The Storm King Art Center is an open air interactive art exhibition center. It was founded as a public non-profit museum. Initially structured as a sculpture garden, the effort here is to seamlessly incorporate man-made art into the natural scenery. Just like the art collection, the landscape also also diverse. The setting for the sculptures changes from mowed turf to open meadows of native grass to rolling hills, water, wetlands and woodlands.
Reading wonderful reviews the center has received online, the Husband and I decided a visit was due. Having never been exposed to this kind of art exhibition, we didn’t know what to expect. Our first impression was that of surprise. Vast open spaces interspersed with huge contemporary sculptures, we didn’t know what to make of it! Bravely we ventured towards one of them. It looked like a huge eye to the sky. We walked around it, and observed it from every angle, yet we were not able to decipher what the sculptor was trying to get across. Disappointed, more in ourselves than anything else, we moved on.
Noticing a tram tour, we felt it would probably be the best way for us to see and understand the artwork. This turned out to be a good call. The driver/guide provided a brief commentary about the installations on the tour. Looking back, I think we should have rented audio guides at the visitor center. These guides provide detailed commentary about the landscape and sculptures. Perfect for art novices like us. I wouldn’t have to shush the Husband and tell him to pretend like it’s all making sense!
My favourite piece was George Cutts’ Sea Change. Set in the shady North Woods, two slender gracefully curved bars that move rhythmically, chancing the shape of the installation with each turn. The other work that caught my fancy was Andy Goldsworth’s Storm King Wall. It reminded me of May’s wailing wall in the Secret Life of Bees. A very interesting collection of Thomas Houseago’s works, titled As I Went Out One Morning was also being showcased on Museum Hill.
Since we had a 3 hour long drive back home, we left from Storm King early evening. I have a feeling we would have enjoyed place more if the exhibits had plaques explaining them. It would be a kind of spoiler, but you don’t have to read them unless you want to!