Unchained creativity takes to the streets in Rockland’s first-ever sculpture race

Posted:  Sunday, August 13, 2017 - 8:45pm

ROCKLAND – Jeff Oehlert had a wheelchair, a round cage-like orb, a sheet, and the concept of a ‘third eye’ on his mind as he created his moveable art for Saturday’s Rockland People’s Sculpture Race.

“I just had the wheelchair, and I thought, ‘what can I do with three things?’” he said.

Initially, he was going to put an eyeball inside the orb. But then he found the sheet.

“It was a little hard to see through,” he said.

Oehlert was one of the 11 teams pushing, pulling, or carrying creativity around a looped course between Tillson Avenue, the Municipal Fish Pier, and the rear of Trade Winds during Saturday’s event. Rainy skies, uneven pavement, and puddles created further obstacles.

By Saturday morning, three teams had pulled out of the event for various reasons, according to organizer Kim Bernard. Bernard, a sculptor, has participated in sculpture races in Massachusetts before bringing the idea to the Midcoast this year.

The first finishers crossed the line of the 9 a.m. race in about four minutes. The final finishers, a large team snaking train tracks for a pulley-powered sail, took more than 30 minutes.

In between were individuals, friends, and family. Some brought actual sculptures. Some pulled art along with them, and some became the art themselves. 

Would Oehlert participate next year?

“Oh, definitely,” he said without pause.


Sarah Thompson can be reached at news@penbaypilot.com