The Montshire Museum of Science is an interactive science center in Norwich, Vermont, with more than 150 hands-on exhibits relating to the natural and physical sciences, ecology, and technology. Outdoors, visitors can explore nature trails and exhibits on wind, water, and sound in David Goudy Science Park. Visiting exhibitions, educational programs, and special events are offered throughout the year.
Montshire Museum chooses local artist Dan Snow to create interactive sculpture
The sculpture, made possible by the David Goudy Discovery Fund, will encapsulate the Montshire’s mission of engagement and discovery – signaling to visitors the excitement they will find inside the Museum and across its 100 acres, as well as showcasing the Montshire’s commitment to art and science, and the important connections between them. The 1000-square-foot sculpture will be an interactive representation of the intersection of the waves formed by drops of water into a pond—at enormous scale, and rendered in individually shaped stones.
“I believe the sight of a new dry stone construction on the land is a sign of a healthy community,” says Snow. “When loose stone is collected and arranged, conversations take place.”
Both the installation process and the finished work will spark engaging conversations among Museum visitors. The piece, which hasn’t yet been named, is designed to allow visitors to explore its form visually as well as kinesthetically by moving in and around the stone ripples.
“Dan Snow’s visionary work will spark joy and delight for Montshire visitors as they enter the Museum,” says Montshire’s Executive Director Marcos Stafne. “While the sculpture represents the waves formed by a drop of water, it is also symbolic of the ripple effect that takes place when visitors experience that “aha” moment as they engage in science, and the permanent nature of the Snow’s stonework reinforces Montshire’s enduring passion to continue encouraging these moments to happen for years to come.
Throughout the summer of 2015, a small team of Montshire staff set out the criteria for a new outdoor project. The sculpture had to be touchable and interactive, have a strong presence across the four seasons, and make connections between the worlds of science and art.
After visiting institutions and sculpture centers throughout New England, consulting with experts from the Hood Museum of Art and AVA Gallery, and working individually with three artists that were selected to submit proposals, the team chose Dan Snow’s proposal for the new sculpture adjacent to the museum’s front entryway.
Snow will work for six weeks beginning late spring to create and install the piece. The project will use locally sourced stone from Vermont and New Hampshire, a technique that he has honed over decades of work.
Although visitors will be able to watch Snow build the piece, stone by stone, beginning in late spring, it will be late summer that the artwork will finally be unveiled for full exploration by visitors to the Museum.