Claremont sculpture planned for city’s 250th celebration
By MEGHAN PIERCE
Union Leader Correspondent | January 27. 2014 7:22PM
Claremont sculptor Ernest Montenegro's model of the 40-foot sculpture he plans to build for Claremont's 250th anniversary this fall. (COURTESY)
The creator of the sculpture to be named “ourhandsthenandnow,” Ernest Montenegro said Monday. He has been a sculptor his entire life.
But when he heard the committee wanted to include a sculpture as part of the celebration, Montenegro started planning a sculpture.
To make the work come to life, Montenegro first approached Claremont Canam Group plant. Canam Group is the largest fabricator of steel components for building, structural steel and bridge construction in North America.
“It’s a big ambitious gift. They are not afraid of it,” Montenegro said. “If it were not for them it would not happen for sure. They are the foundation of this whole project.”
A downtown footbridge near the Green inspired the sail like shape of the sculpture.
Inside the shape Montenegro plans to include community members hand tracings, cut out of steel, with the help of plasma cutters at the Thermacut Inc. plant in Claremont. Thermacut is a global manufacturer and provider of advanced cutting and welding tools and machinery.
The hand tracings and the materials used represent the workforce that built the city.
Just outside of Claremont, Whelen Engineering Inc., a Charlestown-based company that makes police lights has offered $16,000 worth of LED lights for the sculpture so it can be lit up at night.
During the day the sculpture will also act as a sundial, he said. “The idea is the sale shape actually will function as a solar clock, sort of a giant sun dial,” he said.
“It’s cosmic; it’s bigger than us in all of our lives,” Montenegro said.
Montenegro is expected to present is model of the sculpture to the City Council Wednesday night.