Rockland Center for the Arts
Story by Clifford Hart
Photos: Courtesy of Rockland Center for the Arts
CORRECTION: We made a mistake in the August/September print and digital issue of the “Wandering” department. The images that were used in the article are from the “Collaborative Concepts Farm Project” not from the ROCA (Rockland Center for the Arts) “Sculpture in the Woods.” The Sculpture in the Woods photos are now here for you to enjoy. Please accept our sincere apologies for this error.
While stone, wood and metal sculptures have graced parks and gardens for centuries, the notion of artwork that truly connects with its surroundings is something that really gained traction with the modernists. Sculptors like Henry Moore and Alexander Calder often considered the surrounding terrain in deciding not only where to locate a work of art but more importantly what that work should be.
When we think of such outdoor sculptures, it’s hard not to envision a monumental creation hovering above a reflecting pool or anchoring a wide swath of lawn. But what about when a sculpture is tucked into a woodland, only reachable via a narrow, winding pathway and only visible up close?
Such creations are currently being presented in the Catherine Konner Sculpture Park at Rockland County Center for the Arts in West Nyack and are a perfect fit with the center’s philosophy of making art—in all its many forms—relevant and accessible.
The center, often referred to by its moniker “RoCA,” was founded 70 years ago by such luminaries as Helen Hayes, Aaron Copland and a host of other artists, writers and performers as a means to deliver art to the local Rockland County community.
And deliver they have. In the decades since its creation, RoCA has hosted numerous and varied exhibitions and performances and has made it their mission to not only provide entertainment but also arts education—presenting special programs geared to local schools as well as popular summer arts camps for local children.
Now, reaching across the Hudson River to team up with Collaborative Concepts, a Garrison-based arts organization, RoCA is putting its best foot forward by not only providing a perfect opportunity for a few fortunate sculptors to present their works, but offering up the perfect venue for appreciating those works as well.
“We know it’s not always easy to get people motivated to take a walking trail through the woods,” RoCA Exhibition and Events Coordinator Barbara Galazzo explained as we meandered the lovely trails, admiring the sculptures. “Our hope is that this will help to connect people with nature and relieve what we call ‘nature deficit disorder.’”
If my visit to the Catherine Konner Sculpture Park was any indication, that goal is being met beautifully. I encountered many people, including some of the sculptors themselves, enjoying the quiet and the beauty of the mostly deciduous forest of eastern Rockland County while taking in various fascinating artistic expressions in sculpted form.
“Some of these sculptures were chosen because they fit so well in this environment,” Galazzo explained. “Others were actually created by the artists for their specific locations right here at RoCA,” she added, pointing to one work that was actually made from local materials—i.e. sticks, rocks and other natural objects found in the nearby woods.
Needless to say, a visit to RoCA and its Sculpture in the Woods exhibit is guaranteed to provide an interesting and enjoyable experience for anyone looking to view innovative sculpture in a natural setting. And who knows? It may also help to relieve a little nature deficit disorder. The exhibit will be on view until April 30th, 2018, and is free and open to the public from dawn to dusk. Rockland Center for the Arts is located at 27 S. Greenbush Rd., West Nyack, NY. For more information, visit www.rocklandartcenter.org or call 845.358.0877.