Saratoga Springboard and the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation have aligned to plan TRASK: Preserving Saratoga Springs Through Art, an art show and fundraiser to benefit the Foundation’s efforts to restore the Spencer Trask Memorial, which includes the Spirit of Life sculpture, in Congress Park. TRASK, will held on Thursday, June 28, 2012, 6:30PM at the Canfield Casino and feature a silent auction of art work by local artists in all mediums. Donna Hassler, former Saratoga Springs’ resident and Director of Chesterwood, the home and studio of Daniel Chester French, and Elaina Richardson, Executive Director of Yaddo, will be Honorary Co-Chairs of the event. Proceeds from TRASK, including ticket and art sales, benefit the Spirit of Life & Spencer Trask Memorial Restoration Campaign.
Organizers of TRASK are currently seeking submissions from artists for this juried art show. TRASK will showcase artists who, in some way honor, ideas or images of preservation, local history, architecture, landscapes, and culture, concepts of philanthropy, and generally the “Spirit of Saratoga Springs.” Interpretations and concepts can be applied literally or broadly, works may be from an extant body of work that addresses these themes or newly created for the show. After applications are submitted, a selection committee will make certain works are appropriate to the scope of the show. After works are installed, prior to the TRASK opening and reception, the works will be judged by well-known sculptor Beverley Mastrianni and painter David Miller. Works will be on view for one night only and all works submitted must be available to be sold as part of the silent auction that night. Artists will receive 50% of the sale of their works with that other half benefitting the Restoration Campaign. All entry applications are due by Tuesday, June 12th. Selected works must be dropped off on Wednesday, June 27th between 9AM and 7PM at the Canfield Casino. Late entries are not permitted. The exhibition is juried by review of actual artwork, not digital images or slides, three submissions per artist are permitted.
For complete guidelines and exhibit information, please visit the TRASK organizer websites for more information; www.saratogapreservation.org OR www.saratogaspringboard.com.
In 1913, Katrina Trask, philanthropist, Yaddo founder, and Saratoga resident, along with George Foster Peabody, commissioned the Memorial to honor her husband, Spencer Trask, and his efforts to protect and preserve Saratoga’s natural springs while further beautifying Congress Park. The work for the memorial was completed through the artistic collaboration of two significant Americans, sculptor Daniel Chester French and architect, Henry Bacon, who were also responsible for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. French created the bronze sculpture Spirit of Life, while Bacon designed the architectural and landscaped surrounds.
Each facet of the memorial, which was completed in 1915, is in need of restoration. The Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation, in partnership with the City of Saratoga, has been leading the charge in preserving and caring for the Memorial. The Foundation is currently kicking off a four-year campaign in which they will need to raise approximately $250,000. The proceeds of this campaign will go to the repair and restoration of the Memorial as well as developing a plan for future maintenance.
The Spencer Trask Memorial, 1913-1915, serves as a constant reminder as to our civic responsibility to preserve our national and city resources, to give back to the community, to have pride in creative partnerships, and find comfort and respite in beauty. As The Saratoga Sun published in June, 1915 “The sun shining upon it gave added beauty and effectiveness and the statue will always be, besides being a memorial to Mr. Trask, one of the beauties of the parks, which will attract the eye of all who come to this city.” The same holds true for today’s visitors since the Spirit of Life has become the symbol of the city, as the winged-figure returns the once endangered waters from her bowl to the springs of Saratoga. Yet contemporary residents and tourists will not have the opportunity to enjoy the meaning of the sculpture, the once beautiful surroundings, or appreciate its national significance if the Memorial is not fully restored to its former glory and maintained for years to come.
Founded in 1977, the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation has been the leading advocate for the preservation of Saratoga Springs’ unique architectural, cultural, and landscaped heritage. We continue to shine a spotlight on new opportunities for community growth and economic development through preservation. For more information about the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation, please visit www.saratogapreservation.org.
Founded in 2009, Saratoga Springboard is a group of professionals volunteering together to improve the quality of life in the greater Saratoga region by selecting one local non-profit organization annually to support, with fundraising events, community outreach, or volunteer coordination. Saratoga Springboard fills a variety of needs for the organizations it serves, upholding Saratoga’s distinctiveness as a culturally rich, dynamic community. For more information about the work that Saratoga Springboard does, please visit www.saratogaspringboard.com.