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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Nashua Sculpture Symposium launches this week, to continue for the next three

NASHUA – For the next three weeks, the public can watch art come to life right before their eyes.

The city’s sixth annual Nashua Sculpture Symposium – a live exhibition at the Ultima Nimco site off Pine Street Extension – is hosting three Central and South American artists. ...

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NASHUA – For the next three weeks, the public can watch art come to life right before their eyes.

The city’s sixth annual Nashua Sculpture Symposium – a live exhibition at the Ultima Nimco site off Pine Street Extension – is hosting three Central and South American artists.

At the start of June, the three finished sculptures will be turned over to the city for placement and display as public art. There are currently 13 sculptures in the city from past symposiums, one of which blew over in Superstorm Sandy.

At an inaugural ceremony Sunday afternoon at Nashua Public Library, members of the symposium’s committee, who worked to bring two of the artists to the area, stressed no public funds were used to pay for this endeavor. The sculptors will be paid a stipend and provided materials through grants and separate fundraising.

Sculptor Tony Jimenez, born in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, said this is his first time in the United States and his goal is to “learn, learn, learn.”

“I feel that Nashua is a beautiful place, “ he said. “The people are very fun, and very good. They’re very friendly.”

The other sculptors, Julio Aguilera, a Venezuelan-American born in Caracas who now lives in Nashua, and Miguel Angel Velit, who came to Nashua from his native country Peru, also expressed enthusiasm for the project. In their short time here, they will train with John Weidman, who co-founded the Brookline-based Andres Art Institute.

“These are all professional sculptors we invited here based on their performance … and their artwork speaks for them,” Weidman told the small crowd that gathered at the library presentation.

Jimenez said his sculpture will focus on the concept of family, and is set to be placed at the Park Social at Labine, site of the former Labine Building.

Aguilera, who operates Mogi’z Hair Salon and Art Gallery with his wife, Mogi, in Nashua, said he is focusing on immigration. “When we all leave home, we leave the other half of us there,” he told the crowd in explaining his concept.

Aguilera’s final work will be placed near the newly constructed community garden along the Heritage Rail Trail.

Finally, Angel Velit’s piece, to be placed on the Ledge Street School campus, will focus on transportation, more specifically a bus. He told the crowd, in his country, people from all different walks of life and varying socioeconomic situations ride the bus, some with their own farm animals.

“There are chickens, and grains …,” he said. “It is a space and time where everything is together. It doesn’t matter if you are higher class or lower on the bars.”

Velit also brought models of his projected work for attendees to view.

Mayor Donnalee Lozeau attended and thanked Community Development Director Kathy Hersh for her hard work, as well as the committee members. Lozeau also thanked the people who offered to host the artists in their homes.

“It’s not easy to find places in our community for all of the wonderful work that they’ve done,” she said. “You want to find a place where people are going to understand the connections and really appreciate the work and we are working hard to make that happen.”

Colle Voce Chorus of the New Hampshire Symphony opened up the ceremony Sunday, with a few songs, as well.

The symposium still is looking for people to volunteer and provide dinners and lunches to artists. Citizens also can sponsor an artist and dedicate the finished sculpture upon its completion. For more information, or to get involved, email nashua.sculpture@gmail.com.

Samantha Allen can be reached at 594-6426 or sallen@nashua telegraph.com. Also, follow Allen on Twitter (@Telegraph_SamA).