For Memorial Day Weekend, I did what most New Yorkers do – get out of the city. The concrete grid of NYC can be suffocating at times, so I hopped into a car with a friend and made a grand exit north for the day to the OMI International Arts Center.
Just a little over a two hour drive north near Hudson, New York is a grand sculpture park spanning 120 acres, littered with towering visual experiments in the intersection of fine art and architecture. I opted to go fresh after the rain to ensure there weren’t many people wandering the grounds and also to experience the sculptures under the brooding grey sky.
While Storm King Art Center, located close by, gets most of the credit for being the most Instagramed sculpture park, OMI is a bit off the beaten path, featuring lesser known artists, which is more my speed. Don’t get me wrong – I love Richard Serra and Sol Lewitt as much as the next art fiend, but it was nice to see more equal representation of female artists and designers in the collection.
My favorite sculpture ended up being a series of four heads made of fiberglass called Victoria, Susanna, Leucantha, and Eileen by Philip Grausman installed in close proximity. The four head figures were enormous and stunning in white, which seemed to glow against the clouds. They were also in different areas of the open field, but they seemed to talk to each other through facial expressions and positioning. I felt I was intruding into a conversation that seemed to be occurring across the vast, wet clearing.
Overall, I came away feeling that I experienced the sculpture park in a way that most people haven’t. The roaming clouds seemed to infuse new meaning into each of the installations, each desolate and definitive under a darkened Memorial Day sky.
Get out of the city and visit OMI this summer – you won’t regret it, I promise.