Art Notes: Artist Seeks Home for West Lebanon Sculpture

  • ">

    Sculptor Roy Shifrin stands next to a giant box at Hanover Transfer in West Lebanon, N.H., that holds his sculpture, "Winged Runner." The piece was recently removed from the front of the Trade Center in West Lebanon, N.H., after a legal battle with the building's owner, Alex Iskander, who argued the sculpture belonged to him. (Valley News- Sarah Priestap) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to Valley News — Sarah Priestap

  • ">

    Roy Shifrin's "Winged Runner" on display at the Trade Center in West Lebanon, N.H., in an undated photograph. (Courtesy photograph) Courtesy photograph

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 8/25/2016 10:57:05 AM
Modified: 8/25/2016 11:43:55 AM

For 27 years the massive Roy Shifrin sculpture Winged Runner stood outside the Trade Center at 24 Airport Road in West Lebanon. Standing 8 feet high, and 8 feet wide, and weighing 800 pounds, the statue was one of three castings: the other two are in San Diego, Calif., and Orlando, Fla.

But as of Aug. 15, passersby looking for the sculpture have looked in vain.

The sculpture and its base are now in storage in West Lebanon until Shifrin, who has lived in the Upper Valley for some 40 years, can find a buyer. He estimated in an interview that this casting of the Winged Runner sculpture was worth about $100,000.

Shifrin, who grew up in New York City, also has public sculptures on view at several sites in the city, and in Barcelona, where he was commissioned to create a monument honoring the international volunteers who fought on the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s.

The Winged Runner sculpture became embroiled in a legal dispute in 2014 when the current owner of the Trade Center, Alex Iskandar, of Lebanon, asserted that the sculpture was part of the property, while Shifrin, who lives in Wilder, said that the sculpture, which he said was on loan to the Trade Center, belonged to him.

The lawsuit, filed in Grafton County Superior Court in North Haverill, was recently resolved in Shifrin’s favor without going to trial.

Iskandar declined comment through his Lebanon-based attorney Bradford Atwood.

“The work of the artist belongs to the artist unless it’s signed over. I felt that was a matter of principle,” Shifrin said in an interview.

Shifrin said that he entered an agreement in June 1989 with then-owner of the Trade Center, Enrique Gada, that the sculpture was on loan, and that it remained his property.

The document, signed by both Shifrin and Gada, “was certainly evidence that (Shifrin) didn’t intend to relinquish ownership of the sculpture,” said Geoffrey Vitt, Shifrin’s Norwich-based lawyer.

But, Vitt added, it would be reasonable for someone buying a commercial property, particularly one that had changed hands more than once, as the Trade Center had, to assume that anything on the property was part of it.

The argument that he made, Vitt said, was that because the sculpture was signed and because Shifrin never conveyed title to any of the owners of the Trade Center, it was Shifrin’s property.

This particular case has no real bearing on the often-thorny question of who owns art perceived to be public because it is in public view, Vitt said.

Where it does have relevance, he said, is that any artist who is considering loaning an art work to a commercial or public institution should have a legal record that she or he owns the art work, so that if a property does change hands, there is note of that in a municipality’s land records when a title search is done.

For his part, Shifrin, who began sculpting in the early 1960s, is glad that he has been able to make his living from art without having to take on other jobs. He hopes that this version of the Winged Runner can stay in the Upper Valley.

“It would be nice to find a place up here for it,” Shifrin said.


Arabella, Windsor. The gallery exhibits works by local artists and artisans in a variety of media including jewelry, oils, acrylics, photography, watercolors, pastels and textiles.

BigTown Gallery, Rochester, Vt. “Painting in the Neighborhood,” paintings by Celia Reisman and Peter Fried, ends Sunday. “Photographs from Home,” by Virginia Beahan, shows through Sept. 17.

Chandler Gallery, Randolph. “Boundaries,” a show featuring the works of numerous New England artists, continues through Sept. 5.

Cider Hill Art Gallery and Gardens, Windsor. Gary Milek exhibits his work in the gallery.

Converse Free Library, Lyme. Japanese nerikomi ceramics by John Quimby are on view until Sept. 30.

Aidron Duckworth Museum, Meriden. An exhibition of photographs by Ann Barlow, of Burlington, taken from her “Salt Storage Series,” runs through Sept. 11. “Developing Dimension,” works by Aidron Duckworth that show his ability to create depth in drawings and paintings. are up through Oct. 30. The outdoor sculpture of Terry Lund is on view through Oct. 30.

Hall Art Foundation, Reading, Vt. “Landscapes After Ruskin: Redefining the Sublime,” curated by photographer Joel Sternfeld, continues through Nov. 27.

Howe Library, Hanover. The Ledyard Gallery exhibits the work of Strafford artist Joshua Yunger through Sept. 28.

Main Street Museum of Art, White River Junction. The museum’s exhibition of memorabilia associated with the Cold War holds its annual Russian and Pan-Slavic Festival through Oct. 28.

Norwich Public Library, “Quotography: Photos by EM Reynolds” is on display through Tuesday.

Osher at Dartmouth, Hanover. Lyme artist Barbara Newton exhibits her collages of New England landscapes through Sept. 28. The show is open Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and on Fridays from 8:30 to 1 p.m.

Kilton Public Library, West Lebanon. An exhibition of landscapes and cityscapes by Lyme painter and illustrator Meg McLean is on view through Sept. 30.

Library Arts Center, Newport. “The Landscape We Call Home” closes Saturday.

Long River Gallery and Gifts, Lyme. “SKIN! (exposed)” includes works by Stephanie Reiniger, Betsy Derrick, Liliana Paradiso, Nils Johnson, Meredith Muse and Doug Masury. Through Sept. 6.

Roth Center for Jewish Life, Hanover. “White on Black: Images of Antigua,” an exhibition of photographs by Mort Wise, is on view through Sept. 13.

Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site, Cornish. Standing Lincoln is now on view. The work of minimalist artist Lynne Harlow is on view in the Picture Gallery through Tuesday.

SculptureFest, Woodstock. The annual celebration of three-dimensional art, is on view at the farm of Charlet and Peter Davenport. This year’s featured sculptors are Judith Wrend and Joseph Chirchirillo. The show remains open for public browsing through foliage season. A second piece of the show, curated by Edythe Wright and Jay Mead, opens Sept. 3 at the nearby King Farm. For more information, go to

Tunbridge Library. “Quartets,” a show by artists Janet Cathey and Kristen Johnson, is on display until Sept. 3.

Two Rivers Printmaking Studio, White River Junction. A show of works by Carol Lippman, an artist from West Newbury, Vt., runs through Sept. 30.

White River Gallery, South Royalton. “Fully Involved,” a show of paintings by Bunny Harvey continues through Sept. 11. Hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by appointment (email Call 802-498-8438 to make sure the gallery is open.

Nicola Smith can be reached at

Sign up for our free email updates
Valley News Daily Headlines
Valley News Contests and Promotions
Valley News Extra Time
Valley News Breaking News

Valley News

24 Interchange Drive
West Lebanon, NH 03784


© 2021 Valley News
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy