Sand County Bench returns to Stevens Point Sculpture Park
Jacob Brault’s iconic piece has been reconstructed and returned on June 23.
STEVENS POINT — The Stevens Point Sculpture Park announced that ‘A Sand County Bench’ has been reconstructed and returned to the park as of Saturday, June 23. The piece was originally created and installed in the park during inaugural juried call in 2010, as one of five original works to ever be shown in the park.
“In this second version of ‘A Sand County Bench’ I wanted to highlight the legacy that Aldo Leopold left for us by hand carving his ever-relevant quote into the bench,” said Jacob Brault. “The original quote by Leopold read ‘Conservation is a state of harmony between us and Land.’ — I modified the wording as the original quote said, ‘Man and Land to ‘us and Land’. This simple change felt more in the spirit of what I believe Leopold meant without the antiquity and lack of equanimity of the language from his time.”
‘A Sand County Bench’ was created by Jacob Brault born and raised in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin (currently living in Ashville, North Carolina). The bench became an iconic spot within the park and was one of the most photographed pieces. The bench’s classic design was a nod to American environmentalist, Aldo Leopold, which resonated well with the parks mission to blend the outdoor and art.
“It is also important to understand Leopold’s intended meaning of the word Land which is much broader than simply thinking about property,” said Brault. “Land for Aldo Leopold addressed the complete biotic diversity of our earth, the microbes in our soils, water and air as well as our relationships with all creatures who roam the planet.”
Given the living, breathing nature of the park pieces added during juried calls are usually only retained for three years, and then returned to the artists. However, in this case, there was such an outpouring of support for the piece; it became a permanent sculpture through the gift of a donor.
Due to the structure deteriorating in the natural elements, it became a danger and had to be removed for the safety of patrons. Through generous community support and donations, the park was able to coordinate with Jacob Brault to reconstruct the bench, returning the beloved piece to the park.
The Stevens Point Sculpture Park is an evolving living park. Art will be continually added each year through juried exhibitions, artist in residency programs and other events. The Stevens Point Sculpture Park, a twenty-acre site featuring woodlands, wetlands, ponds and prairie, is located on North Second Street on the Green Circle next to Zenoff Park, in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.
The mission of the Stevens Point Sculpture Park is to provide a welcoming and accessible outdoor venue for environmental arts exhibitions, activities, and educational programs. The park is open to the public. For more information visit StevensPointSculpturePark.org.