The library will be closed Monday, May 27th, for Memorial Day

Memorial Hall Library

Meet the Polar Bear Family

The following is a speech given by MHL Trustees Chair Karen Herman during the Polar Bear Sculpture Unveiling Ceremony that took place on Saturday, June 14, 2008.

The Trustees are enormously pleased to welcome our newest work of art for the library, the polar bear family, by artist and sculptor Jim Sardonis. Jim Sardonis is a nationally and internationally known sculptor. Locally, His work can be seen in many venues around New England in both public and private spaces. He created the marble "Sleeping Dove" statuettes given by the Harvard Medical School's Center for Heath and the Global Environment as the school's annual Global Environmental Citizen Award. His work is naturalistic and evocative. Six years in the planning phase, The trustees have been anticipating this moment. We are especially glad to have had Jim here in Andover on June 14th to introduce us to his beautiful and powerful work of art.

Memorial Hall Library is Andover's informational window on the world. Here we are invited to use our imaginations to explore a universe far beyond our immediate environment. Art presents us with another way to understand our world. Public art allows the whole community the opportunity to engage with the work, either individually or collectively and helps us to create our sense of place. As we interact with it, our polar bear family sculpture can tell us about the polar bears themselves, the beauty and fragility of this earth and how we need to care for our environment to protect it just as the mother polar bear protects her cubs. "Vigilance" is the very appropriate title Jim Sardonis has given to his sculpture. During the next year, MHL will begin a series of events for all age groups that will help to inform us on a variety of topics relating to the environment, culminating in a one-book community read in the spring. The trustees invite you to watch for and take advantage of all of our interesting programs this fall. Most of all, we hope you will enjoy these wonderful polar bears as much as we do.

Going forward, all of us should be proud that Andover is active in environmental protection with our long standing recycling programs, land conservation, historic preservation efforts, encouragement of green development, "shop locally" promotions and the farmer's market. The challenge for us is to do more.