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Plan a Visit to Storm King Art Center!

Plan a Visit to Storm King Art Center!

Known to be one of the world’s leading sculpture parks, Storm King Art Center is a 500-acre outdoor museum that brings together art, nature, and music through visionary designs and inspiring exhibits. With the largest collection of contemporary outdoor sculptures, Storm King Art Center has a diverse assortment of monumental works as well as beautiful surrounding mountains and forests to explore.

We had the pleasure of interviewing Alex Mandigo, the Museum Store Coordinator, to learn more about Storm King Art Center and what it has to offer!

Read below to learn more about the grounds, gift shop, how to support the museum, and more!

Tell us about yourself and your position at Storm King Art Center!

I’m Alex Mandigo (she/her), and I am the Museum Store Coordinator for Storm King Art Center. Born and raised in the Hudson Valley, I moved from Dutchess County to Orange County in 2017. In my free time you can typically find me reading some type of fantasy novel, taking care of my various indoor/outdoor plants, or enjoying time with my family.

When and how did you start working at Storm King Art Center?

I started at Storm King Art Center in May of 2019 as an attendant. I had been working some part time jobs, I was at a fairly transitional time in my career and really wanted to do something I enjoyed for work. My wife actually suggested Storm King, my interview was my first visit and I fell in love with the site. I’ve worked in museums as an attendant before, but the bonus of working outside was a big plus for me. In 2020 I was promoted to Team Lead and now I'm excited to continue my journey at Storm King as the Store Coordinator.

We recently learned that Storm King Art Center is the third largest outdoor art museum in the world! In your opinion, what do you think makes Storm King so special? Can you tell us a little more about the grounds?

We are definitely one of the largest! Storm King is so different from a traditional museum experience and as a result appeals to a much larger demographic than your typical museum goer. There’s an air of relaxation when you're out on the grounds exploring the different atmospheres. Where else can you sit on a bench and admire a Roy Lichtenstein piece in the middle of a pond while experiencing the turtles sunning themselves and a family of geese gliding past on the water?

Can you tell us more about the Founders?

Storm King was founded in 1960 by Ralph Ogden and Peter Stern, a father and son-in-law who were co-owners of the Star Expansion Company, based in Mountainville, New York. Although Storm King was originally envisioned as a museum devoted to Hudson River School painting, Ogden and Stern quickly became committed to modern sculpture. Early collection works were sited directly outside the Museum Building as part of a formal garden scheme. However, with the 1967 purchase of thirteen works from the estate of sculptor David Smith (whose studio was in Bolton Landing, NY), Storm King began to place sculpture directly in the landscape. Since then, every work has been sited with consideration of both its immediate surroundings and distant views.

Are there any new exhibits that are launching this year? Any upcoming events (or projects) that you’re excited about?

Two special exhibitions have recently opened for the season: Wangechi Mutu and Outlooks: Brandon Ndife. Brandon’s exhibition is his first outdoor project and features a site-specific, large-scale sculpture of domestic items, such as chairs and bedposts, cast in resin. It is titled Shade Tree and installed in Storm King’s Maple Rooms, an area with large trees that are an essential and ever-changing part of the viewing experience. Wangechi Mutu is presenting new bronze sculptures installed on Storm King’s Museum Hill, as well as smaller-scale works made from soil, wood, paper pulp, horn, and bone, all collected around the artist’s studio in Kenya. Those are installed in the indoor galleries, adjacent to the Museum Store. 

What is your favorite art installation and why?

My favorite permanent installation is Schunnemunk Fork by Richard Serra. I love how the piece itself is so much more than the planks inserted into the landscape, it’s also all the natural elements around it, including the actual Schunnemunk Mountain in the background of the piece. It didn’t appeal to me at first, but as I interacted with it more and learned more about it while on different tours of the Art Center, it quickly moved up the ranks.

How can people support the Storm King Art Center?

There are many ways to support Storm King! You can visit or become a Member, make a purchase in the Museum Store (or online), donate to one of our annual fundraising campaigns, or attend a special event. We have an event coming up on June 25th: A Summer Night, featuring an open-air performance by singer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Vagabon, along with food trucks and family art-making activities.

