By John Griffin
After long gracing the grounds of a bucolic rural estate, the statues are coming to town. Thanks to the great generosity of local art collectors and philanthropists Claire Léger and Claude Allaire, 12 pieces from their sculpture collection have been donated to the Town of Brome Lake, including one by Knowlton artist Sally Kininmonth. Three pieces should be placed along the Brome Lake Trail this fall; the others will find homes over the next couple of years. TBL Mayor Richard Burcombe saluted “This immense citizen contribution to our community while enriching our cultural heritage,” during a recent press conference to announce the artistic largesse.
Madame Léger responded by saying she hoped “these beautiful works of art will now benefit the community we love. Art is meant to be shared and enjoyed by many.”
The town has called on the services of a pair of landscape architects to oversee the installation of the pieces, with an eye to exposing them to the largest number of viewers with the maximum amount of security. These are great hulking pieces of painstakingly transformed material more easily moved by cranes than wheelbarrows. They are also to be shielded from graffiti predations, no small task in itself.
Easy access is key, both for the monumental task of movement and placement, and for security and routine maintenance. So far, said Burcombe, 35 locations are under review. These sculptures are just another, vastly visible, manifestation of Léger and Allaire’s continued contribution to the community’s cultural health, and a win/win example of downsizing on a grand scale.