DoNorth

Stone Ledge Sculpture Garden

(DoNorth/Kayla Breen) Along Route 9 just south of Plattsburgh, copper figures glimmer and abstract sculptures stand in an open field providing an unexpected double-take for passersby. The only indication that this space is actually an outdoor art gallery is a wooden frame with flowers and a bike stand. A hand-painted sign reads “Stone Ledge Sculpture Garden.” Perched right below is a stand with a floral-printed sign-in book. More than 80 sculptures fill the field, each made with industrial materials, such as ceramic, wood, mixed media and steel. Behind each metal sculpture lies a story. Garden curator Jackie Sabourin thinks the…

(DoNorth/Kayla Breen)

Along Route 9 just south of Plattsburgh, copper figures glimmer and abstract sculptures stand in an open field providing an unexpected double-take for passersby.

The only indication that this space is actually an outdoor art gallery is a wooden frame with flowers and a bike stand. A hand-painted sign reads “Stone Ledge Sculpture Garden.” Perched right below is a stand with a floral-printed sign-in book. More than 80 sculptures fill the field, each made with industrial materials, such as ceramic, wood, mixed media and steel. Behind each metal sculpture lies a story.

Garden curator Jackie Sabourin thinks the garden is special because it offers thematic variety and metalwork. When Sabourin and her husband first moved into their home, they owned a large plot of land, which had a vegetable garden in the middle of the open field, as well as a barn.

“We weren’t quite sure what to do with the space. I maintained the garden for a couple of years and not quite as well as the previous owner,” Sabourin says. “And then we started getting horses and goats for the kids, so the barn was used quite a bit.”

Retired sculpture professor Don Osborn needed to find a home for his students’ works. One of the first artists to bring work to Osborn was John Kokoszka, a former SUNY Plattsburgh student.

Because there were just too many sculptures for him to store, Osborn asked Sabourin to store them in her barn. Dedicated artists have been bringing their own work ever since. Kokoszka has produced more than 40 different pieces in the garden.

One of Kokoszka’s most popular sculptures “The Last Supper” mirrors Leonardo Da Vinci’s painting. Kokoszka studied Da Vinci and finally decided to channel his work. The sculpture, composed of steel and wood, stands 26 feet long at the crest of the garden. Behind each wooden frame, tall steel figures recreate the moment Christ said “somebody will betray me.” Rocks and crafted steel grapes playfully lie on the long table.

In addition to the historical pieces, sentimental art is also displayed. Visitors can see a mini garden that was made for Sabourin on Mother’s Day. Within the stone garden, small abstract sculptures surround a bird bath. That wasn’t the only sentimental work, however.

Sabourin’s daughter created a rectangular ceramic piece called “The Visit.”

“She was fascinated by buildings, so she would make something thematic from it,” Sabourin says.

Near Sabourin’s home lies a rustic birdhouse with a green fishing rod sticking out. She explains that one day, she woke up and found the birdhouse. She asked her husband where it came from, and it turned out to be a donation, as stated in the sign-in book. The guest note read: “Enjoy the sculpture. My husband brought it home, and it just doesn’t match my decor.”

To encourage visitors’ walking around, Sabourin scatters the sculptures evenly throughout the field.

“It’s very difficult. The vision from the road is very different than walking through the property,” she says. “I prefer if people went through the property.”

To Sabourin, the most captivating part about the garden’s sculptures is their originality.

“We have a lot of metal work that is very allegorical and unique,” she says. “The size is most exciting. Most people don’t get to see sculptures that large.”

Sabourin says that for the most part, she’s receives nothing but positive feedback. Many people find the garden to be a relaxing place to have picnics, play guitar and walks their dogs through the space.

Sabourin invites everyone to explore the sculpture yard during his or her next trip down Route 9.

Issue 8: Winter/Spring 2017

0 comments Show discussion Hide discussion

Add a comment

More in Lakeside Canvas