Exploring the Andres Institute of Art

“I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees.” – Henry David Thoreau

When I retired from full-time teaching a few months ago and now make my own schedule working part time as a program supervisor for student teachers, my husband and I set aside the best weather day of the week to go out exploring. We’ve covered a lot of territory since mid-February, utilizing The Trustees Reservations as well as Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation properties. Today’s adventure took us slightly out of state to the Andres Institute of Art sculpture park in Brookline, NH.

Entrance Gate – Dreamcatcher by John M. Weidman, New Hampshire, USA
detail Entrance Gate – Dreamcatcher by John M. Weidman, New Hampshire, USA

The Andres Institute is spread out over Potanipo Hill, a 613′ high mountain in southern New Hampshire. It is situated on the native lands of the Pennacook, Wabanaki, and Abenaki peoples.

The trails are of moderate difficulty and my health app equates the 613′ to the summit as 13 floors climbing. The hike is made easier by all the sculptures along the way. Frequent stops to look at art gave my asthma plenty of chances to regulate – my kind of uphill hike!

Just before the summit

The view from the summit made me very glad we went to the the top.

Phoenix by Janis Karlovs, Latvia, 1999
The beak of the Phoenix sculpture is pointing to Mount Monadnock

The sculptures are a sight to behold, strategically placed in small clearings along the woodland trails. Because I can’t include ALL the photos I took today, here are some of my favorites:

Upheaval – Andy Moerlain, New Hampshire

Browse the slide show below to see the carvings on the individual rocks nestled in the structure:

Dick and I were both intrigued by Perseverance of Serenity – Kevin Duffy, Massachusetts, walking around it several times to get perspective and discern which end is up.

Perseverance of Serenity – Kevin Duffy, Massachusetts
Perseverance of Serenity – Kevin Duffy, Massachusetts
Perseverance of Serenity – Kevin Duffy, Massachusetts

The illusion of bubbles is so well done in this piece:

Rebirth – Evrim Kilic, Turkey, 2019
Rebirth – Evrim Kilic, Turkey, 2019

We found the sculptures to be thought-provoking. We enjoyed looking at them and talking about what they might represent and the meaning they convey before we looked at the name plates, which often gave clues as to the artist’s intention.

Being out in nature is such a calming escape anyway, to be surrounded by art pushes the experience over the top with the extra sensory inclusion of sight and imagination, especially with spring coming alive all around us.

Trees budding out
Chickadee taking flight
Black and White Warbler

A satisfying walk in the woods and among the art will build up a hearty appetite. Conveniently, Parker’s Maple Barn is just a few miles up the road in Mason. With everything laced with Parker’s homemade maple syrup, including the coffee, it is a sweet ending to a wonderful outing.

Front – chicken and waffles
Back – Hawaiian stuffed French toast

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