Posts Tagged ‘modern artists’

Kent Falls, Circle Museum and the Taconic Sculpture Park

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Gaea's concrete head at the Taconic Sculpture Park

Gaea’s concrete head at the Taconic Sculpture Park

If you’re into tall waterfalls and outdoor art parks then have a seat and check this out!  There is an awesome waterfall in Connecticut called Kent Falls that, all together, is over 250 feet high.  It has a lot of different sections to it and there are good views at every section, as you progress up the trail.  When I went it was raining and found it pretty odd, but there were quite a few people fishing at the base of the waterfall!

But then, as I headed toward the Taconic Sculpture Park, I passed a sculpture park I didn’t even know about; the Circle Museum.  I decided to stop and check out the recycled art, created by a guy named Bijan, and it was a cool find!  There are a lot of metal sculptures, paintings inside and the artist is a pretty chill dude.

And when I finally made it to the Taconic Sculpture Park, I was amazed at the detail of Roy Kanwit’s work.  A lot of the sculptures are made from cement, some are carved from marble, and you can tell that a lot of it is inspired by Greek and Roman mythology.  I thought it was pretty cool that the head, pictured above, was taller than I am and you can go inside it and climb and ladder to a hole in the top of Gaea’s head.

But enough out of me, watch the video below to see how awesome these places are:

HOW DO YOU GET HERE?

The three spots are in three completely different locations, but if you’d like to check out Kent Falls State Park in Kent, Connecticut then CLICK HERE for a map that will direct you right to the entrance to the park.  There’s a big parking lot and restrooms available.

If you want to check out the Circle Museum in Austerlitz, New York then CLICK HERE for a map that will direct you right to where you can park to check out the art.  There are not many parking spots but you should be able to squeeze in.

If you want to check out the Taconic Sculpture Park in Spencertown, New York then CLICK HERE for a map that will direct you right to the driveway of the park.  You’ll be directed to park right on the grass.

HELPFUL TIPS

If you come to Kent Falls between Memorial Day weekend and the end of October then there will be a parking fee, otherwise it’s free.  Be ready for a little climb on the trail.  Most of the area is pretty well fenced off, but you’ll want to keep an eye on your kids at the base and at the top of the waterfall.  Signs instruct you to stay on the trail as much as possible, but things are a little more open at the top and bottom.  The park’s open from 8 AM to sunset.

And, when you go to the Circle Museum, don’t forget to check out the paintings inside the building.  Bijan might be in there ready to strike up a conversation about his artwork with you.  I’m not sure of the hours, but I’m sure you could swing by at any time, during daylights hours.

And amazingly enough, all of the artwork at the Taconic Sculpture Park is for sale!  So, if something really catches your eye, you can talk with Roy about purchasing it.  You can swing by the park from 9 AM to 5 PM on the weekends, during the warmer months.

WANT MORE?

If that wasn’t enough for you then check out the official site for Kent Falls State Park here: http://www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?A=2716&Q=325228

And here is the official site for the Circle Museum: http://cargocollective.com/circlemuseum

And the official site for the Taconic Sculpture Park: http://www.taconic.net/~kanwit/

And for those of you who want to enjoy Kent Falls without me interrupting the natural beauty, here’s an instrumental version of my stroll through the park:

And as always, here are some more pictures:

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The Highest Point in Ohio and the Chief Leatherlips Monument

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Chief Leatherlips Monument by Ralph Helmick

Chief Leatherlips Monument by Ralph Helmick

If you’re into reaching new heights in exploration and climbing on top of sculptures then you really should check out these places!  I’ve had a goal for a while to travel to the highest points in every single state in the United States, as well as highpoints in Canada and Mexico, and I just recently began working toward that goal, with Ohio’s highpoint.  It’s named Campbell Hill and is currently located inside a fenced-in school area, named the Ohio Hi-Point Career Center. Now, this wasn’t exactly a big challenge, since it’s only 1,549 feet above sea level and you can park right beside the highpoint.  But hey, you have to start somewhere, right?  And it’s cool that they have a logbook and little “certificates of achievement” which you can fill out as proof that you were there.

