Thursday, August 27, 2009

Interns begin a SOS! Project

During the summer of 2009, the four intern/fellows, Rose Daly, Diana
Larrabee
, Laine Kirkhof, and Laura Brill, decided to look at outdoor
sculpture through the SOS program to learn more about documentation
methods, outdoor sculpture, public outreach, and Vermont. Rose arrived
in Vermont with the idea for this project, and the three
other interns in the lab were interested in it as well. The
project is accessible to anyone, regardless of the extent of their
knowledge of outdoor sculpture, since the guidelines and forms are
already in place. There is even a girl scout merit badge, which we all wanted desperately, but had to be affiliated with a girl scout troop, too bad.

The project was very informal. Our objectives were to become more
familiar with the SOS process and investigate how the project had been
carried out in Vermont. We also wanted to encourage future efforts
in Vermont, and other interns to do the same in other states. After
researching and downloading SOS forms, we set out to examine a
sculpture.
Rose and Laura examining the first sculpture

We printed out reports an went to look at one sculpture as a group to get an idea of how difficult it would be to write up a report in the field. In terms of logistics, it took us about 45 minutes to fill out the form and take pictures. For this sculpture we used the longer form, that is no longer required by the project.
We brought along a camera, tape measure, our clipboard, forms and a pen. A flashlight, a
magnet, and color card could also be useful items.

A few days later, Rose, Diana and Laine went to the Vermont Historical
Society
to research the 1992 SOS files. They spoke with Paul Carnahan
the VHS librarian, who explained the filing system, and gave some
suggested some improvements for future efforts. He was very supportive
of the effort and offered to publicize any future project through the
League of Local Societies. On a side note, Barre is one of Vermont's
biggest granite producer's and there are many granite sculptures and buildings in the area.
Diana and Laine researching previous records of sculpture and more about the goals of the SOS! project.

To prepare for the trip to Burlington Laura downloaded the Art in Public
Places tour booklet from the Burlington City Arts. We chose the walk
down Church Street as it had the most public sculptures. We looked at
Democracy, Leapfroggers, and Millennium Sculpture.

We greatly enjoyed the project and would recommend it to any emerging conservator who is interested in outdoor sculpture.

1 comment:

Dale Kronkright said...

I love this post. For ECP's it points out that SOS was (and is) a fantastic demonstration project for the collaboration between conservators and a broad cross-section of interested community members. The question for those of us who participated in the early and mid 1990's is how the energy and level of interest in outdoor sculpture can be maintained and renewed, generation after generation. Perhaps getting new-media types in area universities, schools, philanthropic clubs, etc to create mobile, multi-media bike, walking or virtual tours? Lots of exciting and creative options here to keep the public actively engaged and feeling ownership with heritage and cultural resources!