On November 10, 2019, the first of our life-size bronze sculptures was unveiled, honoring Olympian, athlete, and Manchester native Joe McCluskey. The statue is located along the route of Manchester's Thanksgiving Day Road Race, on Highland Street near its intersection with Wyllys Street. Info: Joe McCluskey.

Recognition of Elisabeth M. Bennet and her achievements: Elisabeth Bennet. Our second statue will be placed at Bennet Academy, Downtown Main Street, recognizing educator Elisabeth Bennet (1881-1959), credited with many "firsts," including establishing a school library in the basement of Barnard School with donations from friends and her own personal library. To donate or become a sponsor: Sponsorship packet. In honor of her birthday, Mayor Jay Moran proclaimed January 22, 2022, Elisabeth Bennet Day. You can read the proclamation by clicking on the icon on the right. The proclamation includes a list of Miss Bennet's work in the Manchester public schools, as well as information about her own education. Thank you, Mayor Moran and the Town's board of directors for supporting the sculpture project.

Watch Town Troubadour Bill Ludwig sing this Miss Bennet song, original lyrics by Bill and music by Bill and Dan Thompson.

We are currently raising funds for Elisabeth's statue. Here are some opportunities for the public to participate in and support the sculpture project:
We are selling tote bags in natural color canvas with navy blue lettering. The Elisabeth Bennet tote measuresToteWEB.jpg 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. 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 Street). Read the fundraising letter sent out in April 2021.

Notecards with the image of the Joe McCluskey statue are for NotecardJoeM.jpgsale at the Historical Society (phone Lynn Sottile 860-649-3487), Sweet Pepper at the Manchester Mall, Downtown (phone Amanda 860-652-5305), Customer Service Center at Town Hall, Window Box Farm at Manchester Mall (Lena 860-916-7833), WorkSpace on Main Street, Downtown (Michelle 860-647-6029). There are six cards to a box, and the price is $10.

Find out more about Miss Bennet's career as an educator in "Moments with Miss Bennet." Click each icon to bring up the video...

Background on this project. The Sculpture Committee has planned three bronze statues for the Town of Manchester as permanent public art designed to connect us to our past and create a legacy for future generations, emphasizing Manchester's historic assets and illustrating its cultural heritage. 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 fundraising efforts. Your investment will make the sculptures a significant asset to our community.

To donate and 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 Sculpture Project on the memo line. Contributions by credit card can be made by calling the Historical Society at 860-647-9983. Thank you for your donation! Read more about the project Nine-page sponsorship packet.

Honorees are:

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's commissions includethese sculptural projects:

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.

Example of Michael's work, of sports-car racer John Cooper Fitch:

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.