Each year, on the first Saturday of the program, Art Ready students take a bus trip to Dia: Beacon and Storm King Art Center in upstate New York. These unique art spaces challenge traditional notions of the museum: Dia: Beacon is a converted factory building divided into different galleries, each showcasing a single artist’s sculpture and installation work, much of it designed to respond to the building’s architecture and natural surroundings.
Art Ready students received a guided tour of Dia featuring works by Louise Bourgeois, Richard Serra, Andy Warhol, Robert Smithson, and Sol Lewitt, among other notable artists. Unfortunately, photography was not allowed inside the museum, but it was hard for the group to forget such artworks as Bourgeois’s monumental Crouching Spider sculpture (2003) squatting precariously on eight metal legs as if ready to pounce, or the 20-foot deep depressions (“negative sculptures”) carved into the gallery floor by Michael Heizer (in his North, East, South, West installation).
Michael Heizer, North, East, South, West, 1967/2002. Dia Art Foundation;
gift of Lannan Foundation. Photo: Tom Vinetz. (http://www.diabeacon.org/exhibitions/introduction/83)
After a picnic lunch, the bus took the group to the nearby Storm King Art Center in the hilly Hudson Highlands of Mountainville, NY. Storm King is a an outdoor museum that “celebrates the relationship between sculpture and nature.” It features huge sculptures by internationally renowned artists situated on 500 acres of landscaped lawns, fields, and woodlands. Storm King is especially striking in the fall, with the bright and earthy tones of the sculptures set against a backdrop of changing autumn leaves.
Mark DiSuvero, Mother Peace (1969-70)
Upon arrival, The Art Ready group caught a ride on the Storm King tram, which transports visitors across the expansive grounds and features an audio tour highlighting each major sculpture along the way: Including works by Alexander Calder, Mark DiSuvero, and Alexander Liberman, most at least as tall as New York City buildings.
Alexander Calder, The Arch (1975)
The group disembarked the tram at Maya Lin’s Storm King Wave Field to take a closer look at this rolling earthwork. We walked alongside Andy Goldsworthy’s Storm King Wall, a long, winding low brick wall resembling a mini castle fortress, and over a hill of tall grasses past other monumental and sometimes interactive artworks.
Looking through Chakaia Booker’s A Moment of Time (2004), made of rubber tires, stainless steel, and wood
The tour culminated at the Storm King museum building, which features some rotating indoor and outdoor exhibits of smaller sculpture. A glass elevator ride up to the museum allowed for some splendid bird’s eye views!