Marble in vermont

International Sculpture Symposium

The Carving Studio and Sculpture Center; Carol Driscoll, Executive Director
Sias International University, Henan Province, China; Shawn Chen, Founder

Fall 2009
Symposium Update


The first two of our three-phase sculpture programs have been held in China and we are planning to complete the third phase of the Sculpture Program at the The Carving Studio & Sculpture Center in West Rutland in 2011. The Sculpture Program will be the main focus of our fundraising over the next eight months.


In Vermont . . .

The Carving Studio has been busy bringing the studio to the point of being able to accomodate the making of large scale work  that the Symposium will require - enhancements to the studio include an ADA ramp, 3 phase power, and a lease for a 50HP compressor.




The Carving Studio and Sculpture Center was formed in 1987 to preserve the techniques and heritage of stone carving for future generations of artists.  The adaptive re-use of the historic West Rutland quarries attracts international sculptors to create new work in a stimulating environment.

Sias International University, founded in 1999, is the first university in China permitted to fly both the American and Chinese flags and to offer both American and Chinese degrees.  The University’s Department of Fine Arts was one of the first majors developed when the school began almost ten years ago.

Together, The Carving Studio and Sculpture Center and Sias International University are organizing a Three-Phase Sculpture Program that will take place in both China and in the United States.

Since the times of the ancient Greeks, symposia have brought sculptors together from various backgrounds to create works in contemporary and traditional styles at the highest level of artistic excellence.  There has been a worldwide revival of symposia focusing on monumental stone sculpture in the last half century.  Eastern Europe led the trend, to be followed by Asia and the Middle East.  The tradition was brought to Vermont by the late sculptor and University of Vermont professor Paul Aschenbach in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.

The first phase of the International Sculpture Program will involve four sculptors selected by The Carving Studio and Sculpture Center in a residency program at Sias International University.  The work they create during their residencies will be the first sculpture placed in the campus sculpture garden.  Phase II will include the selection of twelve international artists who will also create public art works that will remain on the campus at the completion of their sculpture residencies.

The International Sculpture Symposium planned in Vermont will host ten sculptors from around the world, carving 10-ton blocks of local marble donated by OMYA, Inc.  The works created for the symposium will become the focal point of key locations along the “Marble Trail”. 

Sculptors selected from those responding to a worldwide “call to artists” will interact with local residents and other participants at the Carving Studio and Sculpture Center in a rich cultural exchange.  It is hoped that at least two of the artists selected will come from China.  Intern apprenticeships will further the education of young students of sculpture.  Vermont residents and residents of China alike will benefit for decades to come from the lasting artistic legacy of the International Sculpture Symposium held in both the US and China.