Bear Sculpture Unveiling
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In partnership with a group of dedicated alumni called "The League of Bears," we are excited to announce plans to fund The Arthur C. Chase Endowed Chair in English in conjunction with the Berkshire Bear Sculpture in honor of Art Chase.
Arthur C. Chase began his 34-year career at Berkshire School under Headmaster Seaver S. Buck. He taught English and Latin. He was nicknamed “The Bear” for his strength, huge hands, and love of the deep woods surrounding the school and the Mountain. Enjoy the below video that outlines the project.
Watch the extended version of the video here.
On Thursday, April 25, 2019, artist Mark Richardson '73, League of Bears Chair Bill Drake '73, and Kevin Bruemmer '71 visited the progress of the Berkshire Bear Tribute Sculpture at the Workshop Art Fabrication in Kingston, NY.
The sculpture is in the final welding process (temporary gap in forehead provides access to welding the inside of the neck) and then, finishing is underway. The Bear is coming to life and, as Drake shares, "[It's] looking beautiful and heroic!"
The unveiling of the Bear Tribute Sculpture honoring Art Chase will take place on Saturday, June 8 at 10:00 a.m. during Reunion Weekend.
Photo (Left to right): Kevin Bruemmer '71, Mark Richardson '73, and Bill Drake '73
Photos: Courtesy of Bill Drake
"My cameras and tripod in hand, I roamed the Mountain and shot scores of photos of Glenny Brook. This helped me gain entry into Rhode Island School of Design.
"Now at the other end of my career, I am deeply honored to be the artist on this enduring symbol for the School. The sculpture embodies the spirit of all Berkshire Bears who came before, those here now, and those to come.”
—Mark Richardson ’73, Sculptor
On Tuesday, February 19, 2019, artist Mark Richardson '73, League of Bears Chair Bill Drake '73, Art Department Chair Paul Banevicius, and art students from Berkshire School gathered at Workshop Art Fabrication, a foundry located in Kingston, NY, as the sculpture took shape.
Group photo (Left to right): Ken Gordon '73, Vanessa Hoheb, Dom Sayler (art teacher), Bill Drake '73, Mark Richardson '73 (artist), Emma Dreher '19, Alex Barnosky '19, Will Esposito '22, Shun Iwata '20, Paul Banevicius (art teacher), Jackson Chapin '20, and Will Goldthwaite '22
One of the most pressing priorities Berkshire faces today is the need to build endowments for faculty support. Funds like the Chase Chair enable Berkshire to recognize and honor our strongest faculty and also enable the School to recruit and retain educators who follow in the footsteps of Art Chase.
Our goal is to raise a total of $2 million for the Chase Chair and the Bear Tribute Sculpture. Thank you for your support of this effort. With your gift, you will honor Art Chase and his legacy at Berkshire and also direct essential resources in support of Berkshire's standout faculty members.
The Arthur C. Chase Endowed Chair in English recognizes faculty for excellence in teaching the disciplines of English composition, literature, poetry, foreign languages, or journalism.
Awarded to one member of the faculty every five years, the chair symbolizes and celebrates the understated spirit and strength of character that Art Chase brought to Berkshire through his service as a teacher, poet, woodsman, trail squad leader, and founder of the Sugar Shack.
The initiative also includes funds for the creation and installation of an iconic larger-than-life bronze statue of a black bear. The sculpture installation (created by Mark Richardson '73) will commemorate Arthur C. Chase and honor the spirit of the Berkshire Bear.
It will be a campus icon that will inspire generations of Berkshire students by reminding them of the connection of the campus to its natural mountain surroundings.
The League of Bears is committed to promoting and supporting the Arthur C. Chase Chair in English and the Berkshire Bear Tribute Sculpture.
Bill Drake ’73, Chair
Davis Anderson '68
Cary Barnett ’76
Al Bredenfoerder (In Memoriam)
Murray Bodine ’74
Kevin Bruemmer ’71
Lyman Bullard, Jr. ’73
Harold Clayton '73 (In Memoriam)
K.C. Clow '69
Alice Cole '76 (In memory of Web Walker '73)
William Cushman '71
Peter Dayton ’73
Peter Donahue ’72
Christopher Drake ’06
Jeffrey Drake ’74
Jeff Follert ’73
Ken Gordon ’73
Chris Groves ’73
Lou Haggerty ’73
Woody Hancock ’67
William Hand '63
Doug Hitchcock ’73
Carole King '72
Frederick King '70
Jeri Langham '61
Allison Letourneau ’07
Pete Marechal '75
Robin McGraw ’70
Seamus McKeon '69
Rex Morgan ’73
Chip Perkins ’73
Kenneth Piel '67
Annie Chase Redman
Mark Richardson ’73
Peter Richardson '61
David Ring ’73
Michele Robins '73
Tim Schieffelin ’73
Sing-Si Schwartz ’73 (In Memoriam)
John Shaker ’71
James Simpson '02
Web Walker III ’73
Ben Weil ’06
Jerry Weil ’73
Alex Wyeth ’73
Tom and Susan Young
Stephen Zuckerman '61
During the fall of 1972, then-Headmaster Robert Minnerly, encouraged by a group of '73 senior students, named the school year the “Year of the Bear” to honor Art Chase’s retirement. Mr. Minnerly also announced Berkshire’s decision to change the school mascot from the wildcat to the black bear as a tribute to the legacy of Art Chase.
A member of the Class of 1973, sculptor Mark Richardson was the 1973 Berkshire Art Award winner. He graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and has spent his career as a visual artist and designer. Mark’s design work has been recognized both nationally and internationally. His artworks are in many private collections.
Mark’s vision for the bronze bear sculpture is inspired by Art Chase and his embrace of the wilds of the Berkshires. The site will also showcase an inscription by Art Chase and include the names of leadership donors.
The aesthetic objective of the posture and expression of the sculpture is to create a bear that will make eye contact with the visitors, reaching out with his paw in a welcoming gesture. The sculpture will communicate power and strength, peace and gentleness. The bear greets you, and invites you to experience his natural world. The site is designed to give the feeling that the bear is emerging from the woods. It is set back just enough to offer the visitor a sense of discovery, and the rock outcropping and plantings add to the authenticity of the natural environment and provide a special place on campus where visitors can contemplate a majestic mascot and the “perilous frontiers deep within” and find meaning in the Chase inscription’s “ultimatum.”
The dedication of the 1973 yearbook to Arthur C. Chase
Full scale mock-up of the bear tribute sculpture
Excerpt from STEAM from the SAP HOUSE
by Arthur C. Chase
We see frontiers pushed back to ends of space—
No oceans left to cross, no peaks to scale,
No undiscovered lands between the poles.
Our perilous frontiers are deep within,
Frontiers of heart and mind will test and try
New pioneers. The needs of young, of old,
Of lonely, poor and weak challenge the heart
As did the “hideous, howling wilderness.”
No room for hate or hurt, this frontier shouts
An ultimatum to the years ahead.
CLICK HERE to register for Reunion Weekend 2019.