We want to connect citizens and visitors into the public art creation process, in a hands-on way.
We also want to build a public collection of permanent outdoor stone art, for Nova Scotians to enjoy for generations to come. So we’ve invited a group of experienced stone carvers to practice and demonstrate their ancient art form on the Halifax Waterfront! This creation process forms the core of a month-long, outdoor sculpture-arts festival. This symposium includes an arts residency, a mentorship program, and a free community festival and active-learning forum. By the time these monumental granite sculptures are finished and installed, Nova Scotia’s citizens will be hungry for the next sculpture symposium in 2017!
Stone-carving symposia have been happening around the world for decades. The founder of this style of outdoor arts residency is Austrian sculptor, Karl Prantl (1923-2010). During the Cold War, Prantl invited artists from around Europe to sculpt together in a quarry near Vienna. This gathering in 1959 is seen as the first international stone-carving symposium. The spirit of Prantl’s idea — of the power of cultural interconnectedness — remains alive and well. Cities around the world invite and host stone sculptors to make public art in the open air, while at the same time providing learning opportunities for each other and for curious observers from the public.
In eastern North America, the communities of Schoodic, Maine, and Saint John, New Brunswick, have each designed their own sculpture symposia, to the delight of their residents, arts enthusiasts, visitors, and supporters. At Schoodic’s and Saint John’s invitation, Halifax will the be the site of Nova Scotia’s newest forum for engaging the public in the sculpture arts. Our sister events have been generous in sharing their knowledge with us. Sculpture Nova Scotia gratefully acknowledges their help, and we look forward to building a truly regional event.