Today we went to Senior College to look at the sculptures of a Maine Artist RON CROSS. That was pretty much all that was in the write up.
Every week is a different topic so just a brief description is put in the brochure.
DH over slept and I was wrapped up in Spark it was 10.00 am and the lecture was at 10.30 am. We hustled. DH dropped me at the door and parked the car. There were no seats to be seen so I waited for him to come in.
As soon as he arrived the speaker was being introduced we saw 2 empty seats either side of the room and went our separate ways.
The speaker was a friend of the sculptor. His work was outdoor landscape sculpture mostly in metal and stone.
We were given a program, it named all of his works and where they are located. Mostly in Maine schools and some in the South West he was in college in Durango CO. Some pieces are in New Mexico.
That was all very interesting and we were shown pictures and models of many of his works. 24 0f his works are recorded in the Smithsonian Institute.
Afterwards the presenter showed us a movie made in the late 1970,s. The presenter was a friend of Ron Cross and the man was a shop teacher in a local school. He and Ron Cross worked with boys and girls in metal work. The kids in the shop class decided to build a monument in the school grounds. I have not seen it except on this film. We do intend to look at it very soon.
It is an octagon 12 feet high by 10 feet across and is set in 10 feet of concrete as a base in the ground. I doubt the frost will ever move that one. The students boys and girls worked welding designing and making the small prototype models and it is an amazing work of art.
Seeing those students all high school juniors and seniors working in harmony with welding torches and sledge hammers was really joyful. I sure wish that could happen today but with liability insurance it will never happen again. That was the JOY.
Ron Cross was raised in Augusta Maine and his family lived very close to our first home in Augusta. I saw his mother often and she sang in the church choir, she had a beautiful voice. His mother and his Daughter were invited to this presentation and his mother is in Senior college. As the movie unfolded I looked again at the program and saw Ron Cross died in 1993.
At the beginning of the film there was a big garden sculpture with 2 girls climbing on it the smallest girl was lying on the sculpture. The woman who was that child was sitting a few rows in front of me and her grandmother was by her side. The Shop teacher had filmed the young people making their landmark sculpture and the young woman’s father, and the older woman's son RON CROSS was in almost every scene. Laughing and joking and encouraging these kids to do this massive work of art.
It occurred to me she would be their age when he died.
At the end of the performance I was stood near the elevator and Mother and Grand- daughter walked towards me. They had been able to smile and keep their composure, then she looked at me. I saw the tears well up in her eyes and I had to just take her in my arms and hug her, I held her tight for a minute or two and the elevator arrived. I let go to stand aside and saw the Grand-daughter was in the same situation. I turned from the older to the younger woman and hugged her too and she really hugged me tight.
I kept thinking why did they come, but they did.
They were asked and they accepted the invitation.
I was happy to see them there and they were welcomed most warmly but for them both to be there for two hours seeing his face, his youth and hearing his voice and laughter was courageous for both of them.
I know I will ever forget that experience.
Joy and sadness at 2 extremes.
The artwork is on the internet. I will take some time to find it. Then DH and I are going to go with some others to see RON CROSS'S Garden sculptures for a days outing some time in the next few weeks.
Pat in Maine.