You’ll find all sorts of lovely art etched in stone (and wood, glass, and steel) at these popular outdoor sculpture parks. PLUS: Spotlight on artist Anthony Krauss
Having a picnic, or riding a bicycle, is the ideal way to enjoy Storm King Art Center
You’ll find all sorts of lovely art etched in stone (and wood, glass, and steel) at these popular outdoor sculpture parks.
Bradford Graves Sculpture Park
More than 200 sculptures, most of which Graves (1939-1998) chiseled out of limestone, are on view at this outdoor site. From flat slabs to towering totems, the works feel both primitive and modern at the same time. Open by appointment from May through October; admission is free. Rte. 209, Kerhonkson. 845-230-0521; www.bradfordgravessculpturepark.com
Omi Field Sculpture Park
Fields Sculpture Park
Part of Art Omi, an international facility that provides residencies to artists of all types, the park’s 60-plus acres of farmland and woods are filled with close to 80 modern sculptures. The adjacent Benenson Visitor Center includes a large art gallery, which hosts exhibits; colorful abstract works by Elizabeth Murray are on view through May 31. Open daily, year-round, during daylight hours. Admission is free. Bicycles are available at the visitor center (open daily 11 a.m.-5 p.m.). 1405 County Rte. 22, Ghent. 518-392-4747; www.artomi.org
Part art exhibit, part landscape, Opus 40 is 6.5 acres of bluestone paths, terraces, ramps, fountains, and pools sculpted over 37 years by artist Harvey Fite. This National Historic Place celebrates Community Day on May 16; admission is free for all Valley residents, and singer/songwriter Susan Cowsill of the 1960s musical family The Cowsills appears in a solo concert (5:30-7:30 p.m., call for ticket information). Thurs.-Sun. & Mon. holidays 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. beginning Memorial Day weekend. $10, $7 seniors and students, $3 children 6-12. 50 Fite Rd., Saugerties. 845-246-3400; www.opus40.org
Storm King Art Center
Home to arguably the largest collection of contemporary outdoor sculpture in the nation, this 500-acre open-air museum features more than 100 works by the likes of Alexander Calder, Isamu Noguchi, and Richard Serra. Each season, the art center hosts a special exhibit; on view this summer is a collection of both large- and small-scale pieces — many of which are fountains — by Lynda Benglis, an artist who came to prominence in the 1960s with her poured latex works. Visitors to Storm King can view the art on foot, by bicycle (rentals are available), or via a tram that circles through the site. Weds.-Sun., 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. through October 31; 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. through Nov. 29. $15, $12 seniors, $8 students and children 5-18. 1 Museum Rd., New Windsor. 845-534-3115; www.stormking.org
Sculptor Anthony Krauss has been a Woodstock resident for 42 years. During that time, he has created works that are currently on view in Italy, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, and Japan, and has exhibited at the prestigious Biennale in Florence, Italy. His sculptures are included in the collection of Washington, D.C.’s Hirshhorn Museum and Manhattan’s Whitney Museum of American Art. Closer to home, Folded Pyramid, a mirrored aluminum piece that is representative of Krauss’ work, stands in front of the Ulster County Office Building in Kingston.
Art lovers can see approximately two dozen examples of this internationally recognized artist’s work in his outdoor sculpture park and gallery in Woodstock. Open by appointment all year long (weather permitting), the park and gallery are free to visit at your leisure. “I’m flexible,” says the affable Krauss. “I try to accommodate people and their schedules. I’m more than happy to work with someone who is interested in coming to see the work.”
Krauss’ sculptures often make use of Hudson Valley bluestone and cedar, as well as mirrored aluminum or stainless steel. “I’m very interested in reflections,” he says, referring to the latter materials. “The viewer becomes part of the piece by the fact that they are reflected in it, as is all of the nature that surrounds them. It’s an interesting interaction.” Pyramids and triangles are commonly incorporated; used together with the mirrored surfaces, these shapes are “at once both solid and transitory,” says Krauss, “as they reflect the changing light patterns and abstract glimpses of the urban and rural landscapes.”
Along with the sculptures, visitors to Krauss’ gallery space can view mixed-media collages that combine painted surfaces, wood, metal, and photography, as well as works that he calls “photo sculptures.” “The gallery has a variety of pieces that show the viewer in relationship to the landscape,” he says.
In addition to working as an artist, Krauss also teaches. One of his most famous students was Academy Award-winning actor Anthony Quinn. “He hired me to be his private art instructor,” Krauss says. “I traveled through Europe with him while he made several films. He was extremely creative — both in performing and in visual art.” Open year-round by appointment only. 41 Lower Byrdcliffe Rd., Woodstock. 845-679-6360.