Eight international artists’ creations will be taking shape along the Saint John waterfront this summer, adding to the legacy that is the 30-piece Sculpture trail throughout the region and beyond.

Diana Alexander has been behind the curation of the public art legacy for the past decade, launching the first Sculpture Saint John in 2012 – as a sister event to one held in the Schoodic region of Maine.

As a former business owner, and avid community volunteer, Diana knew she wanted Sculpture Saint John to have a significant impact.

“In Schoodic they would have maybe a few thousand people attend the symposium, compared to the 32,000 we see in Saint John,” she explained. “We wanted Sculpture Saint John to go beyond public art in communities. We wanted people to take in the process and extend our reach through educational components.”

The educational components are for all ages and stages. For the general public it’s an opportunity to experience the development of public art and interact with the Canadian and International artists. For children and youth, community outreach provides hands-on workshops and demonstrations – with more than 1,000 youth from the region participating in 2018.

But the most unique educational experience is the Emerging Artist intern program, which delivers an in-depth stone sculpting internship position for local artists.

2022 will see the 29th Emerging Artist come out of Sculpture Saint John, and the growth and development that has happened throughout the last ten years has had a significant impact.

Impact on artists like Julie Glaspy, who credits Sculpture Saint John for launching her carving career, and exposing her to a community she never knew existed – full of internally renowned talent.

“Julie was one of our interns in 2014, she became an artist with us in 2016, and has participated in several international sculpture symposiums around the world including Nepal, Italy and Germany.” Diana said “It’s amazing to see.”

This year, artists from Turkey, Latvia, Republic of Georgia, Poland, Bulgaria, and New Brunswick will set up shop along Long Wharf from August 11 – September 10.

Whether you are exploring the creations as they are being crafted, taking in a workshop, or visiting the completed trail – there is an adventure to take in at every stage of the Sculpture Saint John process. And according to Diana, one of the most rewarding aspects of the process is the way it brings communities together.

“The pieces of art don’t suddenly appear in the community, they’re part of the community,” she said.

Each artist that takes part in the symposium spends time in the community where their sculpture will live. It allows them to connect with the people who live there and put that connection into their work.

“The artist also gets to know the people and the surroundings – they are just as invested as the residents that get to enjoy the piece. Everyone is involved in the whole concept, and that is what makes it special.”

Envision Saint John: The Regional Growth Agency is a proud partner of Sculpture Saint John and will be sharing more about exploring the Sculpture Trail and highlighting local artists leading up to, and during the event.

If you are interested in volunteer opportunities for the 2022 Symposium, click here.