Not all art is meant to be constrained to museums or galleries. Some of the finest and most creative works have been and are being created for gardens, streets, and farms, where the outdoor setting provides both a frame and a backdrop for the artists’ works. Connecticut has several such gardens, parks and even city streets where works of this type can be viewed. Here are just five of the top places to see outdoor art on display in Connecticut.
Kouros Gallery And Sculpture Garden
150 Mopos Bridge Road
Ridgefield, CT 06877
Recently expanded to include 75 works by local, national, and international artists, the Sculpture Garden at the Kouros Gallery is not just a collection of art treasures, but also a work of art itself. Laid out in such a way to make the best use of natural light as well as to incorporate the trees, flowers, bushes and walks, the gardens provide a serene and delightful setting to allow visitors to commune with an appreciate the sculptures. The accompanying indoor gallery nicely complements the outdoor collection with photographs, paintings, smaller sculptures, and other works of art that can not be exposed to the elements.
David Hayes Sculpture Fields
905 South St.
Coventry, CT 06238
While the works of renowned and prolific sculptur David Hayes can be found in some of the world’s leading galleries and museums, the largest single collection of his art is on display outdoors on the grounds of the late artist’s farm in Coventry, Connecticut. While viewing is by appointment only, Hayes’ son, who manages the collection, is very accomodating about visitors who want to learn more about or who have already come to appreciate his father’s art. Most of the sculptures are tucked away in a fruit orchard, around a pond, and on paths throughout the property, and their arrangement is itself a work of art.
Bruce Museum’s 35th Annual Outdoor Arts Festival
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT 06830
Every Columbus Day Weekend the Bruce Museum in Greenwich hosts an entertaining outdoor arts festival. This year, its 35th, the festival will be held on October 8th and 9th. The festival features works by contemporary artists including sculptors, painters, photographers, and those who work in mixed and other media. Performance and street artists as well as many other types of artists are usually in attendance, and there are booths where families and young aspiring artists can learn how to create their own works of art.
Hogpen Hills Farms
100 Weekeepeemee Road
Woodbury, CT 06798
A six-part megalith that looks like part of Stonehenge, and an interplanetary spaceship which incorporates an Airstream trailer are just two of the many large and unique attractions created by noted artist Edward Tufte that are at the core of the outdoor exhibit at Hogpen Hills Farms. Those and other works of art are displayed on the farm in such a way as to make the most of the rural and scenic backdrop, and thus act as a natural frame for the art. Self-guiding walking tour maps help visitors navigate, see and appreciate the many truly monumental works on display.
New London Mural Walk
State St. and Eugene O’Neill Drive
New London, CT 06320
(860) 443- 8001
The City of New London embarked a few years ago on a massive outdoor art project to create the “Wall to Wall Mural Walk.” Nine massive murals are now on display at separate locations in a six block square part of the city. Three of these can be found near the corner of State Street and Eugene O’Neil Drive, near the older and famous Whale Mural. For more information on the art and artists which are part of the mural walk project, call Hygenic Art, at the number shown above.
Related: Five Must-See Museums In Connecticut
Mark G. McLaughlin is a professional and prolific writer with a proven publishing record in a wide variety of fields. An historian, novelist, freelance journalist, ghost-writer, book reviewer, magazine editor, web and magazine columnist, Mark has more than 30 years of experience. His work can be found at Examiner.com.