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Hamerski said that many of the sculptures interact with nature, including some that move in the wind and others that will include water features. “They definitely have a real relationship with nature and with the outdoors and with the plants that are around them in the landscape,” she said. That will also be true as sunlight and shade changes daily, she said, and as the seasons change around the sculptures.
The sculptures came with an endowment for perpetual care, so none of the expenses will come from membership or gate fees, Hamerski said. The total gift, including installation, is valued at $7 million, she said.
Interest already intense
Visitors can see most of the sculptures by tram or car from Three-Mile Drive, which meanders through the arboretum, or they can park near the hill and walk among the sculptures for closer inspection.
Although the official opening is a month away, drivers last week were already jumping out of cars to snap photos. Walkers such as Rebecca Dodson of Orono viewed the sculptures at closer range but from behind temporary rope lines.
Dodson is amazed that one couple was able to collect such diverse sculptures, and can’t wait for the final landscaping. “We’ve been waiting for this,” she said. “They’ve been installing them all winter.”
Harrison said he and his wife have “an enormous sense of satisfaction” about their donation. “As with any art, paintings or anything else, you’re only a temporary owner of any piece,” he said. “What’s left is for people to enjoy through the ages.”
Tom Meersman • 612-673-7388