HAMILTON — Students aren’t the only ones returning to campus at Pingree School in Hamilton.
Mythical figures such as Nike and Icarus can be seen on the school grounds, accompanied by animals that include an otter, a heron and a wolf. They are joined by an unusual but pleasant-looking man named Jonah, who has an enormous, lopsided head made of granite.
All of these figures can be found around the property as part of the school’s third Flying Horse Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit. They are among 36 works by 25 artists, three from Cape Ann, on display through Nov. 18, in an exhibit that is open to the public. The show is named for the farm that was donated by the Pingree family to the school. Admission is free.
The public is invited to a reception on Sunday, Sept. 23, from 2 to 4 p.m. on the grounds. The local artists whose work is on display are Jay Havighurst of Essex, a sound sculptor and author of “Making Musical Instruments by Hand”; granite sculptor John Kuykendall of Rockport; and Gloucester’s Burt Stuyf, a kinetic sculptor and member of Cape Ann Artisans.
“About 10 artists are new,” said Judy Klein, Pingree’s director of communications, who added that the returning artists will exhibit new works. “No one will be repeating. Every piece must be new, that’s a condition.”
Havighurst’s sculpture can be heard, as well as seen. To invite people to explore music in a new way, he has contributed three sculptures to the show that are also musical instruments. You won’t find “Rhythm Tower,” “Blue Arc” or “Slit Gong” in any orchestras, although Havighurst has played them in studio sessions with other musicians.
“The idea is to extend the idea of musical instruments and to invite people to play together who aren’t necessarily musicians,” said Havighurst, who is new to the Flying Horse exhibition this year. “Instruments are intimidating in some ways, because of
the way we have to play them perfectly. Sound sculpture is a way to involve people and get their natural abilities to come forth.”
“Rhythm Tower” is made of plywood and stands about 8 feet tall, and visitors may use rubber mallets to strike it like a drum.
Havighurst doesn’t want people to just hear the rhythms they create, but also to feel them, which is how shamans induce trances and ritual drumming binds cultures together.
“The relationship of the sound to the body is really important,” he said. “It’s not just through your ears and your mind, it’s a guttural kind of feeling, which is missing in a lot of things in this world.”
Among the artists returning from last year are Kim Radochia of Beverly, who has fashioned a pair of dragonfly wings from quarter-inch-thick aluminum, each measuring 5 1/2 feet.
“I’m fascinated by patterns in nature. Bringing it into a larger context, blowing it up, often abstracts it from nature,” and makes those patterns more evident, she said.
Another new sculptor at the show, Shawn Farrell of Hamilton, teaches at North Andover High School and assembles sculptures from unique items that he finds, usually while working with contractors.
“I have two steel sculptures,” said Farrell, who studied foundry and glass blowing in college. “One, a hand-hammered form, slightly like a female figure dancing. The other kind of looks like a tower of eggs.”
The latter piece, “Phoenix Tower,” was made from aluminum ashtrays that Farrell helped a contractor remove from elevators at a building.
“With all my found-object work, I try to take a person’s everyday experience with an obj
ect and slip it on its head,” he said, “so they’ll see it in a completely different light.”
All of these sculptors will be introduced, and their works pictured, in free catalogs. New this year is an audio element to the show. Those attending the Flying Horse exhibit can dial up information about the art and artists. A sign with a phone number at each sculpture will allow visitors to listen to a recording of the catalog entries.
Joanne Patton of Hamilton, “widow of one Gen. George Patton and daughter-in-law of the most famous Gen. George Patton,” as the catalog states, is the show’s honorary chairwoman.
“She is such a regional treasure,” Klein said. “She introduced us to several artists and is a supporter of public access to community resources. This being a free event for the community
appeals to her.”
Will Broaddus may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Gail McCarthy may be contacted at 978-283-7000 x3445, or email@example.com.
If you goWhat: 2012 Flying Horse Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit Where: Pingree School, 537 Highland St., Hamilton When: Now through Nov. 18. Reception on Sunday, Sept. 23, from 2 to 4 p.m. How much: FreeMore information: www.pingree.org