Recognition of Elisabeth M. Bennet and her achievements:
Our next statue will be placed at Bennet Academy,
Downtown Main Street, recognizing educator Elisabeth Bennet (1881-1959), principal of Manchester Public Schools,
credited with many "firsts," including establishing a school library in the basement of Barnard School with
donations from friends and her own personal library. For additional information on her, please click
We are currently raising funds for Elisabeth's statue. As part of our spring fundraising appeal, we are selling tote bags in natural color canvas with navy blue lettering. The Elisabeth Bennet tote measures 14-1/2" x 15-1/2." One side of the tote bears the Sculpture Project logo, and the other side has a brief history of the Project. Consider it as a gift for birthdays, as well as a fun way to support the statue of Elisabeth. Totes, at $20.00 each, are available at the History Center (175 Pine St., Tuesday-Friday, 10:00 to 2:00; 860-647-9983; pick up in person or mail a check with "tote" in memo line), Highland Park Market (317 Highland St, open Monday through Saturday 8:00 to 7:00 and Sundays 8:00 to 6:00), and Town Hall customer service center (41 Center St.; callers can purchase and make payment by calling 860-647-5235 and arranging for curbside pickup until such time as the building re-opens). Read the fundraising letter sent out in April 2021.
Find out more about Miss Bennet's career as an educator in "Moments with Miss Bennet". Click each icon to bring up the video...
On November 10, 2019, the first of our life-size bronze sculptures was unveiled, honoring Olympian, athlete,
and Manchester native Joe McCluskey. For additional information on
him, please click Joe McCluskey.
Joe's was the first of the sculptures planned for the Town of Manchester as permanent public art designed to connect us to our past and create a legacy for future generations. The bronze sculptures will honor individuals who have made significant contributions to our community in the areas of sports, education, the arts, inventing, etc. Manchester's history is all around us -- in the architecture, the paintings in Town Hall, the Dancing Bear fountain, and the silk industry legacy left to us by the Cheney family.
With thanks to the very generous donors who funded the first sculpture, the Sculpture Project continues its work to design and fund statues commemorating local heroes. These monuments will emphasize the historic assets of Manchester and illustrate its cultural heritage -- providing inspiration, history, and artistic interest to people of all ages.
Fundraising efforts are in progress and ongoing! Your investment will make the sculptures a significant asset to our community.
To donate: To become a Sponsor of the Sculpture Project, please click
SPONSORSHIP FORM, print,
and enclose it with your check as described on the form. All contributions welcome! Mail your check to "Sculpture Project," Manchester Historical Society,
175 Pine Street, Manchester, CT 06040. Write
About the sculptor: Michael Keropian of Carmel, NY, grew up in Manchester.
He began his professional career and training as a sculptor at the oldest art school in the country, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1978. To further his training in sculpture he moved to New York's Hudson Valley in 1986 and worked for ten years at the Tallix Sculpture Foundry in Beacon, NY, working on hundreds of sculptures and learning the technical skills that go into casting a sculpture into metal.
During this period he started Keropian Sculpture LLC and worked after hours to develop his business. Keropian Sculpture LLC provides sculptural services and consulting to a variety of clientele.
After leaving the Tallix Foundry in 1996, he continued building Keropian Sculpture LLC and started teaching at a number of schools in the New York Metro area, such as the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in New York City and Artlife Studio in Portchester, NY. He currently teaches privately and at the Katonah Art Center. Keropian Sculpture has also completed sculpture restorations for a number of private estates, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the National Academy of Design and Fairfield University's Bellarmine Museum. In 2000, Michael received a commission to create nine heroic-size tigers for the new baseball stadium of the Detroit Tigers, Comerica Park.
Since 2000, Michael has been commissioned to create a variety of sculptural projects, including:
Michael has won numerous awards throughout the years and recently won the coveted Hudson Valley Art Association's
Gold Medal. His works can be found in private collections around the world.
He is a Fellow of the National Sculpture Society, and is the Sculpture Chairperson for the Hudson Valley Art Association. Watch a video of Michael describing his work.
The committee: Inspired by the possibilites of public art and support from the community, the committee has organized and raised funds to honor Manchester's historic figures with sculptures. Committee members are Lynn Sottile, Joyce Hodgson Post, Tana Parseliti, Donna Fitzgerald, Claudia Kuehl, Michele O'Neil, Ann Lucente, Catherine Wynn, Susan Wright, and Susan Barlow.
One of our fund-raising projects was a house tour of six private homes in Manchester on Saturday, October 13, 2018. Read more, including information about each house: House Tour Pamphlet.