But after I finished standing on the highest point I could possibly find in Ohio, I headed to see an eleven foot tall, stone sculpture which you’re actually allowed to stand on as well.  The Chief Leatherlips Monument was created by Ralph Helmick, in his unique way of layering things, in honor of an old Wyandot chief who was say to never break a promise, with the white man or his fellow natives.  His life might not have ended too beautifully but the park where the monument is located is said to have been the location of his final hunting camp.

Scioto Park really is a beautiful park, filled with waterfowl, which you’ll soon see when you watch the video below:

HOW DO YOU GET HERE

And just to be sure that you make it to the right locations, I’m going to provide you with directions to the exact spots.  As I said before, you’ll have to drive inside the fenced in area, of the Ohio Hi-Point Career Center in Bellefontaine, Ohio, to get to Ohio’s highpoint, but you can park in a lot right beside the highpoint, which you can see if you CLICK HERE.  The green arrow on the map is where you want to go, and the highpoint is underneath those trees, up and to the right of where you’ll be parking.

But if you want to go check out the Chief Leatherlips monument then you’ll want to head to Dublin, Ohio’s Scioto Park and park where the green arrow is located when you CLICK HERE.  You can actually see the monument off to the left of the parking lot, if you switch to the satellite view; it looks like a white V out in the lawn.

HELPFUL TIPS

If you’re coming to see the highpoint during the day, then you should have no problem driving up to the parking lot, unless it’s a Sunday.  The gate you have to drive through isn’t open at all hours, but they told me that there is a gate you can walk through, at any time of the day.  So, if the gate isn’t open for you to drive through, then just park your car, walk through the smaller gate and you’re good to go!  It won’t be much of a walk, either way.

And, as with most parks, Scioto Park is really only open from dawn to dusk.  Which I don’t think would be much of a problem, since I’m sure most of you like to see places like this during the daylight hours.

WANT MORE?

If that wasn’t enough for you, then I’d like to direct you to my favorite site, when it comes to highpoints, so that you can get more information on Campbell Hill.  You can check that out here: http://www.summitpost.org/campbell-hill/154109

And you can check out more information on Chief Leatherlips here: http://touringohio.com/history/leatherlips.html

And check out more of Ralph Helmick’s artwork here: http://www.helmicksculpture.com

And here are more pictures:

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Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Posted in Art Parks, Getting High on Mountains, Ohio | No Comments »

Whispering Giants and the Grave of Frankenstein

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

Rotaynah - 51st Whispering Giant

Rotaynah – 51st Whispering Giant

If you’re into huge sculptures carved out of wood or interesting tombstones, then you need to check out these places!  Peter Wolf Toth has been carving sculptures out of logs since the early 70s and has created what he calls the Trail of Whispering Giants.  They are carved by hammer and chisel and are made to look like the natives who live in that area.  So far, he has created 74 different Whispering Giants, some of which are 40 feet tall!  There is at least one in every single state of the United States and even a couple in Canada and one in Hungary; the country he was born in.

And you don’t have to travel too far from a couple of these giants to come across a graveyard which includes an interesting family tombstone.  This family may not have been that popular, but they bore a name that a very popular, yet fictional, doctor also shared… and that name is Frankenstein!  I’m not sure about the history of the family, but their family tombstone has become quite a unique “roadside attraction”, if you dare call it that.  And once you’re done searching for interesting family names, you can always head to the William McKinley National Memorial, which was constructed in remembrance of our 25th president.

It’s sometimes hard to come with things to do outside in the winter months, but if you’re just a little bit more observant you’ll come across creative and interesting things like these.  And not even the snow and wind I ran into could ruin a trip to see things like this, which is the beauty behind a little planning.  I saw the 51st and the 6th Whispering Giant on my trip, and it’s a lot different to see these things in person.  The 51st giant is so huge and detailed, and the 6th, although a bit under the weather, adds a little something special to the rest stop, where it is located.  And it was even interesting to see the creative designs and family names in the cemetery, and then to have the giant memorial right next door.

But, I don’t expect you to get too much from this text, or even the pictures, so feel free to explore these locations through the video below:

HOW DO YOU GET HERE?

