WEST RUTLAND—A statue of a man is taking shape in the Carving Studio and Sculpture Center, a marble worker from more than a century ago. Carol Driscoll, executive director for the Carving Studio, told the Rutland Herald that the statue differs from the type of work most frequently done at the West Rutland site. It’s different because it is classically representational and also because it is a commissioned piece from start to finish.
Named “Stone Legacy,” the work, commissioned by Mark Foley and Green Mountain Power, is anticipated to be first among a series of sculptures bound for downtown Rutland. New York sculptor Kellie Pereira said she studied old photographs of stone workers, observing how they stood and what they wore, including such detail as how they tucked in their shirts. She made a nude version of the sculpture so that she could cover it with clothing accurately.
Italian sculptors Alessandro Lombardo and Andrea Ingrassi are replicating Pereira’s original at three times its size, from what came into the studio as a 10-foot, 11-ton block out of Vermont Quarries in Danby and positioned by a crane.
West Rutland Town Manager Mary Ann Goulette and Rutland City Mayor David Allaire together unveiled the statue Aug. 17. Project supervisor Steve Shaheen said refinements will continue into late September, with the public encouraged to visit the Carving Studio to see its progress.
“Stone Legacy” may require a temporary home for the winter, before Center Street Alley reconstruction is complete enough for the figure’s installation, said Steve Costello, GMP vice president of customer care.
The stone worker statue is not the only statue taking shape in the West Rutland studio. Sculptor Sean Williams is transforming a 1,500-pound block of marble into a tribute to Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book,” WCAX-TV reported. The completed sculpture will show the characters Kipling created rising from the pages of an open book. Like “Stone Legacy,” Williams’ statue is carved from Danby marble. Kipling wrote the beloved story of Mowgli’s adventures while living in Dummerston, Vt. The work is scheduled to be installed in front of Phoenix Books in downtown Rutland.
A third page from Vermont history is also coming to life in stone, this one depicting Revolutionary War widow, patriot and, briefly, Rutland resident Anne Story, Costello told the Herald. The initial artist design is already underway, with succeeding steps developing a budget and finding a sculptor, with carving to take place next summer, Costello outlined.