Beauty Amongst Us
One of the things I appreciate most in this world is beauty. And while loveliness can take many forms, I’m especially fond of the raw beauty found in nature and beauty as a form of artistic expression.
That’s why my tour of the Djerassi sculpture gardens, more than 130 site-inspired sculptures nestled in 538 acres above Woodside, California, was such a treat.
An Artist Escape
The sculpture gardens are part of the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, a non-profit organization that provides month-long residencies to artists – visual artists, dancers and writers. A highly competitive program, the artists hail from 46 states and 51 countries, each cherishing the time and space to create, think, or simply just be.
While there are about a dozen tours of the Djerassi lands each year, most of the spots are instantly reserved. That was why I was so lucky to attend one of the Director’s Tours, personally guided by my friend Margot, the organization’s Executive Director.
Joining a group, I and my two friends Joanne and Marshall, both artists, thoroughly enjoyed the 4+ hour hike through the hills. It was truly a wonderful day as we were greeted by a new piece of art around each bend in the trail. Situated within the natural environment, each piece was entirely unexpected and was given as a gift by one of the artists during their residency.
What I loved most was that the art was created with the knowledge that it would decay naturally in the outside elements. So you have both the beauty of the sculpture, as well as the beauty of the California landscape coming together.
Before I reveal my favorite finds, I want to share how you too can take part in this amazing experience!
- Visit During the Annual Open House – Sunday, July 19: Once a year the Djerassi grounds are open to the public, including children. Spots are limited, so be sure and RSVP immediately if you wish to attend.
- Volunteer as a Docent: Interested in leading a guided walk? You can! Sign up to learn how to become one of the sculpture hike leaders.
- Attend the Artful Harvest Dinner – Sunday, Oct. 11: Support the artist program at this annual event.
- Help Maintain Trails: Do you like to get a little dirty while volunteering? Help is needed to maintain the trails and clear brush.
- Make a Donation: Artists don’t pay a penny during their residencies. Instead all funding is raised privately via foundations and individuals like us. I made a donation, joining the Djerassi Circle. Why don’t you join me?!
In the Eye of the Beholder
And now, here are a few of my favorite pieces:
Nicole Buffett, The Guardians, 2013
Colorful balls are set underneath a barn roof so that rays of light shine upon them. I was mesmerized by the ingenuity and activity of this piece.
John Roloff, Vanishing Ship, 1989
A steel and glass sculpture that appears to be sinking into the surrounding grasses. I’m drawn to the unexpectedness of the boat being submerged by grasses.
Alyssa Neglia, Roots to Crown, 2006
The artist upholsters a redwood stump, creating a throne. What’s not to love about a piece of art you can sit on?!
I encourage you to visit the Djerassi grounds yourself and find your own favorite pieces!
This entry was posted on Thursday, June 25th, 2015 and is filed under Hot Orgs.