Art in the Garden: Monumental Vessels The Work of Artist Stephen Procter at Brattleboro Museum & Art Center, VT

Stephen Procter’s Gorgeous Vessels on Display at BMAC Sculpture Garden (Plantings here: Fothergilla ‘Mt. Airy’, Eupatorium ‘Chocolate’ and Sedum)

Imagining a beautiful outdoor space, and then realizing that vision —physically working to bring the dream to life— is one of the best parts of my work as a garden designer. I have created many private gardens, but having the opportunity to design and install a public garden —one dedicated to art and nature within my own community— has been a new experience for me. For the past two years, I have been volunteering my services as garden designer (and recently, with Turner & Renaud Landscaping Services, as garden installer as well) at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center in Vermont. If you have been following this blog for awhile, you will recall various mentions of this long-term project.

This Friday, July 15th, the inaugural exhibit of the BMAC Sculpture Garden  —Monumental Vessels by Vermont artist Stephen Procter— marks a special moment. Stephen Procter’s beautiful work will be on display at the garden from now until October 23, 2011. The Brattleboro Museum and Art Center is located at the tristate corner of Vermont, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. If you live nearby —or will be traveling in New England this autumn— please stop by the museum to check out Stephen Procter’s work, as well as the work of sculptors Dan Snow (‘Rock Rest’) and Jim Cole (soon-to-be-installed). For more information about Stephen Procter’s sculptural ceramic vessels, visit the artist’s website by clicking here. Procter’s high-fired stoneware is frost proof, and his lidded pieces may be left outdoors year-round. There’s much more to share, but for now I’ll leave you with a few teaser shots of Stephen Procter’s work, which I snapped yesterday afternoon in the new garden …

Rounding the Corner of the Sculpture Garden’s Stepping Stone Path, Stephen Procter’s Lidded Urn Catches the Late Afternoon Sunlight (Plantings include Echinacea ‘Big Sky Sundown’, Sedum and Fothergilla ‘Mt. Airy’). Stepping Stone Path is by Turner & Renaud Landscaping. See credits below.

Stephen Procter’s Vessels on the New Great Lawn at the BMAC Sculpture Garden

The View into the Sculpture Garden from the BMAC Parking Lot (Plantings here include Amsonia hubrichtii, Penstemon digitalis, Eupatorium ‘Chocolate’ and in the background, Fothergilla ‘Mt. Airy’ and Betula nigra. Gator bags keep the Betula nigra well hydrated)

Stephen Procter’s Large Urn Stands Out Against the New, Green Lawn in a Beautifully Rich Hue (Plantings here include Miscanthus purpurascens, Cornus alba, Eupatorium ‘Chocolate’ and Erigeron strigosis)

View from the Sidewalk, Looking Toward the Marlboro College Building (Plantings here include Vernonica spicata, Calamagrostis x acutiflora, Perovskia atriplicifolia, Clethra alnifolia ‘Hummingbird’, Echinacea ‘Big Sky Sundown’ and Miscanthus purpurascens)

View from the Sidewalk (Plantings Here Include Rudbeckia, Veronica spicata and Cornus alba)

Garden Design and Installation at BMAC is by Michaela Medina. For inquires see my professional services page at left.

Professional Landscaping Services and Installation on this project (including hardscaping, stepping stone path, tree installation, shrub sourcing and endless details) were provided by Turner & Renaud. Special thanks to Christie Turner and her crew for their many hours of service and generous donations toward this special gift to the Brattleboro community.

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3 Replies to “Art in the Garden: Monumental Vessels The Work of Artist Stephen Procter at Brattleboro Museum & Art Center, VT”

  1. Deb Weyrich-Cody

    OMG Michaela! What IS that fantastic old building in the background with the iron-loaded old stone walls? (I really am going to have to get down your way some day… just LOVE old buildings and the character they exude!)

    And, if the stone is local, I’m guessing that Stephen Procter also uses local clay? (Haven’t had a chance to check out the link yet – but I certainly will!)

    Got a question for you though… I know that it’s the latest “thing”, but do you find that the “black” mulch warms things up more than regular old wood chips? Sorry, I’m such a purist sometimes, but to me it just seems counterproductive when mulching is supposed to keep roots cool and reduce evaporation.

  2. Michaela

    @ Deb – Ah yes. You noticed the gorgeous and historic, Brattleboro train station. Although the building is now home to BMAC (check out their website, linked in the post for more photos of the building), the lower level still serves travelers with ticket sales and as a drop-off point for the train. Soon, federal money will bring up the entire depot area (and a new train station is in the works).
    As for Stephen Procter’s work, his site has more information. I’m not sure of where he gets his clay. I hope to pay him a studio visit when my garden design work slows down in late August/September.
    And finally, on the mulch. It does look blackish in the photos, doesn’t it? But actually, in reality, it’s not. The mulch is a very, very dark brown color. In all honesty, I’ve never used this mulch before. The mulch was generously donated by Turner & Renaud. They make their own and use it all the time, with great success. So far though, the plants are doing very well (in the ground near a month). The soil beneath seems both moist and cool when I check on the plantings. In my own garden, I tend to use a combination of well rotted compost/leaf mold as mulch and/or cedar bark (particularly near the house to ward off insects). I’ll be monitoring the BMAC garden closely, and will let you know if anything changes in terms of the soil conditions/plant health.
    Good question! M

  3. Deb Weyrich-Cody

    Whew, that takes a load off of my mind. Glad to know for sure that mulching is just a great idea regardless of the colour.

    Oh, what a smart cookie you are, using cedar mulch! Another great idea I’m just going to have to poach; ) xoD

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