We were heading to Pennsylvania after a brief visit to Connecticut. Along the way, Rusko decided to stop at Storm King Art Center. In this outdoor art gallery, there are several sculptures dotted around the beautiful hills of Storm King Mountain near Newburgh, New York (about 50 miles north of New York City). The center was founded in 1960 as a non-profit public museum. In 1972, it began its permanent collection of large sculptures, which you can see today.
The artwork is specifically chosen to fit with the unique Storm King landscape, so everything meshes very well together. It's a really fascinating and unusual experience to see fine art outdoors, where it is complemented by the natural surroundings.
Some artists featured are David Smith, Alexander Calder, Sol LeWitt, Henry Moore, Louise Nevelson and Isamu Noguchi. You can travel around the gallery by bike, and they have a place where you can rent a bike if you didn't bring your own. Another option is just to go on foot, but if you choose to do this, beware of the bugs! Finally, if you're feeling lazy, there's a train that leaves from the visitor center and takes you through the museum, pausing at the most important works while the guide offers an explanation. Rusko chose to go first to the visitor center and pick up a map to find the best way around the gallery, and decide which art works were priorities to see during the visit. I would recommend this option because there are a number of sculptures on the hill near the center and you can start your visit there.
As you start your journey through the gallery, you'll be really astonished. I can't emphasize enough that one of the most striking things about the Storm King Art Center is its amazing scenery! The Storm King Art Center is located in about 323,000 square kilometers of countryside filled with plants, trees and flowers native to the area. Once upon a time, the area was used by farmers, and cows used to graze where the sculptures now stand. There's even a lake nestled among the sculptures. The contrast between nature and metal sculptures is one of the unique things about Storm King. After seeing the sculptures closest to the visitor center, we took the little train to see as much as possible of the museum. If we had more time, it would have been great to make a few stops on the journey and get a better idea of the pieces. We could even have eaten at the charming Storm King Cafe. On the day of our visit, we were delighted to see that the soup of the day was gazpacho...ole!
One of Rusko's favorite works was "Gazebo for 2 Anarchists: Gabriella Antolini and Alberto Antolini", 1952. The structure consisted of two small cabins connected by a white bridge. The public is invited to sit in the gazebo and participate in the art. We sat on chairs at each end, and the truth is that the perspective from the inside out really inspires your creative spirit. Perhaps we all have an inner anarchist lurking somewhere!
Another amazing work was "Spheres", by the sculptor Grace Knowlton, 1985. This work consisted of about six or seven sculptures designed to look like large rocks located between trees, creating a kind of Stonehenge structure made of spheres. It looked like some kind of mystical group of oracles, which was quite a surprise to see there in the quiet woods of upstate New York. And finally Rusko liked a sculpture by George Cuttis named "Sea Change" dating back to 1996. Two sticks of metal were shown dancing with each other in the middle of a field. The sticks were curved on top and turning, so watching the sculpture, we saw it change and could appreciate the interplay of shadow and light. There are too many sculptures to mention them all individually, but Rusko definitely recommends he Storm King Art Center with a full five anchovies. You're sure to enjoy the stunning sculptures and the nice outdoor space and as the seasons change, the landscape does too...no two visits to the Storm King Art Center will be the same! What a wonderful way to involve the natural world with the world of art.