Crossroads Salamander
Amherst, MA  1998


Mill Canal Newt
Amherst, MA  2003


AMHERST - When her husband, Kevin Maxell Brown, was killed in an automobile accident Dct. 17,2002, Heather N. Halsey didn't want people "to spend all kinds of money on flowers."  She didn't know why but she thought of a public art piece. So in lieu of flowers, she asked people to donate money for what someday would a public memorial.  Tomorrow at 10 a.m., the Mill Canal Newt will be dedicated in memory of Brown at the Mill River Recreation Area. Halsey will speak.  The stone sculpture is the work of artisan John F. Sendelbach, who created a sculpture of a spotted salamander on Cushman Common in Amherst. It was made with stone donated by the Goshen Stone Company. The stone memorial plaque was donated by Dorsey Memorials.  "I. wanted something (so) people would know how much somebody loved him," said Halsey. Brown who was 42 when he died, was a lawyer working for Jold & Vanaria, PC, in Springfield.  The two met while they were living in Boston and picked Amherst to settle in. She grew up here but "he fell in love with it," he said.  He liked the land, the beauty of this area.  "Kevin was proud Amherst conserves land.  That was something that was important to him." And the newt is on such a piece of land.  She and Brown had seen Sendelbach's work at art festivals and they had talked about commissioning him for some work. For their anniversary "we usually bought something, some house present," she said.  Brown died before that happened.  Sendelbach had been looking to erect a newt in the Mill River and had talked with the Public Art Commission to do it but they idn't have the money, he said.  Sendelbach, a former landscape designer, said his former business partner told him that Halsey had mentioned wanting to create a memorial to Brown.  Sendelbach said he didn't remember meeting Halsey and Brown but when they talked about the newt project, he found out that one of her dogs is named newt. "It just created a cosmic connection," he said of the coincidences. She said she is delighted with the project.  "It's just big enough that you see something there," she said of the project, which is located behind the baseball field at the recreation area.


Minuteman Crossing
UMass Amherst, 2006
Gift from the Class of '56

Alumni on hand at plaza dedication    November 14, 2007 
University of Massachusetts Alumni dedicated Minuteman Crossing, the new stone plaza surrounding the Minuteman Statue between the Old Chapel and the Campus pond, on Saturday. The plaza is a gift from the Class of 1956 in honor of their 50th reunion. The circular terrace surrounding the Minuteman Statue itself is a gift from the Class of 1950. Steps line one side of the plaza, whose walls were built from local Ashfield stone. The project cost $160,000. The ceremony was arranged for Nov. 10 so members of the Class of 1956 who wanted to attend the ceremony could also attend a home football game. “[The ceremony] was nice,” said Sarah Sligo, senior associate director of annual giving. “A lot of the class members came back, which made it even more special.” Construction on the project began in June and lasted through the summer, into this semester. The planning for the project began in the fall of 2005, when Scotty Donald, Class of 1956 Reunion Committee member and landscape architect, proposed the idea of a public plaza for the class gift. The location was selected and John Sendelbach was hired to assist in the project’s design. The Reunion Committee unanimously approved the proposal. Sendelbach is a landscape architect and stonemason/artist based locally. He was chosen after Scotty Donald saw work he had done for Donald’s daughter, who lives in Amherst. The Minuteman Crossing is Sendelbach’s third public project. His other works include “Crossroads Salamander” at the Cushman Common in North Amherst. “It far exceeded any of our expectations,” Sligo said of the completed Minuteman Crossing. The class hopes the plaza will complement the statue’s design and will serve as a place for the campus community to congregate.

A Landscape Architect was hired to draw construction documents and specification.


Pothole Fountain
Bridge of Flowers   2011
Shelburne Falls, Mass
Design: Julie Petty, Paul Forth, John Sendelbach
Installation: Paul Forth of Stone Creations


Private Design Build

©2023 John Sendelbach