Beaver Brook and Andres Institute form partnership for fall shows

HOLLIS — Cliff Simmonds and John Weidman sat in a garden outside the offices of the Beaver Brook Association on a recent sunny morning, marveling at the flowers, bushes, grass, and trees, and an enormous metal sculpture placed among them.

The sculpture was Weidman’s work, and on loan to the outdoor center.

“People travel two hours to get to the White Mountains, and this is sitting in their back yard,” said Simmonds, executive director of Beaver Brook.

The sculpture, and the meeting between Simmonds and Weidman, artistic director of the Andres Institute, represented a newly established collaboration between the two nonprofit organizations.

While Beaver Brook is gearing up for its 29th Annual Art Show and Fall Festival, scheduled for two consecutive weekends starting on Sept. 26, the Andres Institute is preparing for its eleventh annual International Sculpture Symposium, “Bridges and Connections.”

The symposium is a three-week program that begins on Sunday, drawing a small group of working sculptors from around the world who will live with host families in the community.

“We’re showcasing art and nature and they’re doing something similar,” Simmonds said.

The collaboration between the two groups began last spring after Simmonds called Weidman.

“We ought to do something together to promote this area for culture,” the Beaver Brook executive suggested.

Weidman agreed.

“The Andres Institute has a sculpture park for the public, open daily, free, from dawn to dusk, just like Beaver Brook,” he told Simmonds.

On Sunday, the two groups launch their first joint effort, a guided hike through the Andres sculpture park on Big Bear Mountain in Brookline. The hike, which will be led by Celeste Philbrick Barr of Beaver Brook, will begin at 1 p.m., starting from the parking lot on Route 13, where the Andres Institute is located.

The hike is free and open to the public as are the opening ceremonies for the sculputure symposium, which begin at 3 p.m. in Brookline Town Hall.

Two weeks later, Beaver Brook holds its annual art show and fall festival, an event that features the work of roughly 80 artists, amateur through professional.

The show, which will be judged, will include photographs and other media.

The art show, “Designs of Nature,” will he held in the Maple Hill Barn during the first weekend of the festival.

It will continue on the second weekend, with the addition of music, demonstrations, a children’s storyteller, and more.

Simmonds said he is hoping visitors from across the community and around the region take advantage of the free event and perhaps stop by the local farms to pick apples and purchase fresh-pressed cider before leaving the area.

He’s also hoping that both events promote an appreciation for “nature through art.”

For more information about the two events, contact Beaver Brook Association at 456-7787 or the Andres Institute at 673-8441.