Hebron Snow People

Pittsburgh dinosaur hunting is on pause this month. Instead, the public art feature of this month is from Hebron, CT. Hebron is a typical small Connecticut town built up at a crossroads. It was incorporated in 1708 and its current population is just under 10,000. In passing through on a recent trip around New England, my eye was caught by a public art display of snow people on the town green. I originally assumed that this was one of the fiberglass fundraisers like the Pittsburgh DinoMite Days dinosaurs, however these snow people are made of Styrofoam. However, like the fiberglass statues, each one is decorated by a different artist. They seem to be a new annual tradition of the town, having first appeared in the winter of 2020 then hibernating over the summer before returning this winter. Scroll through the slideshow below to see all eight of the snow folks (my favorite is the hula dancer).

Rutland’s Bridge

While wandering around Rutland, Vermont’s third largest city coming in at around 16,000 residents, I found a bridge. Naturally, I walked across it. The bridge connects the worker housing on the flats to the cultural/civic center on the slope beyond which are the wealthier residences. In addition to overcoming the obstacle of the elevation change, the bridge spans the remnants of the formerly extensive rail yard much of which has been converted to a shopping center.

There was also a railroad bridge near the other end of the shopping center. By the time I found this bridge I was hungry, overcome by the humidity, and over a mile from where I was staying. A little farther on were some creeks that probably have bridges over them. I’ll have to look for those the next time I’m in town.

Rutland’s Public Art

Rutland is a small town in Vermont of just over 15,000 residents incorporated in 1892. At one point, it was a major railroad hub for local marble quarries. Its past and present is clearly reflected in its public art.

Instead of the fiberglass sculptures I stumble upon in many cities, in Rutland, I discovered a series of marble sculptures featuring important people from Rutland. The people honored in the sculptures I found are Paul Harris, founder of the first Rotary club; Andrea Mead Lawrence, an Olympic skier; William G. Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous; the immigrants who worked in the quarries; and Martin Henry Freeman, an African American educator and abolitionist.

Today, Rutland has a strong environmental and arts focus. In my wanderings, I discovered two sculptures from the Trash2Art series, one from the HeART of Rutland series, and several murals. The mural of whales was particularly eye-catching given that the ocean is hours away. I wondered about the choice of subject until I saw the closest cross street was called Wales Street. The moose just up the street were almost as elusive as real moose – despite multiple trips to Vermont and one to Alaska, I have yet to see a live moose.