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New middle school sculpture remembers Bennett Scheuer

By Susan Mustapich | Oct 14, 2020
Photo by: Susan Mustapich The new granite and stone sculpture at the Camden-Rockport Middle School, created by Jesse Salisbury, holds the memory of a Camden man who helped others through education.

CAMDEN — The new sculpture out in front of the Camden-Rockport Middle School has a special meaning to a major donor who helped sponsor the work of art.

About two years ago, Lee Scheuer reached out to Camden-Rockport Schools Superintendent Maria Libby to let her know he was interested in donating something in his brother's name for the new middle school. Libby told him there would be a sculpture in front of the school building, which would be funded by donations. Scheuer decided to make a significant donation, to make sure that would happen.

Years ago, Scheuer and his brother Bennett were in the process of buying the building at 1 Free St. from MBNA to create a home for a school for students with disabilities. Before the sale came to fruition, Bennett passed away. Lee went through with the plan, as soon as he was able, and the Seton School was established. The school operated for about a decade, before being sold to become the new home of Watershed School.

Bennet lived in Camden for about eight years. He tutored and mentored adults in the area, helped mentally challenged adults and served as a substitute teacher at the high school, Lee said. He was also a magician and created elaborate Halloween displays, and was very community oriented, according to Lee.

People said he was so helpful, it felt that he had lived here a lifetime, Lee said. His brother loved Camden and would say it reeked of kindness.

The granite and stone sculpture is created by Jesse Salisbury who grew up on the coast of Maine.

Salisbury's design is inspired by the mountains meeting the sea. The vertical component intends to evoke imagery of a sail or a window rock formation.

The massive outdoor sculpture invites students to interact, by sitting on the bench at the base or climbing through the lower opening.

Salisbury is known for his large outdoor sculptures, made of Maine granite and hard stones. He began his formal art training in Japan while in high school.  Later on, he returned to Japan in the 1990s to work with contemporary sculptors Katsumi Ida, Atsuo Okamoto and others, to learn traditional and contemporary carving techniques for granite and hard stones.  Beginning in 2005, Salisbury founded the Schoodic International Sculpture Symposium, and organized the creation of 34 public sculptures by national and international artists spanning three counties in Eastern Maine.

"The sculpture is amazing and very inviting," Scheuer said. "I like it because it's refreshing, modern and inviting. People can sit on it and have a conversation. It's a remarkable piece."

Thinking of his brother, he said, "A sculpture like that is forever lasting. It's a physical representation of his memory living on."

Scheuer said the words on a plaque near the sculpture, and bench in Harbor Park, say it all:

Bennett T. Scheuer

Created community wherever he went

Magician and Mentor

As skilled with people, as he

was with this hands.

A crane lifts components of the massive granite and stone sculpture at the Camden-Rockport Middle School from a flatbed trailer. (Photo by: Lee Scheuer)
The crane lowers parts of the sculpture created by Jesse Salisbury into place on the lawn in front of Camden-Rockport Middle School. (Courtesy of: Lee Scheuer)
The words on this plaque near the sculpture at Camden-Rockport Middle School say it all: Bennett T. Scheuer created community wherever he went, magician and mentor, as skilled with people, as he was with this hands. (Courtesy of: Lee Scheuer)
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Comments (1)
Posted by: ANANUR FORMA | Oct 15, 2020 07:55

wonderful that Bennett is recognized and appreciated. I knew Bennett in high school in Larchmont N.Y. and was happy to meet him again here in Camden, a pleasant surprise!

Did you know that he was voted "Best looking" in high school? Also many, many girls at that time had a big crush on Bennett. He was always a nice person and fun to know and had lots of good friends. You could say that Bennett was well loved. So glad his brother Lee has helped to make this happen. Lee has a kind, loving heart!!!

The Sculpture photographed here is a reminder for me of the art of the famed sculptress Barbara Hepworth, who has a huge piece in front of the U.N. in NYC did you know that? My father made an award winning film of her in the sixties. She lived in St. Ives (Cornwall) England.  google "Forma Art Films."  Also you can google her.

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