Busy schedules often put us smack dab in the middle of stress and monotonous routines that leave precious little room (if any at all) for some you time. But health and wellness isn’t just about eating right and squeezing in workouts a few nights a week. Sometimes you need to disconnect. Log off, get up and go appreciate some of the beauty that is often a blur because you have to keep on hustling for that paycheck.
We’ve rounded up some of the most breathtaking sculpture parks around the nation — and a couple beyond — because you deserve to relax, to take in some art and air and to treat yourself.
Nestled on nearly three acres in the heart of the city, the two terraced gardens are home to 34 sculptures ranging from Auguste Rodin’s striding Balzac (1892) to Alexander Calder’s soaring red 100 Yard Dash (1969), and provide a 100-year survey of sculpture from the figural to the abstract. The BMA’s Sculpture Gardens are free to the public and open Wednesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to dusk, and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to dusk.
Maryhill Museum of Art began its Outdoor Sculpture Invitational in 1996 to complement its extensive collection of Auguste Rodin sculptures and to give Northwest artists an opportunity to exhibit large-scale works. The success and popularity of the Invitational inspired the museum to permanently collect outdoor sculpture for its gardens and grounds. In 1997 the museum began a permanent collection of outdoor sculpture with the commission of a site-specific sculpture for the eastern edge of the grounds by noted architect Brad Cloepfil. The work, Maryhill Overlook, is the first in a series that was conceived as the Sitings Project. It is the focal point of the museum’s Lewis and Clark Overlook and Native Plant Garden. Access to the outdoor sculpture collection is free.
Gilgal Sculpture Garden was envisioned, designed and created by Thomas Battersby Child Jr. in the mid-twentieth century. Tucked in the middle of the block behind houses and businesses, the sculpture garden contains 12 original sculptures and more than 70 stones engraved with scriptures, poems and literary texts. It touts itself as the only identified “visionary art environment” in Utah. There is no admission charge.
The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden occupies approximately five acres in City Park adjacent to the New Orleans Museum of Art. The garden design creates outdoor viewing spaces within a picturesque landscape. A reconfigured lagoon bisects the site and creates two distinct halves: a mature pine and magnolia grove adjacent to the museum, and a more open area of 200-year-old, Spanish moss-laden live oaks across the lagoon near the New Orleans Botanical Gardens. The sculpture garden has grown from its inception in 2003 to include 64 sculptures, most of them donated to NOMA by the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Foundation. The gardens are open seven days a week with free admission, and are closed only on official holidays.
Located one hour north of New York City, in the Hudson Valley, Storm King Art Center is widely celebrated as one of the world’s leading sculpture parks, and has welcomed visitors from across the globe for 50 years. Its pristine 500-acre landscape of fields, hills and woodlands provides the setting for a collection of more than 100 carefully sited sculptures created by some of the most acclaimed artists of our time.