Earth Spirits

Kazumi Hoshino hails from Nagoya, Japan, and in 2006 moved to Steuben with her husband and fellow sculptor, Jesse Salisbury. She earned her BFA in sculpture from Japan’s Tohoku University of Art and Design in 2000. Hoshino’s work has been exhibited throughout Japan and Maine, and she has participated in sculpture symposia in Japan, Maine, and Italy. She is represented by Courthouse Gallery in Ellsworth.
"Composition Trio", 2015, granite, 4’ x 8’ x 3’
Antoinette Prien Schultze is a self-taught sculptor. She has shown her large sculptures at institutions such as the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida; Navy Pier in Chicago, Illinois; the Chesterwood Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts; ArtInPlace in Charlottesville, Virginia; and the Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland, Florida; and her small sculptures have been exhibited in galleries throughout the United States. She is currently participating in the 14th annual Sculpture Garden Invitational at the Art Gallery at University of New England in Portland, on view through October. Represented by Mast Cove Gallery in Kennebunkport, Schultze is also a member of Ogunquit Art Association/The Barn Gallery. She lives and works in Eliot.
"One and the Other", quartz, granite, and glass, 14” x 13” x 10”
Richard Alden is co-owner of Starfish Studio in East Boothbay with his wife, Priscilla May, a tapestry weaver and printmaker. He has participated in exhibitions at galleries throughout the state, as well as the annual J.C. Stone Symposium in Jefferson and the Viles Arboretum Sculpture Symposium in Augusta. He is a member of Studio 53 Fine Art Gallery in Boothbay Harbor and professional member and treasurer of the Maine Stone Workers Guild. Alden is represented by Art Collector Maine.
"A Beautiful Mind", 2014, alabaster, 29” x 9”

The act of sculpting raw materials into a work of art is a visceral process that taps into the primitive, elemental aspects of nature. Kazumi Hoshino, Antoinette Prien Schultze, and Richard Alden transform stone into sculptures inspired by the vitality of the natural world.

Kazumi Hoshino

Maine’s rural landscapes inspire Hoshino, who enjoys living close to nature. But, she notes, “my work is also contemporary, and although I use the ancient material of stone, my imagery is intuitive and conceptual.” Those descriptors could easily apply to her creative process as well. “Carving stone is an exploration of time and self-discovery for me,” explains Hoshino. “My work is not the expression of an inner self, but more a way of opening myself.” Describing her work as “a fusion of tradition, nature, and my surrounding world,” Hoshino demonstrates an inclusive attitude toward art. Her clean, pared-down forms are unassuming, which she hopes makes them resonate with viewers. She is happy for people to devise their own meanings for her sculptures.

Composition Trio is part of the Composition Series, which Hoshino says displays “the variety and complexity that is derived from a simple form.” Composed of three interconnected ovoid forms, Composition Trio is characterized by an elegance and purity of line. The smooth, undulating curves and unadorned surface allow for myriad interpretations: they could be eggs or beach rocks or multiplying cells. The simplicity of Hoshino’s sculptures invites endless discovery and contemplation, because not everything is spelled out for the viewer. In this case, even Hoshino is inspired, and challenged, by the creative potential of simplicity. “When I just focus on making the combination of simple forms, it provides infinite possibilities to me,” she says. The piece is included in the 14th annual Sculpture Garden Invitational at the Art Gallery at University of New England in Portland, on view through October.


Antoinette Prien Schultze

Although Schultze had a longtime appreciation of and talent for the visual arts, she did not pursue them professionally at first. “It never occurred to me to be an artist,” she says. While living in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Schultze would travel regularly to Boston and New York City to study opera. After moving to Maine in 1968 with her husband and children, she found that traveling became too difficult. “I had to give up family or singing,” Schultze says. “But at the same time, I knew that I had to fill the creativity and enormous energy that singing required with something similar, so I started carving, and I found that it provided a place to use my energy and my need to express myself.”

For Schultze, glass adds a necessary “expression of frailty” to her sculptures. The colored glass reveals “an inner passion,” which, for Schultze, imparts her sculptures with humanity. The delicate beauty of glass contrasts with the rough solidity of stone, introducing a dynamic tension into her work. In One and the Other, orange quartz complements the warm tones of the granite. The quartz rises up out of the stone like the morning sun, its bright hue radiating “peaceful joy,” according to Schultze.


Richard Alden

“I enjoy the mentally and physically intensive process of carving and shaping my pieces to exude a rhythmic motion, balance, and harmony in the final composition,” Alden says. “The challenge is to capture that special spirit and emotion within each sculpture.” Alden credits friends, mentors, and fellow sculptors with encouraging his art, noting that they have “immensely fostered my development as a professional sculptor.” Inspired by the exchange of ideas and moral support offered by this network of friends and colleagues, Alden strives to be as helpful as he can to others, facilitating a collaborative aspect to the art of sculpture.

The appropriately titled A Beautiful Mind arose out of just such a collaborative exchange. Created during a workshop led by French sculptor Nicole Durand, A Beautiful Mind was inspired by the natural form and texture of the stone itself. Says Alden, Durand encouraged him to “[run] a rasp along the ridges of a raw stone until the spirit revealed itself, which it did when a prominent hip came into focus.” Alden’s minimalistic style allows the “voluptuous figure” to shine through, without unnecessary flourishes. The figure’s face is particularly interesting, as it is “half natural stone and half as sawn from its mining,” Alden explains. Devoid of any identifying features, the figure can act as a universal Everywoman, a totemic symbol representing both inner and outer beauty. For Alden, the piece evokes a sense of “inner harmony,” the confidence of a woman who is “comfortable with her whole body and soul.”

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