HALLOWELL — The public is invited to visit Stevens Commons every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. beginning May 18 (weather permitting), to watch local stone-carver Jon Doody create a sculpture out of Hallowell granite. It is free and open to the public.

Sculptor Jon Doody directs placement of the granite block at Stevens Commons on April 23.(Photo by Jon Doody)

Doody is an Augusta-based sculptor who has been juried in as a professional member of the Maine Stoneworkers Guild, a group dedicated to supporting fellow artists by sharing skills and techniques and introducing the art of stone carving to the public.

As a guild member, Doody has participated in public demonstrations at the Common Ground Fair, Boothbay Railway Village, Viles Arboretum and this summer he’ll be working outdoors at Stevens Commons in Hallowell.

Doody explains, “I enjoy working in public, sharing my process. I have learned that people become more involved and far more appreciative of art when they can observe the actual process as it takes place. I have never felt a need to hide my skills, actually just the opposite. I feel a kind of obligation to show others what I have learned. To pass on to others what can be done. To show them that carving, even something as hard and as permanent as stone, need not be intimidating.”

Hallowell Public Works staff delivers granite block to Stevens Commons on April 23.

Doody will carve a large piece of Hallowell granite donated by the City of Hallowell with the assistance and support of the Public Works Department.

According to the artist, “I work in reclaimed materials whenever possible. I explain my art as being the continuation of the story of the piece that I have worked. The majority of my carvings come from materials cast off or rejected. I try to find a new way to enjoy them and my carvings include the marks of my materials former lives. For example, I completed a carving in marble reclaimed from the Maine State House renovations of the ’80s, and included in the piece a poem that I wrote and hand-translated into multiple languages to welcome newcomers to Maine.”

Granite block in place ready to be transformed into sculpture by Doody. (Photo by Jon Doody)

Hallowell’s 2019 Summer Sculptor-in-Residence program is presented in partnership by Stevens Commons and the Hallowell Arts & Cultural Committee, a city committee that works to build and strengthen community relationships through the arts, recognizing the diverse culture of the city in both the past and present.

The committee is working on further plans to bring artists and granite sculpture to Hallowell as a way of celebrating the city’s long history as a renowned center of the granite industry and the related art of stone-carving through the 1800s.

To volunteer or contribute to support the Hallowell Arts and Cultural Committee in their efforts to bring granite sculpture to the city, contact Committee Chair Deb Fahy at [email protected]

For more information, contact Fahy at [email protected]

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