Grounds For Sculpture, Hamilton’s beloved sculpture garden, arboretum, and museum, will remain open to the public for outdoor visits through March 31. This is a big deal because the 42-acre landscaped park is usually closed for the winter season. But for the next few months, visitors will have the chance to experience the gorgeous seasonal transformation of the grounds and take in its outdoor sculptures during the pandemic.
Starting December 1, GFS will offer flat rate admission at a reduced price of $10 per person. GFS will also offer a range of hybrid, in-person, and virtual programs.
“People are seeking dynamic outdoor experiences that they can safely enjoy, and in the coming months we have a great opportunity to connect guests with outstanding art and sublime nature,” said Gary Garrido Schneider, Executive Director of Grounds For Sculpture. “GFS is a vital hub for our community, bringing together families across generations and friends of all ages to nurture a deep appreciation for nature and art. We are thrilled to continue to welcome visitors to experience our landscape and art as winter envelops the campus.”
As the seasons change from fall to winter, and winter to spring, Grounds For Sculpture undergoes a stunning transformation. Nature creates an ever-changing backdrop for the nearly 300 sculptures on view throughout the park. In late fall, visitors can take in the fragrant bloom of False Holly (osmanthus); in January, the trailing, viny shrub of the Winter Jasmine (jasminum nudiflorum) springs to life with bright yellow flowers; and in late February, the Flowering Plum Tree (prunus mume) reveals white and light pink spring blossoms signaling the start of spring.
Each outdoor work, from Horace Farlowe’s Portal Rest (1989) and Robert Ressler’s Baruch Ashem (1989) to Seward Johnson’s On Poppied Hill (2016), takes on a new appearance with snow. There are also new installations to see such as the debut of Seward Johnson’s latest work Viral Art, a multi-figured sculpture scene that was developed by the late artist from 2013 to 2019. Recently conserved works by Beverly Pepper, Untitled (ca. 1968) and Split Ritual II (1992), will also be on view in the Water Garden and Rat’s Woodlands area.
GFS’s six indoor galleries will be closed due to COVID-19, but some special exhibits will be presented on the grounds. Rebirth: Kang Muxiang, an outdoor presentation of six large-scale sculptures created from steel elevator cables by Taiwanese sculptor Kang Muxiang, will be on view through February 28, 2021. Visitors will also have the chance to see eight outdoor sculptures from Bruce Beasley: Sixty Year Retrospective, a major retrospective for Bruce Beasley, one of the foremost sculptors on the West Coast, which has been postponed to spring 2021 due to COVID. The outdoor part of the exhibit will be on view through December 2021.
Grounds For Sculpture has a full calendar of hybrid virtual/in-person programs for the winter ranging from socially distant winter wreath making to family meditation. GFS will also continue to offer ArtBox, a recently launched pick-up activity for children ages 5-12 that can be completed on-site or at home with monthly themes. More programs will be announced at groundsforsculpture.org.
Grounds For Sculpture is open Thursday to Monday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. through March 31. The grounds will continue operating with health and safety protocols in place, including limiting capacity through advance online tickets, frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces throughout the day, and requiring that visitors and staff wear face coverings. For more information on GFS’s guidelines, visit groundsforsculpture.org.