The Vermont Arts Council, along with the Vermont Department of Buildings and General Services, recently announced the selection of a team of five local granite sculptors to develop designs for the creation and installation of permanent artwork for the new Psychiatric Care Hospital being built in Berlin. The artist team is led by Chris Miller who lives and works in Calais. The remaining team members include Gampo Wickenheiser from Montpelier, Guiliano Cecchinelli Jr from Barre, and Ryan Mays from Montpelier, all with artist studios in Barre. Heather Milne Richie from Plainfield, with a studio in Websterville, is also a member of the team.
Together, the sculptors have a combined 90 years of sculpture experience. They have worked together in various combinations on projects and for the past several years as a group creating outdoor granite sculpture along the quarry trails for Millstone Hill’s Rockfire event.
The artists were commissioned through the Vermont Art in State Buildings Program to create the site-specific work for the facility. A local art selection committee of representatives of Department of Mental Health employees who will work in the building, members of the design team for the hospital representing the community, Department of Buildings and General Services, and the building architect worked with the Vermont Arts Council to select the artist team from a pool of 27 applicants. The artists will now work with the design team and committee members to develop a site-specific design. The artist team will receive a $40,000 commission to create work for the new facility.
This project is part of the Vermont Art in State Buildings Program administered by the Vermont Arts Council. The Program is a partnership between the Vermont Arts Council and the Vermont Department of Buildings and General Services. Funded by the Art in State Buildings Act, the program allows up to two capital construction projects be selected each year.