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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Andres Institute in Brookline holding 18th sculpture symposium

By KATHY CLEVELAND

Staff Writer

Sometimes it’s hard to decide what to do on precious days off.

Go for a hike in the woods? Climb a mountain? Visit a museum? ...

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Sometimes it’s hard to decide what to do on precious days off.

Go for a hike in the woods? Climb a mountain? Visit a museum?

Or even better, during the gorgeous fall days to come, visit a sculpture park?

You can do all four at once in Brookline at the Andres Sculpture Park, the biggest sculpture park by area in New England.

This hidden gem is spread over a small mountain that was once Brookline’s ski hill. Admission is free, and the park is open dawn to dusk every day – allowing visitors to hike 11 trails, which range from easy to difficult, through 140 acres of woods. Many of the artworks are made of stone, and there is an old granite quarry on the site.

Hikers will find more than 80 sculpted pieces created by artists from Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Egypt, England, Greece, Kenya, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Vietnam, the United States and more.

“This is a fantastic place to bring kids and leashed dogs for a family

outing” or for a photography excursion, said Nancy Reinbold, Andres spokeswoman.

Unlike most sculpture parks, visitors can touch the sculptures, and there are several picnic tables available.

The Andres Institute of Art was founded in 1996 by entrepreneur Paul Andres, who purchased the mountain and built a studio on its top, and by Brookline sculptor John Weidman, the designer of Nashua’s Holocaust memorial and a number of other New England works of public art.

This month, the institute is in the midst of its 18th annual International Sculpture Symposium, with the theme “Perspective.”

Guest artists are Dominika Griesgraber, from Poland; Erik Wennerstrand, from Sweden; and Carole Turner, from the United States.

Artists choose granite or iron and sculpt or weld the pieces in about 19 days. During their stay, each visiting artist lives with a host family that provides a bedroom, bathroom, breakfast, and transportation to and from the studio at the park.

Finished sculptures will be permanently placed on the trails.

As the artists work, the public is invited to observe, interact and join guided tours of the collection.

Andres Sculpture Park is located at 98 Route 13, on the west side of the road and south of the Big Bear Lodge. The entrance can be difficult to see. Look for an engraved stone that says “Andres Institute of Art.” The dirt road leads to a kiosk and parking area.

Hikes range from easy to difficult, and color-coded trail maps are available at the kiosk or can be downloaded from www.andresinstitute.org.

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100 or kcleveland@nashuatelegraph.com.