A Sculpture Trail...

halfway between Storm King and Grounds for Sculpture
lies Laurelwood Arboretum
Sculpture Trail logo

A Sculpture Trail, part of the continuing Art at the Arboretum series, is a multiyear project to benefit Laurelwood Arboretum. EXPLORE … installations are underway.

Installed October 14, 2019

Brickhead Iyemoja, James Tyler Sculptor. Iyemoja, from West Africa, is the protector of all women, governing childbirth, conception, love, and healing. See Lorraine Meyer’s photos of the installation. Read about the artist. See artist interview.

The careful placement of curated sculptures by prominent artists will serve to enhance the park by complementing its landscape and serene setting. In addition to docent-guided tours, school-age and adult educational programs will be developed. All sculptures will be available for sale through an exclusive agreement with “Broadfoot & Broadfoot, A Collection of Fine Art,” Boonton, NJ. A percentage of the proceeds will be donated to the Friends of Laurelwood Arboretum (a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization) and will be applied to the installation of deer fencing to ensure that herds, which have overrun the park over the past few years, will no longer decimate the beautiful shrubbery and grounds.

To get started, WE NEED YOUR HELP to cover installation and signage expenses. A Go Fund Me page has been set up. CONTRIBUTE to kick off this exciting project. Opening receptions are being planned for the weekend of June 5-6, 2021. Details will be posted here as they unfold.

The Friends of Laurelwood pro bono attorney, Stuart Reiser and his wife Leslie, long time Pines Lake residents, are serving as chairpersons. To get involved with this project or to inquire about sponsorships, please call 973-831-5675 or send an email to Sculpturepath@laurelwoodarboretum.org.

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James Tyler

Iyemoja is an Orisha from the Yoruba religion of West Africa. She is the protector of all women, governing childbirth, conception, love, and healing. According to myth, when her waters broke, it caused a great flood creating rivers and streams. Iyemoja also traveled in slave ships to the Americas where she evolved into a revered goddess of the sea among practitioners of Brazilian Umbandu and Candomble, Cuban Santeria, and Haitian Voodou.

James Tyler
Brickhead Iyemoja, James Tyler Sculptor.

Brickhead Iyemoja – Laurelwood Arboretum Location #15

James Tyler’s Brickhead installations are unique colossal heads that invite us to identify with the world’s ceramic heritages. They bring today’s faces together with pre-Columbian, South American, Native American, Asian, African, and Western influences. Gallery Director Mark Ruschman noted, “There is something timeless in Tyler’s Brickhead sculptures, reminiscent perhaps of the temple carvings of Angkor Wat or the great Toltec heads of Central America. Yet they are clearly contemporary, relics of a civilization not yet past…The ponderous weight of the brick constructions is juxtaposed with the ethereal nature of time.” At the same, the heads are stylized portraits of everyman and everywoman. They are unique yet universal. They are us.

For ancient peoples, colossal stone and clay heads, such as those created by the Toltec, Olmec and other cultures in central Mexico, often symbolized their connections with the spirits they worshipped, and these, in turn, often represented the elements, such as rain and sun, or other larger-than-life phenomena, such as death and love. Each culture created large heads to suit its own purposes. The Toltecs created large ceramic heads symbolizing their indigenous culture and values, yet scholars differ in their analyses of the origins and meanings of these works. Tyler’s easy way of replacing the gods with our own visages is, in a way, Socratic. Socrates insisted that the gods on Mount Olympus were only representations of a higher being. By choosing to represent all of humanity, the here and now that exists outside of cultural considerations, Tyler is having his own Socratic dialogue with pre-Columbian artists. [From Tyler’s website, tylersculpture.com]

Gabriella –
Laurelwood Arboretum Location #15