Art as part of everyday living

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The Nashua International Sculpture Symposium is an annual community event designed to elevate the awareness and appreciation of public art in Nashua.

Nashua is the only city in the U.S. which hosts an annual international sculpture symposium. This was originally inspired by Meri Goyette, a major arts supporter who resides in Nashua, and John Weidman, director of the Andres Institute of Art, Brookline, New Hampshire. Nashua has celebrated its International Sculpture Symposium since 2008.

Artists are invited from around the world to spend three weeks in Nashua creating public art. Truly a community project, residents host the artists in their homes, bring meals as they work, provide transportation, and interact with the artists as they create. The completed sculptures are then placed in public places throughout the City for all to enjoy.

To view our FAQs page, please click here.

Download our brochure, located on our symposium page.

Goals

As well as bringing public art to the community, the Nashua International Sculpture Symposium also educates the artists about creating large-scale sculpture pieces, exposes the public to different cultures and sculpture techniques and creates sustainable art in the City.

Sculptors are chosen for their ability to contribute positively to the artistic and cultural development of Nashua.  The goal is that the Nashua International Sculpture Symposium will help improve the quality of life for both visitors and residents alike.

History

The City of Nashua held its first International Sculpture Symposium in May 2008. It was modeled after a similar event held annually by the Andres Institute of Art in Brookline NH.

  • In May 2008 and May 2009 artists came from Vietnam, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Cuba, Italy, Israel, and Bulgaria.
  • In 2010, the Symposium Committee invited New England artists to participate. Our call for artists resulted in three artists or artist teams selected by a panel.
  • In 2011, the Symposium Committee partnered with World Schools under the guidance of artists John Weidman, Adam Schepker, and Dominique Boutaud so that students could create a mural as an exchange gift with children in Vietnam.
  • In 2012, the symposium was again opened up to international sculptors and had artists from Egypt, USA (Native American) and France who participated.
  • In 2013, artists from Venezuela, Peru and Costa Rica focused on Latino culture.
  • In 2014, artists from Georgia, Korea and Mongolia created granite sculptures
  • In 2015, artists from Bulgaria, Ireland and Zimbabwe create sculptures with the theme: “Reflections on the River”
  • In 2016, the Sculpture Committee engaged the local ethnic communities to welcome and celebrate the sculptors from India, Greece and Lithuania.
  • In 2017, in honor of the 10th Nashua Sculpture Symposium, sculptors from Costa Rica, Vietnam and USA returned to Nashua.
  • In 2018, the Symposium Committee welcomed artists from Scotland, Argentina and Costa Rica to work in granite and steel, reflecting the theme “Harmony”.
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Community Project

The artists’ stipend plus materials are the only costs. All other needs for a successful event are generously donated by the community. NIMCO, a local machining company, generously donated space for the artists to work for ten years. MakeIt Labs at 25 Crown Street hosted our event in 2018. The Picker Artists at 3 Pine Street in Nashua will host our event in 2019 and beyond.

Throughout the three weeks of the Symposium, people have the opportunity to sign up to provide lunch and dinner for the artists. Host families open their homes, providing a place for the artists to sleep and have breakfast. Any travel, to and from the airport, or host families, is provided by volunteers.

The Symposium Committee, all volunteers as well, organize the annual Symposium and various fundraisers.

Visit our contribute page to learn more about how you can help.