John Bowdren’s birds against a blue sky. Sydney Richelieu / The Forecaster

“Over the Path,” a public art installation of flying birds by John Bowdren of Pownal, has found its home in Yarmouth village.

The installation, the first commissioned by the Yarmouth Public Art Committee, features a flock of sculpted barn swallows and swifts. It was put in place two weeks ago on the path connecting Main Street and Route 1, overlooking the popular Blake Skating Pond.

“We thought the skaters on the pond could see the birds flying over the pathway,” said Linda Horstmann, co-chairperson of the committee.

A flock of sculpted birds overlooks Blake Skating Pond. Sydney Richelieu / The Forecaster

Bowdren’s bronze bird sculptures are part of the committee’s initiative to bring more public art to Yarmouth.

“We just fell in love with his work and thought it would be a nice addition to our community,” Horstmann said.

Committee members got their first look at Bowdren’s birds at June LaCombe’s sculpture garden in Pownal over a year ago.


“The committee was delighted by them, and could picture them as a public art installation in Yarmouth,” member Ann Swardlick said.

An online survey last spring asked residents if they would prefer to see barn swallows or swifts as part of the installation, and it also sought input on how the birds should be finished. Overwhelmingly, Horstmann said, residents voted for both barn swallows and swifts, and said they should have a patina finish.

“We’re really very pleased with the outcome,” Horstmann said. “People have been commenting on how lovely they look, and how you see them from Main Street against a blue sky and white clouds.”

“It’s such a surprising, fun sight to see the birds in the air,” Swardlick said.

Funded by private donations, as well as business sponsorships, the bird installation cost around $27,000 to complete. The committee hopes to raise around $6,000 this spring to install lighting so the birds will be visible at night, Horstmann said.

The committee also hopes to bring more art to town. “Over the Path” is the town’s third public art display, joining two statues from Roy Patterson installed in 2019 and 2021.

“We have several ideas in mind going forward, and there’s a lot of demand for public art in Yarmouth,” Horstmann said.

Public art has the power to engage people of all ages and opinions, according to committee co-chairperson Margaret Lawrence.

“It gets the conversation going, elevates artists as contributors, and helps to create a sense of community identity and belonging,” Lawrence said in a press release.

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