Charlotte artist’s outdoor sculpture featured at Sheldon Museum

“Endless Tower” by Ethan Bond-Watts in the Sheldon Museum’s garden.
“Endless Tower” by Ethan Bond-Watts in the Sheldon Museum’s garden.

A piece of contemporary outdoor sculpture is shaking things up in the Sheldon Museum’s period garden this season. “Endless Tower,” on loan from the Charlotte artist Ethan Bond-Watts, is his multi-storied assemblage of steel boxes, stacked so that the exposed corners create space for layers of wildflowers to grow. The flowers were grown from seeds donated by American Meadows in Williston.
“My authorship of a sculpture carries my own inquiry and meaning based on my own experience, but more importantly, the work must stimulate the viewer’s own interpretation of what is there,” Bond-Watts said of his work. “Viewership begins with a visual experience. From there, the viewer’s own ideas and questions will build layers of meaning. I want to inspire dreams and nurture conversation.”
Bond-Watts began his journey in art as a teenager, working as an apprentice to glass maestro Alan Goldfarb in Burlington. He continued his studies of glass art in Venice and Seattle. In 2009, he graduated from the University of Vermont Environmental Program, magna cum laude, in Environmental Studies. His current work includes glass art objects and large scale mixed media sculptures.
Major works include “Solaneme” commissioned by Burlington City Arts in 2009; Trophies for the 2011 Burton Snowboarding US Open; “Seed 2013,” a living sculpture in Stowe; and “Emma,” a major glass commission for Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, installed February 2014. His glass work is currently on display at Edgewater Gallery, One Mill Street in Middlebury.
Bond-Watts loves exploring new landscapes. “They are natural: flooded forest, a limestone scree field. They are man-made: an abandoned coal plant, a national museum. New places raise new questions.” Visitors to the Sheldon who have seen the garden sculpture by Bond-Watts, the period garden that surrounds it, and the garden exhibit within the Museum have heeded his advice and posed new questions.
“Endless Tower” will be on view in the garden through September. The Sheldon Museum is located at One Park Street in downtown Middlebury across from the Ilsley Library. The Sheldon encourages visitors to wander through the gardens anytime, dawn to dusk.  For more information, including museum hours and admission prices, call (802) 388-2117 or visit www.HenrySheldonMuseum.org.