Return to Langlais Film
Melanie Essex, who spent time at the Langlais farm as a child and is now a year-round resident of Cushing, spent more than 150 hours in summer 2021 capturing footage from early morning to dusk, in rain, fog, and bright sunlight at the Langlais Sculpture Preserve. She observed recently-conserved sculptures in vivid hues and others that are gray from prolonged exposure. She listened to the crickets and the passing trucks on River Road. She overheard visitors laughing in the belly of Langlais’s Elephant and watched schoolchildren make puppets.
Essex’s beautifully woven visual story of the Langlais Sculpture Preserve is part of the exhibition Bernard Langlais: Live and Let Live ON, on display at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, through May 1, 2022. Curated by Hannah W. Blunt, the exhibition explores the history of Langlais’s built environment since his death in 1977 and considers key figures and moments in its evolution from an artist’s private world to the present-day Preserve, which is owned and managed by the Georges River Land Trust.
The film attests to the work of the Land Trust in maintaining Langlais’s unique landscape for public use and allows visitors to the Wisconsin exhibition a view into this special place in faraway midcoast Maine.