The Sculpture Park Committee
The Committee is an official subcommittee of the Burlington Planning Board, created to foster the park project with representation from a wide range of town constituencies.
The members are:
Robert C. Buckley, Burlington Business Community
Barbara L’Heureux, Chair of the Plannning Board
Nicholas Priest, Board of Selectmen
George Ratkevich, Visual Arts Coordinator
Paul Raymond, Recreation Commission
Michael Wick, Director, Burlington Public Library
Chair: Jonathan Sachs, Town Meeting
The Committee has partnered with the New England Sculptors Association, with their President, Dr. Elisa Adams, acting as committee member and ongoing liaison.
The Committee meets roughly once a month to move the project along, with all upcoming meetings and past meeting minutes posted on the Town website.
The Committee makes decisions about what sculptures to obtain and where to place them, but subject to the approval of our Board of Selectmen.
Our beautiful logo was designed by two Burlington High School students: Serena Hawkins and Hunter Robson.
Serena created the “grove of trees” concept, with the Follow Your Heart sculpture in the center.
Hunter created the “tree as a sculpture” concept, using triangle shapes to create a tree.
The committee wanted to join the two concepts, rather than give Follow Your Heart too much of the spotlight, and also because we loved the “tree as sculpture concept”.
Committee Chair Jon Sachs combined the two designs into a single graphic, with both color and black and white versions. For graphics fans, here is a video of that conversion process.
After the initial six works are installed (for a two year period) the Committee will assess the town’s enthusiasm for keeping the park and/or growing it.
There is plenty more greenspace in our town center that could be home to sculptures without impinging on all the existing uses of the Common and Simonds Park.
If there is widespread sentiment to grow the park the Committee will look to find ways to fund the growth of the park.
The Burlington Sculpture Park was an outgrowth of the town’s Master Plan Steering Committee.
During discussions it came to light that our town center, though pleasant, was not memorable.
And it was also known that our town’s reputation was very tied to the Burlington Mall. Mention Burlington to anyone from eastern Massachusetts and they will immediately say…”The Mall.”
While there is nothing wrong with having a major mall in our town and it contributes in a big way to our tax base, we felt it was not an ideal “brand” for the town.
The idea of a sculpture park was suggested and took root. It also took 3 to 4 years to get the idea moving. Perhaps in the future, when you mention Burlington, people will say… “That’s the town with the cool sculptures?”
Bob Buckley’s client, Nordblom, gave us funding in a grant became the seed money for the town park.
Part of the process of bring the sculpture park to life was creating Boris and Natasha, our two 10 foot tall dragons.
They were made out of styrofoam insulation, cut to shape with a hot wire knife, and then painted – with house paint!
Dragon creator Jon Sachs painted purple dragon Boris, and set designer and architect Ruth Neeman painted the stylish black and white Natasha.
They were created and shown at Celebrate Burlington day, and helped to raise awareness of the fun of having colorful sculptures in Burlington.
Boris and Natasha are semi-retired but will make occasional public appearances on demand.
The three in the yellow Tshirts are actor Michael Barbo, Jon Sachs, and Ruth Neeman.
(Click photos to see them larger.)