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Out & About

September 6, 2012

Keene church transformed into sculpture gallery

KEENE — Though the facade of the old Methodist Church here has remained the same, the interior now features the Keene Arts Sculpture Gallery.

The gallery primarily includes the work of Malcolm MacDougall III, with creations by Craig Usher and Matt Horner also on display.

Malcolm III’s father, Malcolm MacDougall Jr., a filmmaker, and mother, Zizi, an earth science teacher, have been helping him transport his constructions from his studio in Westchester to the North Country. 

“The biggest challenge is what to do with the pieces and where to place them in the gallery,” Malcolm Jr. said as he moved his son’s nearly 2,000-pound sculpture entitled “Conflicts of Growth” into place with a hand-operated forklift.  

INSPIRED BY SCIENCE 

Many of Malcolm III’s works are comprised of pieces of stainless steel welded and given a patina covering. 

The welds are evident as “it is made to look like something that is growing,” said Malcolm III, who studied at SUNY Purchase College of Art and Design, graduating with a bachelor’s of fine arts in sculpture. “They are like organisms such as bacteria that you would see through a microscope and should be moving. Some are like blood platelets, and I try to make them to look like you are anticipating movement.” 

Malcolm III creates his works in a 5,000-square-foot airplane hangar of WWII vintage that had once been erected at Pearl Harbor and is now located on the Hudson River at Dobbs Ferry. The hangar was transported to its present location to provide national security during the Cold War. Malcolm III rehabilitated the structure and outfitted the interior for creating his massive sculptures.

One of Malcolm III’s large-scale projects “Microscopic Landscape” was installed in New York City’s Union Square Park in June and is scheduled to remain there until January 2013. His other exhibitions include “Two Sculptors on Hudson/Emerging Forms” at Hastings-on-Hudson and “Modern Art and the Landscape” at the Widerstein Historic Site in Rhinebeck. In addition, he has previously exhibited “Microscopic Landscape” at the entrance of SUNY Purchase.

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