Join artist and South Hadley native Peter McLean and other guests as the South Hadley Public Library formally dedicates his “Boundaries Chair” sculpture on the library grounds on Saturday, July 28 at 11:00 with light refreshments to follow. Peter McLean is a South Hadley native, acclaimed artist, and retired professor at the University of Hartford. The opening of the new library in 2014 inspired McLean and his longtime South Hadley High School friends Arthur Brodeur and the late Joseph Hudzikiewicz to approach the Board of Library Trustees in 2016 with a proposal to place one of his designs at the library. That sculpture is called “The Boundaries Chair” and based on a series of scale models originally made by McLean and Christopher Horton to mark the anniversary of the Salem Witch Trials. The design calls upon the historic boundary disputes of colonial America, superimposing the geometric grid of European land ownership on top of the fluid and organic use of land by Native Americans. Like the steel posts of the sculpture, property claims overlapped and conflicted. The library sculpture was fabricated and installed by artist Gene Flores and installed late last year.
Library Director Joseph Rodio says that the design of the Boundaries Chair appealed to the Library Trustees on different levels. Some saw the flow of water in the design. Others connected the chair to the natural and historical boundary that is the Connecticut River. The Boundaries Chair is the second model from the McLean/Horton series to be installed in a public location. The “Jacob’s Ladder Chair” sits on the lawn of the Worthington Historical Society. A related book titled Witness Chair by Sherry Horton, the widow of Peter's co-artist, may be borrowed from the South Hadley Public Library collection. The Boundaries Chair sculpture is located among the birch trees and benches of the library lawn located at 2 Canal Street in South Hadley Falls.