Public sendoff for Sawyer’s ‘Spirit’

Mar 17, 2014
Photo by: Dagney C. Ernest Jay Sawyer and canine pal stand with “A Spirit of Its Own,” which is heading soon to Portland for installation at the International Jetport.

Warren — Midcoast sculptor Jay Sawyer invites the public to give his latest work of public art, “A Spirit of Its Own,” a spring equinox sendoff Friday afternoon, March 21. The sculpture, included in the permanent collection of the Davistown Museum of Liberty, will be loaned indefinitely to the Portland International Jetport. In a matter of days, it will be transported for installation alongside Jetport Boulevard, the primary access road to the terminal.

Creating the sculpture and securing a prominent location for its display has taken well over two years. A grant from The 1916 Foundation for this endeavor includes funds for a publication by the Davistown Museum that will provide, in part, an account of how the sculpture came to be. “A Spirit of Its Own” was created with shear rings salvaged from Hangar No. 2 at the Brunswick Naval Air Station. The late David McLaughlin of Liberty, a close friend and mentor, had previously acquired the shear rings and created several spheres with the materials. Shortly before McLaughlin died in 2010, he bequeathed the remaining collection of shear rings to Sawyer, specifically to work into spheres.

The upcoming installation will satisfy Sawyer’s ambitions to pay tribute to McLaughlin and his influence on Sawyer’s art career in a significant way. A dedication will take place later in the spring at the Portland International Jetport and plans are for the publication to coincide with the event.

By popular demand, Sawyer has decided to provide an opportunity for the community to view the sculpture before it leaves for Portland. Art fans and community members are invited to view the sculpture and wish it well; and friends of McLaughlin’s are also encouraged to attend. Visitors can come by as early as 3 p.m. A group photo will be taken at 5:30 p.m., to be provided to the Warren Historical Society and other interested organizations.

Appropriate footwear is advised, given the uncertainties of weather and temperature. Sawyer advises people park near the Route 90 entrance to his outdoor sculpture garden, about a quarter mile in from Route 1 (look for the “patriotic pickup truck”). For more information of the artist’s work, visit To contact Sawyer, call 273-3948 or email

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or

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