“Walking Saint, Sebastian”

Submitted by Ann Hirsch

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Client: St. Sebastian's School

Location: Needham, MA, United States

Completion date: 2013

Artwork budget: $90,000

Overview

Two sculptures in bronze, each 17' x 6', are mounted on curved boralstone walls which stand at the east entrance to Patriot Plaza at Sarasota National Cemetery in Sarasota, FL. The sculptures combine text in stainless steel and modelled form and found object in bronze to suggest the volumes of birds and their nests while conveying the founding principles of the U.S. National Cemetery system in the words of Abraham Lincoln.

Goals

The design challenge was to create an accessible and imaginative re-envisioning of the saint which will reveal itself over time through many embedded meanings. The work is installed at ground level in order to occupy the same space as the high school students who use the campus daily. The sculpture includes an engraved bronze base and is set into a surround of engraved granite pavers which were designed by architect Robert Olson who also designed the campus and was interested in a consistent reflection of Italianate influences in both the architecture and the sculpture.

Process

The artwork was commissioned by a private donor and gifted to the School. I made several models for review for design direction and then a larger model for review and planning for the full scale work. I collaborated closely with the architect, donor family, School officials and contractors to install the work in conjunction with the completion of a new building on the same site.