Long weekends usually don’t have an impact on my life except that other people are not working. I was delighted when Rachel texted and asked me if I wanted to meet them at the Storm King Art Center in New Windsor, New York, on Memorial Day. Somewhere I read about Storm King years ago and had always wanted to go so I of course said yes and went on my little driving adventure to find it. What I experienced was beyond my expectations. The giant sculptures are truly amazing and so diverse that there is something for everyone. Rachel, Dave, and Riley left at the same time I did and we ended up with their car 5 cars behind mine at the entrance so the day started well with amazing timing! Lots of tourists from all over the world wandered around the beautiful grounds on foot, on bikes, with strollers, picnicking or not. It was impressive not only for the scale of the sculpture but the quality as well. Dave and Rachel had researched it so they knew exactly what they wanted to see — the wall as art was beautiful and, as Rachel said, had a fairytale quality to it. Roy Lichenstein’s Mermaid nestled (if you can use that word to express something so massive) on a little island in a creek. Unmistakably Lichenstein, it brought back memories of meeting Roy Lichenstein at the Guggenheim in the late 60s.
Riley enjoyed the freedom of running around — children all over the place enjoying the hills and the freedom to appreciate the huge installations. She rang the big bell which resounded throughout the landscape and especially enjoyed the water features. The center has been around for 50 years and is constantly adding to its collection. Unlike a gallery collection, it does make you wonder how anything “on loan” or in a special exhibition gets constructed then installed then removed. It was interesting to hear other people commenting on the art, the beauty, the weight, the scale, and for some the ugliness. One particular sculpture looked like papier mache from a distance and we declared it quite hideous but up close it was spectacular made from tons of melted stainless steel and plastic that formed clouds and waves. The Buddha was beyond my ability to describe.
All the while I was thinking, “I must blog about this tomorrow.” Usually I blog in my head before I sit down at the computer, but this time it was different. I didn’t have the words — still don’t — to describe the experience and how it affected me. Not only was it special to experience the art, but to see it with Riley, Rachel and Dave was indeed special. Dave took beautiful photographs, I ran after Riley a lot which was fun, and we all enjoyed a picnic lunch at the much cooler area north of (and much higher up than) the rolling fields. It was here that the Calder and Nevelson sculptures dominated the landscape for me. Even walking to the restrooms, there were three gold sculptures that you couldn’t help but stop and look at. Seeing it all with family was the best part of course. I wouldn’t have gone otherwise and would have missed a day that I won’t forget for a long time.