Main image: Mark di Suvero: Mother of Peace, 1969-70. Gift of the Ralph E. Ogden Foundation. ©Mark di Suvero, courtesy of the artist and Spacetime CC, NY. Photo: Storm King Art Center ©2020
Located in the town of Cornwall, Storm King Art Center has been and continues to be a leader in the art scene in the Hudson Valley.
There are few things better than spending an afternoon at the Storm King Art Center admiring the impressive large-scale sculptures and how they interact with the landscape. The beauty of the 500-acre art center is that it’s always changing, whether it’s with the weather, the season, or the introduction of a new exhibit.
Coming soon, Storm King will welcome even more changes to support a better, more engaging visitor experience in the Hudson Valley.
Set to be completed in 2024, a new $45 million capital project will bring an unparalleled visitor experience to the Storm King Art Center, as well as increased space opportunities for art and artists. The backbone of the project is sustainability, focusing on preserving the art center for future generations while contributing to the betterment of the environment.
A brief history of Storm King Art Center
Storm King Art Center is a non-profit organization that opened to the public in 1960. It was founded by the Star Expansion Company, co-owned by the late Ralph E. Ogden and H. Peter Stern. The Ralph E. Ogden Foundation provided the initial gift of what is now the museum building. The Star Expansion Company later donated 300 adjacent acres. Although the art center was originally intended to be for Hudson River School painting, by 1961 the vision had focused more on modern sculpture. By 1967, the purchase of 13 works by the David Smith Sculpture Estate led to the placement of sculptures directly into the landscape.
New welcome sequence
At the entrance to the property, there will be a series of accessible kiosks to meet the immediate needs of visitors. These kiosks will offer group orientation space, new restrooms, group gathering areas and will be in an entirely new parking area. The existing north and south car parks will be removed with the introduction of the welcome sequence, which will reduce visitor interaction with vehicles while on site. The pavilions will be built with natural materials to remain respectful of the landscape.
Storm King Art Center aims to make the venue experience more accessible by adding public transit drop-off space for up to eight buses and shuttles, as well as a rideshare drop-off location. The new parking lot will have 580 parking spaces, 12 vehicle charging stations and dedicated ADA parking spaces near the entrance. 122 visitor lockers, an all-gender bathroom, two accessible/family rooms, an infant room and a medical room in the welcome area will be added. There will also be increased capacity for school buses and field trips.
New pathways throughout the site will be built to universal design standards, making it accessible to visitors of all mobility levels. Everything, including the ticket counter and the new bathroom sinks, will be built to universal standards, making it the right height for visitors of all mobility and body types. Storm King also hopes to expand the vehicles/mobility devices visitors can rent at the bike kiosk, attracting a diverse audience.
Sustainability and conservation at the Storm King Art Center
Storm King will lead the way for sustainability after the completion of the capital project. For the project, the arts center plans to build only what is needed to reduce energy demand. In line with New York’s goals for future carbon neutrality, all-electric building systems will be introduced. Solar panels will be placed on the welcome sequence. Sustainable and durable materials will be used in all new buildings to extend the life of the building and limit long-term maintenance requirements.
A new 19,375-square-foot conservation, production and maintenance building will benefit the sculptures and artists. Instead of having to move massive sculptures many kilometers for repairs, there will now be space on site to bring them indoors. The Conservation, Production and Maintenance Building will have five large access doors to bring art in and out. This building will also be a place for artists to create new works.
The removal of the north and south car parks and the planting of new species throughout the site will benefit the ecosystem and wildlife that inhabit the property. Red maple, sugar maple, northern red oak, flowering dogwood, witch hazel, Virginia rose, Christmas fern and many other species will be planted on the grounds.
The design team
Working with architects heneghan peng, WXY architecture + urban design, Reed Hilderbrand and Gustafson Porter + Bowman, Storm King Art Center hopes to ensure that the introduction of new buildings and structures will blend seamlessly into the landscape. Embracing the concept of the “porch,” as Amy S. Weisser, deputy director of strategic planning and projects at Storm King, describes it, there will be no unnecessary interior space. The purpose of Storm King is to direct your gaze to the depth of the landscape and the many outdoor views that the art center has to offer. “Buildings are the way to art – not the experience itself – we’re working on this porch idea, [so] you don’t have to go inside,’ Weisser notes.
Storm King is grateful for the project support from the City of Cornwall and City Manager Joshua Wojciechowski. Weisser notes that “we are also excited that this project will be accessible to our neighbors,” as the Storm King Art Center is and will continue to be one of the great treasures of the Hudson Valley. Learn more on the Storm King website.
Related: See more art at Hudson Valley sculpture parks