Creatures Great and Small Outside the AMC

Two birds in flight, a swimming shark, and a fanged fish are just a few of the sculptures that make up the Creatures Great and Small exhibit outside the Art and Media Center (AMC). Each of the eight pieces is done by a different artist in materials such as bronze, granite, steel, and resin. Pamela Tarbell of PR Tarbell Fine Art curated the exhibit, which will be on display throughout the 2019–2020 school year.

One of the pieces, “The Understudy,” by local artist Bob Shanahan, is housed inside the AMC. The sculpture, built out of natural materials such as bark and twigs, depicts a Diatryma — a dinosaur that roamed New England millions of years ago.

The other pieces line up in front of the AMC. Morris Norvin’s “Piscator II” is the largest — a steel structure, painted gray and bent into the shape of a swimming shark. The smallest is the sleek “Epoxy Cheetah” by Wendy Klemperer. Shirin Adhami, a new visual arts faculty member and Nesto Gallery director, says a favorite of the younger students on campus is “Toothed Fish,” composed of granite and quartz by Thomas Berger.

Shirin’s art history class discussed the pieces; she said many students are really responding to the exhibit’s “creatures” theme. In past years, outdoor installations focused on abstract work, so Ian Torney, chair of the visual arts department, asked the curator to think of a figurative theme, and from that came the idea of finding work that represented creatures.

The installation took place at the start of this school year, when all the artists brought their work on the same day. Some pieces required tricky lifting and heavy bases to anchor them. Milton’s facilities team helped with the installation. One of the artists, Beverly Benson Seamons ’46, passed away in 2012, so her son did the installation of her “Osprey,” a bronze sculpture.


The curiosity to ask why and the courage to speak out are qualities that lead to innovation and change. The individuals featured in this issue embody these qualities. Through their questioning, leadership, and willingness to share their views, they are making a difference–in their professions and in the world.