Dreamy Weddings and Afternoon Daydreams: Exploring Storm King Art Center
An hour north of New York City, Storm King Art Center is home to one of the most expansive collections of outdoor sculpture in the United States. According to the information you’ll find on the internet, the center covers about five hundred acres, it was opened in 1960 by Ralph E. Ogden, and by 1967 it had established itself as one of the most intriguing art and experience destinations in upstate New York. Storm King’s permanent collection includes works by David Smith, Alexander Calder, Richard Serra, Henry Moore, and Roy Lichtenstein. You can rent a bike or take a trolley tour of the enormous grounds, where you can picnic on the hills or lay out on a blanket and daydream. In 2015 Storm King is held in such high regard that event the Museum of Modern Art has lent works to the park, which seems to grow more beautiful and contemplative every season.
What the internet won’t tell you is that in the summer the grass is captivatingly green, and that there’s no better place to lie on your back looking up at the enormous sculptures looming above. You can roll down the hills, letting your body swoop and curve where they swoop and curve. There’s also nothing quite like stumbling across a gigantic Three Legged Buddha in a field of wildflowers, or coming across Alexander Liberman’s Adonai in the middle of a field.
In the fall, the grass turns golden and the birch trees droop into the pond, which itself reflects the art standing next to it. There’s a wild and absolute joy that me and nine other twenty-two year-olds felt on climbing out of rental cars to the sight of thousands of fallen fall leaves, amber and glinting in the autumn light. The South Fields, home to the Mark di Suvero sculptures, boast the kind of awe-inspiring view that can make a person forget about the to do lists and crunch that come with life in the big city that is constantly humming a few dozen miles south.
For day trips to Storm King, we recommend bringing a picnic or stopping along the way at Blue Hill at Stone Barns. Blue Hill’s Café & Grain Bar is fully-stocked with locally-made goods, fresh lattes, fruit, and fresh baked goods. You can take your salad on the road, eat it at one of the picnic tables, or wander around the grounds. If you head over on a weekend, there’s a high chance you’ll make the farmers market and come away with fresh flowers and a pie. If you’re on the road early, they sell Blue Hill’s beloved savory yogurts in the store, which is one of our favorite general and garden goods stores in or out of the city.
Storm King is the perfect distance for both a day trip and a pre-planned event, whether it be summer fest party or wedding. They hold only one private event a day, and it books up fast, so make sure to plan ahead. With a variety of available locations that are set up to accommodate over two hundred people, they’re well-prepped in event planning and execution. Really: what could be better than eating dinner or dancing the night away in the shadow of Storm King’s South Fields? We can’t think of anywhere else we would rather celebrate.