Bob and I spent a few hours yesterday afternoon driving along the shores of Lake Erie and Chautauqua Lake in New York. We drove a distance of approximately 119 miles according to the route that we traveled.
Our first stop was in Dunkirk, where we visited the historic Dunkirk Lighthouse and various points of interest along Chadwick Bay. The Dunkirk Lighthouse is located at Point Gratiot on Lake Erie. We had two admission fees to choose from: $6.00 for a Lighthouse, museum & grounds guided tour or $1.00 for grounds only. We chose to walk the grounds.
In addition to the lighthouse and the light keeper’s house we saw boats, anchors, a tank, a ship’s bell, and a bottle-necked beacon pier light as we walked the grounds.
Before departing Dunkirk, we visited several points of interest along Chadwick Bay — a memorial park, the marina and Wright Park Beach.
This goose was daring me to take one more step towards him. Did I? Would You? I snapped my picture and stepped BACK.
Our second stop was at Barcelona Harbor. There are two main attractions at Barcelona Harbor — the Sea Lion and the Barcelona Lighthouse. The Sea Lion is a reproduction of a late 16th century British three-mast, square-rigged sailing vessel, faithfully built in the same manner as actual ships of the time. The ship building effort took several years and several persons to complete. The Sea Lion was officially commissioned on Chautauqua Lake in 1985. The ship was sold in 1992 to the Buffalo Maritime Society, where it was operated until it sank at its moorings in 1999. Local divers and other concerned citizens raised the ship in 2000, towing her back to Barcelona. The ship is dry docked while being restored.
The Sea Lion’s restoration is progressing nicely, as you can see by looking at this photograph of her that I took in July 2003. It is hoped that the Sea Lion will sail again.
Barcelona Harbor’s second main attraction is the Barcelona Lighthouse. The Barcelona Lighthouse was the first lighthouse in the world to be lit by natural gas.
When we departed Barcelona Harbor we left Lake Erie behind, turning inland towards Westfield. We passed through Westfield and continued on to Mayville, located on the north end of Chautauqua Lake.
We made our third stop in Mayville beside a house at which several sculptures, large and small, occupied the front yard.
I discovered today, via an Internet search, that these sculptures were built by Kirsten Engstrom. In my research I found Ms. Engstrom’s biography at the Discover Chautauqua website.
“Kristen, sculptor, massage therapist, and teacher, was born in Philadelphia, Pa. in 1944. She received her B.A. in English Literature and Mathematics in 1969, her M.A. in Art in 1972 and her L.M.T. in 1996.
Seeking to broaden her education, Kirsten went abroad in 1976. The Spanish spirit, the unspoiled countryside and villages of an island off the coast of Spain – Mallorca – captured her attention. Here she put down roots and stayed 20 years.
She was director of “Es Retall”, art gallery, and school, in Palme de Mallorca, Spain 1979-82. She has developed art programs in Cultural Centers throughout Mallorca as well as taught Art at the elementary, secondary and university levels in the USA.
She has exhibited extensively abroad, in Mallorca and Barcelona and stateside in New York, Florida, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. Kirsten returned to live in the USA in 1995, and is now doing monumental outdoor sculptures in addition to her other work.
Her sculptures in clay and reinforced concrete reflect her ever-present personal involvement in everything she does. Whether it is running an Art Gallery, teaching or creating her own sculptures, she involves herself so completely in the activity that she is never quite certain if she has created “it” or “it” is in the process of creating or changing her. Both are probably true. There is definitely a back-to-earth heroic beauty in her work that has become her trademark.
Since 2000, she spends part of every year teaching in Hawaii. She spends the rest of the year building sculptures, exhibiting and teaching in New York and Florida. She loves to involve the community when she constructs a monumental piece, inviting school children and adults to observe the process, comment and participate in the creation.”
I was quite happy, also, to find a video about Ms. Engstrom and her art.
In my opinion Ms. Engstrom’s art is beautiful and brilliant! What is your impression of her art?