If you’re curious how to get to any of these locations, then I’ve got your back!  The 51st Whispering Giant is in a field right in front of the Fairlawn Elementary School in Akron, Ohio and if you CLICK HERE you can get directions right to the exact spot.  You can park in the preschool parking lot and walk right over to it.

If you’re interested in seeing the Frankenstein family tombstone, then you’ll want to go to section Z in the Westlawn Cemetery in Canton, Ohio, but you can CLICK HERE for directions to where you need to go.  It’s at the far end of the cemetery and, when you face the tombstone, the Mercy Medical Center is right behind it.  In fact, as you drive around the cemetery, you’ll notice how close you are to the McKinley Memorial too.

And if you want to check out the 6th Whispering Giant as well, then it’s right off of Interstate 80, heading East, in Sharon, Pennsylvania.  It’s right outside of the building at a rest stop, but CLICK HERE to get directions to exactly where you want to go.  You’ll probably need to rest a bit after a long road trip like this anyway!

HELPFUL TIPS

The 51st Whispering Giant is right along a busy road, so be careful if you bring kids with you.  And the Westlawn Cemetery is only open during daylight hours, like most cemeteries, so be sure to get there before it’s too late, because there’s a fence around the whole area.  Oh, and don’t let Google Maps lead you the wrong way down the one way street, right in front of the cemetery.  Lawn Avenue NW is a one way street which starts at the entrance of the cemetery and heads toward 4th Street NW, so if you’re coming off of 4th Street NW then take Lincoln Avenue NW to 7th Street NW and you’ll see the entrance.

WANT MORE?

If that wasn’t enough, then here’s a handy site that shows you pictures, descriptions and locations of the Whispering Giants: http://www.waymarking.com/cat/details.aspx?f=1&guid=8fbd270d-3a97-42ab-8631-b73cf6c32335

And here are more pictures:

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Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Posted in Art Parks, Ohio, Pennsylvania | 1 Comment »

PennDOT Road Sign Art

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Read Between the Signs (PennDOT Road Sign Art)

Read Between the Signs (PennDOT Road Sign Art)

If you’re into art, the outdoors and you love when people beautify a somewhat ugly location then you need to check out “Read Between the Signs”!  This is a project that was carried out by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Arts & Entertainment Initiative from Allegheny College’s Center for Economic and Environmental Development (CEED).  They are an organization who likes to create art to not only bring awareness to environmental problems but also to change how people react to their environment.

And if these recycled road signs, cut into different designs and composed into a long mural, weren’t there then all you’d see is a bunch of trucks and equipment behind PennDOT’s fence.  So, do you think the art changes how you react to that location a bit?  I think so too!  And there are even giant flowers, made out of road signs, in front of their parking lot, from a different project called Signs & Flowers.  These things are anywhere between 10 feet and 12 feet tall and they get really creative with their designs; my favorite is the stop sign flower, with the one way petals.

And if you were to randomly drive by this mural, you’d be pretty amazed at the details and size of it… I mean, it is 1,200 feet long and 9 feet tall!  And it’s composed of all different images that relate to the area, but enough out of me for now.  You can check out my trip here:

HOW DO YOU GET HERE?

If you’re curious about checking out this place yourself, then all you have to do is head to Meadville, Pennsylvania and hop on Route 322.  The mural is right beside Route 322 and you can park in PennDOT’s parking lot (near the giant flowers) or across the street if you like.  But, to make things easier on you, all you have to do is CLICK HERE and you’ll see a map of exactly where you can park, and you can get directions right to this location.

HELPFUL TIPS

There is plenty of room to look at and enjoy the long mural, on foot, up until you get close to the end of the fence, farthest from the building.  There’s a wide patch of grass that you can walk on, in between the road and the fence, but if you have kids you’ll want to keep an eye on them.  You can still walk to the other end of the fence, it’s just that there’s a drainage ditch in front of the fence which really minimizes the area of grass you can walk on.

WANT MORE?

If that wasn’t enough for you, then you can check out their official site here: http://sites.allegheny.edu/ceed/projects/arts-environment-initiative/read-between-the-signs

And here are more pictures:

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Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Posted in Art Parks, Pennsylvania | No Comments »