New sculpture ‘Community Heart’ gifted to Goodrich Memorial Library

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NEWPORT — Artist and poet Eric Petit has created a new sculpture titled “Community Heart,” which he has gifted to the Goodrich Memorial Library in appreciation of Newport’s role as the heart of the Northeast Kingdom.

The piece represents the balance between the giver and the receiver, which is necessary to support the kind of expression that can only happen when a community and its people are anchored by the support and care of its institutions. Petit expressed his gratitude for the library’s support, saying, “I love this library and I could never have become the poet and artist I have grown into without that powerful gift of support and balance that they have given me over the years.”

The sculpture is made up of many different pieces from the Northeast Kingdom, including driftwood from the shores of Lake Memphremagog, the Clyde, and Black rivers, as well as beaver sticks, eroded railroad ties, fence rails, and river stones. These materials represent the history and growth of the Kingdom’s agricultural communities and their connection to industry and tourism.

Petit, a veteran born and raised in the Northeast Kingdom, currently lives and works out of his gallery/studio in Coventry. His work focuses on nature and the lessons that the earth and its regenerative, symbiotic systems can teach about balancing oneself within unhealthy and unsustainable systems and rhythms of life.

He uses only natural materials found in nature, such as river stones, driftwood, shells, antlers, and bones collected from the Northeast Kingdom’s areas of great natural wonder.

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