Saturday, October 24, 2009

Grounds for Sculpture

So as promised awhile back, I just posted some pics of my latest trip to Grounds for Sculpture on Flickr. Unless you are really into outdoor sculpture or live in the central New Jersey region, you've probably never heard of Grounds for Sculpture. It is a 35-acre outdoor (and indoor) sculpture park, that was founded in 1992 by J. Seward Johnson to display works created at Johnson Atelier Technical Institute of Sculpture, which is located right next to the park. Click the picture below to check out their website.

Grounds for Sculpture

That's the vine arch. It mirrors the shape of the main building just off camera on the left. It's the symbol of the sculpture park. When the park first opened, it was free to get in and not very well known. My family discovered the park not long after moving to Hamilton, I think we were there the second or third weekend it opened. I still remember the first time we went, there weren't any vines on the arch at all! :) The park has both indoor and outdoor spaces, but the majority of the space is outside.

Asian Bells Sculpture

This piece is wreathed by bamboo and sits right next to the lotus blossom pond. Situated on the pond is The Gazebo. During the spring and summer there is a small gourmet snack stand, where you can purchase munchies or a nice glass of wine to sip while you are overlooking the flowers from the balcony. Here's a pic of the part of the pond from the dock of The Gazebo.

Lotus Pond

One of the things that the park is famous for is J. Seward Johnson's cast bronze human figures. He has recreated, all over the park, famous paintings from famous impressionist artists. Here is one of the newer pieces modeled after Renoir's "Luncheon of the Boating Party." You can click the picture to see the original painting.

Click here to see the original painting.

Everything in the picture is cast, right down to the table cloth. The twist with this piece, is all of the people in it look like someone from the sculpture park. And just off screen towards the back is another table of people not seen in the original painting. It includes the artist himself and a few of his friends in modern clothes, making enough of a ruckus that one of the "real" guests at the party comes over to complain! :) Obliviously, my cousins Matt and Cheryl are not part of the piece. :)

Along with the indoor exhibits that change every few months or so, and the outdoor pieces that are usually (but not always) permanent, they also have an outdoor water garden. The water garden is full of pieces that incorporate either water, mist, or reflections into the sculptures. Here's one of my favorites:

Foggy Cage

This piece is made of metal that is jointed in a million different places. The piece, which sits in the sun, is constantly sprayed with a fine mist of water. The water, sun, and outside temperature constantly change the shape of the piece. So every time you see it, it is a slightly different shape. :) It is also full of metal frogs, snakes, and lizards that are slowly changing color and moving with the piece. If you check out my flickr page you can see a close up of it.

They have many different types of sculptures in the park, but the other cool thing about it is the huge variety of landscapes and rare plants and trees they added. My brother actually did a project in school on the variety of trees that grow in the park. I believe they have over 50 different kinds of trees and I can't even imagine how many different plants! Here's a pic from the bamboo forest they grew around one of their pieces.

Bamboo Forest

If you are ever in the area I seriously suggest checking it out! While it's not free anymore, it's only $10 per person, and they do have discounts for students, seniors, and children. They even have craft and art workshops and tours of the artists' studios you can sign up for. So to wrap it up, really cool place! You should check it out! :)

Tomorrow, I'll be featuring another leather artist. ::Hint - They make keychains!::


P.S. For more info on this park, visit their website here => Ground for Sculpture
And if you'd like to see the rest of my pics of our trip, you can view them here => Jennie's Trip to Grounds For Sculpture Oct 2009

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