Looking east from the top of an old ski trail

Looking east from the top of an old ski trail



As I stood near the summit of Big Bear Mountain in Brookline, NH, it occurred to me that the last time I’d been there I had been strapped to a pair of wooden skis with something we called bear trap bindings. Back then it was known as the Brookline Ski Tow and safety release bindings hadn’t been invented yet.

But that was in the previous millennium. Today, it’s easy to see the course of the old ski slopes, though they’re overgrown with brush, and sculptures dot the landscape. Much of the mountain now belongs to the Andres Institute of Art, which maintains a network of hiking trails linking 75 outdoor sculptures.

They range in size from a single strand of granite chimes to the 15-foot tall, 110 ton “Phoenix.” The artists are from all over the world –the Czech Republic, Kenya, Vietnam – every continent is represented. Some were mildly interesting, but others forced me to stop and think.

Every year the Institute holds a symposium and hosts guest artists who are invited to create a sculpture to be placed anywhere they want on the grounds. There’s more information on their website http://www.andresinstitute.org/Aboutandresinstituteofart.html

I spent two hours Saturday wandering the trails and looking at the sculptures, and I saw maybe half of what was there. I’m definitely returning to see the rest.