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Art at Home: Burlington Sculpture Park
A brief history and a look to the future
If you ever pass through the center of town, it’s likely you’ve seen the enormous dog watching over the Town Common.
You might not know that the dog’s name is Havoc, and the statue was erected in 2020 as a part of a lesser-known pocket of our town, the Burlington Sculpture Park. (Havoc’s name was sourced from more than 800 submissions from the community, and is in honor of a beloved retired police dog with the same name, which seems altogether fitting for a such a community-centered part of our town.)
The Sculpture Park is situated between Grandview Farm and the Police Station, and is a peaceful little haven where residents and visitors can enjoy the art and come together for events. In fact, many events have been held here, including a variety show performed by Red Trouser Show, which brought over 250 residents together at a time where many were feeling increasingly disconnected.
The park was the outcropping of the seed of an idea by resident Jon Sachs, who recognized the need for culture and art in our town’s Master Plan and created his own kind of mobile sculpture park by bringing a foam dragon to various events around town. The Sculpture Park Committee was formed in 2018 and secured funding for its first installation (including the purchase of Havoc) in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic. Several sculptures are on lease, and one other has been donated - Love Birds, my personal favorite, donated by Maureen Wall in memory of her parents, Tom and Florence Murray.
The long-term vision is for the park to be a testing ground for installations residents would like to see around town, and for us to be able to purchase sculptures that strike a particular chord with residents and place them in various public spaces.
Most recently, Burlington residents and businesses contributed $14,000 in under a week to support Ukrainian artist Nikita Zigura and purchase the Global Warming sculpture (also known as “The Cherries”).
The Park has grand plans for the future, and therefore is asking for Town Meeting to contribute $20,000 to support the park. If granted, these funds would help the park:
fund 5 new leased sculptures to replace those leaving this summer.
fix the entrance to the park to make it ADA compliant and provide a pathway to the nearest bench so people with mobility challenges can enjoy the park.
purchase one additional leased sculpture (Follow Your Heart) and move it to a permanent location in town.
Any additional funds would go toward the wish list, which consists of repairing the stone wall, installing some drought resistant landscaping, and paying for performances for community events.
The Sculpture Park Committee has some funds to contribute to these causes, but the Town’s contribution would help these funds go farther.
If you haven’t checked out the Sculpture Park yet, please do! It’s such a nice, peaceful place to hang out.