STEUBEN — In a photograph shot last week, Japanese sculptor Kazumi Hoshino can be seen working on her mammoth, yet delicate granite sculpture called “Bio Spheres.”
The 23,000-pound piece was scheduled to be installed Thursday, Nov. 29, at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s new Plant, Animal and Insect Laboratory on the Orono campus. The new facility will provide a biosecure space for animal, plant and insect control scientists and technical staff.
Hoshino, whose nickname is “Hoshi,” lives and works as a sculptor in Steuben. Married to sculptor Jesse Salisbury, Hoshi has a son and daughter, Ren and Miyabi.
Originally from Nagoya, Japan, she graduated with a degree in sculpture from the Tohoku University of Art and Design in 2000. She has shown her granite and basalt pieces widely in Japan and Maine.
Hoshino was chosen to create the “Bio Spheres” piece through the Maine Arts Commission’s Percent for Art Program. The Maine Legislature established the program to provide funds for the acquisition of artwork for certain public facilities,
Speaking from her studio, where she sculpted and assembled “Bio Spheres,” Hoshi says the rough-edged glacial erratic, anchoring her work, weighs 20,000 pounds. The granite boulder was found in Steuben. As part of her sculpture, the massive fieldstone represents the Earth, contrasting sharply with the soft, fluid forms emerging from and above it. The round, sculpted forms symbolize the planet’s plants and other fragile living organisms.
“These geometrical yet organic shapes relate to basic concepts and forms that are common in the living world of plants, animal, and insects,” Hoshino explained, “while being universal enough to invite the viewer to make their own conceptual connections.”