George Sherwood, Memory of Water, 2014. Stainless steel, 78 x 78 x 78 in. © George Sherwood.

Wind, Waves, and Light: Kinetic Sculpture by George Sherwood

April 7, 2016
Press Contact: Erin Barnaby

May 1–October 31, 2016
On View at Shelburne Museum.

(Shelburne, Vermont) Kinetic sculptures by award-winning artist George Sherwood will be on view this spring at Shelburne Museum. Wind, Waves, and Light: Kinetic Sculpture by George Sherwood will feature eight large-scale stainless sculptures that are activated by wind displayed on the grounds of Shelburne Museum May 1 through October 30, 2016.

George Sherwood’s sculptures explore the aesthetic systems of space, time, and the dynamic relationships of objects in motion. The choreography of each piece is governed by a set of basic movements, facilitated by an arrangement of rotating joints and aerodynamic surfaces. Made of stainless steel and ranging in scale and size, the reflective qualities of this material integrate the sculpture into its space and animate the surroundings. Wind speed and direction, shades of light, time of day, precipitation, and seasonal color transform the qualities of light and movement. According to Sherwood, “Each sculpture is a three-dimensional painting of shifting light, drawing all the colors of the environment, pulling down the sky, drawing up the earth and gathering everything in between.”

Inspired by nature while sailing with his father as a child, these abstract pieces are evocative of shimmering leaves, flocks of birds, schools of fish, and waves of light or water. A gentle gust of wind breathes life into Sherwood’s pair of abstract waterfowl, Turns. Their triangular heads and conical bodies twist and turn in the wind, mimicking in the graceful choreography of a courtship dance. These stilted birds will feel at home the shallow waters of Shelburne Museum’s duck pond. Inspired by Fibonacci’s infinite mathematical sequence where the sum total of two consecutive numbers equals the next, the alternating spiral design of Memory of Fibonacci’s reflective metal disks can be found in the radial pattern of sunflower seeds. In Memory of Water, the mirrored fan produces a dancing light show meant to mimic the effect of sunlight filtering through water. As light flashes through the porous structure made of hundreds of hand-cut stainless steel tubes, it gives the impression of floating air bubbles.

George Sherwood was inspired by the art of movement during the 1970′s when he was drawn to physical theater groups such as Mummenschanz, Pilobolus, and The Celebration Mime Theatre. At that time, he developed a theatrical performance consisting of large animated props, sculptures, and masks that were manipulated by the human body. After earning an engineering degree in the 1980s, he turned his focus to Concept Development for LEGO Futura the Research and Development arm of LEGO. Working with the MIT Media Lab, he was part of a team that helped develop preliminary concepts leading to the production of Mindstorms and Virtual LEGO construction software. It was during this time that he was introduced to the wind-powered sculpture of George Rickey, a pioneer in kinetic sculpture. A growing passion to create his own sculpture led Sherwood to pursue this as a full-time career. Sherwood’s work is in collections of museums and cultural centers in the United States and Europe including The Weisman Art Museum, MN, The Currier Museum of Art, NH, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, ME, The Atlanta Botanical Garden, GA and the Contemporary Sculpture Path at Forest Hills Educational Trust, MA. In 2007 he was awarded the Lillian Heller Award for Contemporary Art at Chesterwood in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Sherwood holds degrees in both art and engineering from, respectively, the Hartford Art School and the University of Vermont. Sherwood was born and raised in Fairfield, Connecticut and now lives in Ipswich, Massachusetts.

About Shelburne Museum

Founded in 1947 by sugar heiress and pioneering folk art collector Electra Havemeyer Webb (1888–1960), Shelburne Museum is today the largest art and history museum in northern New England and Vermont’s foremost public resource for visual art and material culture. The museum is now open year-round, with the Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education and Webb Gallery featuring important American paintings by Andrew Wyeth, Winslow Homer, Grandma Moses, John Singleton Copley, and many more. For more information, please visit

Shelburne Museum
6000 Shelburne Road or PO Box 10
Shelburne, VT 05482