Riverdale NH

Where a cultural icon invites you to sit a spell



photo by morgan karanasios
Sculptor Valery Mahuchy's model of the bench.

As internationally renowned sculptor Valery Mahuchy tweaks the firm modeling clay, he thinks aloud about his subject: “He is smiling. He has energy. He is ready for adventure.”

Mahuchy, now of Bethlehem but born in Belarus and a graduate of the Academy of the Arts in Minsk, has exhibited his work in Moscow, Vitebsk and St. Petersburg. The scaled figure sitting on the tiny park bench before him is about as American as rock ‘n’ roll. Archie Andrews, in plaid pants and his Riverdale sweater vest, has both arms outstretched, ready to hug any Betty or Veronica who happens by. And if there should happen to be a Jughead or a Moose, well, there’s room for one more at the end of the bench.

If all goes well with fundraising, the plan is for the completed sculpture to have a permanent home in a small park on Meredith’s Main Street, right across from the studio in which artist Bob Montana created the images of Archie and his pals and spun his fabulous tales of teen life in the town of Riverdale. The dedication is scheduled to coincide with Meredith’s 250th anniversary next July.

The idea for such a tribute was dreamed up by local architect Chris Williams and was embraced by the Greater Meredith Program, which is responsible for the town’s sculpture walk, among other promotional efforts for the lakeside community. While many locals know of the connection between the town and Archie (the Montana family has a long history there), it will be news to visitors and tourists, and should provide the town with a stream of online publicity as the perfect spot for family photos and selfies.

Video by John W. Hession.

More NH artisans you might be interested in

Local Jewelry You’ll Treasure

Fine items from New Hampshire jewelry designers.

Monique Sakellarios' Romantic Scenery

The painter specializes in local landscapes.

Arts Alert: News from the NH Visual Art World

An event, a book release, and a new gallery to check out this fall

O.H. Harris' Curved Creations

A local cabinetmaker imbues creativity into his straight-edged designs.

Starring the Granite State

Here’s a chance to see what a local Oscar winner has been up to.

The Communal Charms of Contra Dancing

A new generation takes to the dance floor

Arts Alert: Project Shakespeare

Catch the last performances of the summer from some of the state's youngest Shakespeareans.

Karen Bruson's Local Color

The self-taught painter specializes in capturing the light fantastic.
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Popular Articles

  1. New Hampshire Craft Beer: Big Ideas in Small Batches
    In pre-Prohibition days, nearly every town had its very own brewery. Though we’re not quite...
  2. 10 Reasons Why YOU Should Visit the NH Motor Speedway
    Need a good reason to go to a NASCAR race in Loudon? Here are 10 of them. If you still refuse,...
  3. Forever Autumn in the Town of Warner
    A front porch gathering with family and friends for a fall harvest luncheon during Warner Fall...
  4. Trish Regan's Granite State Story
    The Fox Business anchor recalls her New Hampshire roots.
  5. On the Streets with Manchester's Homeless Teens
    Street life is no dream (and little sleep) for homeless teens in the Queen City.
  6. 11 Fabulous Fall Foliage Drives
    Try these byways for peak leaf-peeping.
  7. Going Home Again
    After such a loss, there's no place like it.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags