If you have strolled down the front walkway to the Seacoast Science Center (SSC) lately you will have spotted a cuttlefish carved in granite, an abstracted seaweed, a broken dog whelk shell, a huge fish with some of its ribs exposed, and a friendly leatherback sea turtle!
These sculptures were created by Kittery Artist Thomas Berger, and are part of the special exhibit “Flow of Life,” a collection of stone and bronze sculptures on display now through mid-October. According to Berger, “Flow of Life refers to the coming and going of life on many levels: life coming and going with the tides, the life of an animal from birth to death, the evolution and extinction of species on our planet—some of it caused through our own presence and activities.”
Berger is a visual artist and life-long naturalist, interested in the beauty and balance of the natural world. While the pieces being showcased at SSC are sculptures, his work includes photography and painting. He also raises native plants, which can be purchased during a stroll through his sculpture and pollinator garden in Kittery. Berger grew up in a rural town on the Moselle river in Germany, where his love for nature sprouted in the surrounding woodlands and vineyards. Before moving to the United States, he worked for the German Volunteer Service in West Africa and traveled extensively, which enhanced his awareness of ecological and social issues.
Berger notes, “In my sculpting work, I want to expose the beauty and dignity of nature where they are often not recognized, establish a connection to animals and plants – our co-habitants on this planet, and point out what we are about to lose if we don’t get better at protecting this planet from our own abuses.”
Along the front walkway at SSC, you’ll see Berger’s large-scale stone sculptures in various degrees of abstraction and intentional erosion – some with a weathered look to achieve a fossil-like appearance. His bronze whale sculptures, on the other hand, are anatomically accurate scale models of whale species found in the Gulf of Maine, and can be viewed and touched inside the SSC.
Through his art, Berger shares his lifelong love of nature and hopes to create emotional connections to animals and the natural world. We are proud to present these special pieces to our visitors during the summer of 2023.
Berger has received awards for both his sculpting and photography. His work can be found in private collections and at many public locations in New England and beyond. You can find more information about Thomas Berger, his life and work at www.thomasbergersculpture.com and at www.greenart.com.
All pieces in the exhibit are available for purchase, with 40 percent of proceeds going to support the Seacoast Science Center. The bronze whale sculptures are on sale: save 25% off.