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A look at Sculpture in the Wild's newest art pieces

"Root Room" by Sam Clayton and Mark Jacobs
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Posted at 5:53 PM, Sep 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-22 19:58:05-04

HELENA — A few resident artists have recently returned to and finished new sculptures at Lincoln’s Sculpture in the Wild. MTN spoke with a couple of the artists to find out more about their work.

“Oh, the major draw was the opportunity, the invite, to come back after eight years. And it was an honor to be invited. And we didn't hesitate in saying, yep we'll come,” says artist, Mark Jacobs.

This year, the sculpture park celebrates its 10th year. Blackfoot Pathways: Sculpture in the Wild hosted 3 resident artists this summer. These artists were all return creators who have made various pieces for the park in the past.

"Creativity, Collaboration, and Community" by Kevin O'Dwyer

Kevin O’Dwyer, from Ireland, was one of the park’s co-founders and has created the pieces Montana Line Drawing and Montana Memory. This summer he made a new installation titled Creativity, Collaboration, and Community.

Sam Clayton and Mark Jacobs hail from outside of Manchester in England. They’ve been creating art together since college. The sculpture park is a special place to them both, with Clayton even using the space to get married this summer.

“There's no limits to what you can, to what you can decide to make, apart from the three-week period. So, you know, you can choose to work really hard, and you can achieve, you know, some fairly major stuff here,” says Clayton.

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Their piece, Root Room, utilizes 4 downed trees and their root systems to create a 4 walled structure with no roof and enough room between 2 trees for a doorway.

“It was experiential. You had to be in it and then look out of it. And I think we both decided that we wanted to make a space to be in,” says Clayton.

“And it's all quite playful. We enjoy making spaces. And it's like we said earlier, it's been like den building, really. And we enjoy the reaction of people going into the room because, as you said, it's an amazing smell, it's a different sound, it's a different viewpoint, perspective,” says Jacobs.

These two new creations are all sitting on a piece of land newly available to the park. These 15 extra acres will allow for expansion and continued creation.

The pair have returned to not only create but also view the piece they built 8 years ago titled East West Passage.

"East West Passage"

“And we come back eight years later, and it's all bedded in, and the logs have grayed, and the grass has grown, and it's really embedded itself in the landscape,” says Clayton.

Becky Garland, the Board of Directors President of Sculpture in the Wild, says that bringing in resident artists allows for an assortment of cultures to be brought straight to the heart of Montana.

Sculpture in the Wild

“Bringing the sculptures, the sculptors in every year brings that magic and to visitors and to Lincoln actually; that this is a place of coming to to celebrate, you know, what we've done as a community and learn more about artists from all over the world and people from all over the world,” says Garland.