interactive piece where visitors can take and leave gifts for other visitors (Greg Klein/Allotsego)

Art on the Trail: Cherry Valley Artworks event brings
sculpture to community; opening to be held Friday, July 2

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to

CHERRY VALLEY – The biennial Cherry Valley Sculpture Trail will open with a viewing and launch party scheduled for Friday, July 2.

Jane Sapinsky, executive director of Cherry Valley Artworks, said this year’s sculpture trail stands out because of the “beautiful pieces” and said that it is a “COVID-friendly activity.”

There are 24 sculptures, ranging from small ones to half-ton sized.

One piece, by Shiro Shinohara of Westmoreland, was more than 1,000 pounds and had to be delivered by crane. It’s called the“Baku Nightmare Buster.”

Other pieces on display include “Whole Earth Cabinet,” which was created by the Dora P. Manny Collective in West Winfield. The idea behind the cabinet, according to Sapinsky, is “give
a little, take a little.” Visitors can take things from the cabinet while leaving something else behind.

“We thought it was a good community activity,” Sapinsky said.

Sapinsky said what separates the 2021 trail from the others is the level of skill involved in sculptures. “Everything is very high quality,” Sapinsky said.

One of the artists, Tomas Sakoulas, is originally from Greece. He has been taking three-dimensional ancient Greek sculptures and flattening them into two-dimensional sculptures.

“It’s a wonderful exhibition in Cherry Valley,” Sakoulas said. He said that his sculptures were large enough to need a crane to transport them.

One of his sculptures is “Hygeia,” which he describes as “a large projection of an ancient Greek statue.”

“I have a system of creating flat spaces,” Sakoulas said, and that he considers his work an “esoteric exploration of what would these images look like if I did two-D of three-D sculptures.”
His other sculpture being displayed is “Kouros,” It is a take on ancient classical sculpture from the B.C. era, Sakoulas said.

“I find classical antiquity worth investigating for the timeless stories,” Sakoulas said.

As an artist, Sakoulas said his work is “continuing the trend of reacting to classical antiquity.”

One of the more timely sculptures that will be displayed is by Molly Welch Whyte, who is displaying a 24-foot table called “Table for Four,” which is meant to convey the changes in life because of the coronavirus pandemic and the slow return to normalcy happening at this moment.

The wood was built from white pine that her father, Butch Welch, felled on her property in Roseboom, and was then milled into lumber.

Whyte said the table is meant to “comment on the alleviation of what we’ve experienced last year.

“It’s also a symbol of getting back together again,” Whyte said. “They’re going to use the table as a real table and have people gather round. Honestly, I was just wondering what was appropriate for the sculpture trail. It just seemed like an easy symbol.”

The reason behind the table being 24 feet and called “Table for Four” is to represent the six-feet of distance that was common with COVID guidelines.

Whyte said she found it appropriate that her art was being used to express something about recent events, particularly as it related to COVID. “Art always responds to any events, current or historic,” Whyte said.

An outdoor reception will be taking place at the Cherry Valley Museum garden at 6 p.m., Friday, July 2, with music and refreshments.

The sculptures will be displayed until Oct. 8. Sapinsky said the trail was canceled last year because of the pandemic and this year should have been the year for the CVA’s over destination event, the Cherry Valley Kite Festival. However, the trail was deemed more COVID-friendly as a 2021 activity.

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