Can you give us more details about The Storm King Art Center’s Annual Gala?

Storm King’s annual gala is the chance for the Art Center to thank our supporters and honor people who have made meaningful contributions in the fields of visual arts, landscape, and nature conservation with the Storm King Award. This year’s event is on October 15th, and it is very exciting because we are honoring Storm King’s own David Collens, who became Director Emeritus this year after nearly 50 years as Director & Chief Curator. He spearheaded Richard Serra’s Schunnemunk Fork, among many other artist commissions at Storm King. 

What are some benefits of becoming a member at Storm King Art Center?

Members receive free admission all year, and do not need to reserve a ticket in advance. Storm King also hosts Member-only hours on Sunday mornings and Member-only programs such as exhibition previews, tours, and family events. There are discounts at the Outdoor Café and bike rentals for Members, and for special events like A Summer Night, tickets are available to Members first. There’s also the overall benefit of being able to enjoy all that Storm King has to offer, such as visiting during the different seasons or joining one of our weekly programs, like yoga. 

Are there any nature walks or hiking trails within Storm King Art Center?

Storm King is best experienced on foot, so we have lots of different walking paths! Walking paths on-site range from wooded hiking trails to gravel walkways to paved pathways. Sticking to the paved path, which totals about 3.5 miles, will bring you along a comprehensive tour of our major pieces and if you get tired of walking, the tram has stops along the way to help you get around a little faster. I love walking the Moodna Creek trail and looking for the various installations that are part of Permanent Field Observations by David Brooks. There are many pieces of cast-bronze natural objects along the trail, and I have yet to find all of them! Also, on our new app, Bloomberg Connects, there are new recommended walking tours!

Has Storm King Art Center ever been featured on television or movies?

We have! The two most notable are the Netflix series Master of None, where the characters Dev and Francesca spend an idyllic fall day exploring the grounds; and Inventing Anna, the series about Anna Delvey (an actual person) who convinced New York's elite she was a German heiress. Storm King was featured in a scene where Anna accompanies a donor to a fundraising benefit at the Art Center (not an actual person or event!) 

What’s your favorite go-to from The Outdoor Cafe?

That depends on the weather! The mozzarella, pesto, and roasted cherry tomato baguette with lemonade is my go-to warm weather order and the Cowgirl Vegetarian Chili for the colder months. The picnic tables in the North Woods near the stream are my favorite place to eat, it’s shady with lots of sculptures within view and little critters to observe.

What’s your favorite thing about working here?

The nature! I love seeing the family of turkeys as a drive up the hill in the morning, a Baltimore Oriole having it out with a Blue Jay in the trees of the North Woods, hearing the coyote pups playing in the tall grasses of the Meadows, watching the sunset at the end of the day from the observation deck. It’s such a magical place to be and work. Also, I can’t forget the people I work with too! I really have the most supportive team and we have fun together even though we’re working.

We heard that the gift shop is reopening in May 2022 for in-person shopping again! We were wondering how the pandemic impacted the store and its operations? What should people expect when the doors officially open? 

We are so excited to open the doors after two long years! Storm King’s 2020 season opened a bit late, in July, and it was outdoor only. Since the onsite Museum Store remained closed, we brought in some vending machines for small merchandise (hats, notebooks) and comfort items (SPF, hand sanitizer), and still had the online store for larger items. Even with the Museum Store back open, are going to keep the vending machines, as they act as satellite stores for visitors if they're in other parts of the Art Center. 

YOU CAN FOLLOW STORM KING ART CENTER ON INSTAGRAM AT @STORMKINGARTCENTER

ARTWORK CREDITS:

Joel Shapiro, Untitled, 1994. Gift of Sony Corporation of America. Generous support also provided by
Georgina T. and Thomas A. Russo © 2021 Joel Shapiro / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Mark
di Suvero, Pyramidian, 1987/1998. Gift of the Ralph E. Ogden Foundation © Mark di Suvero, courtesy of
the artist and Spacetime C.C.
Lynda Benglis, North South East West, 1988/2009/2014–15. Courtesy the artist and Pace Gallery © 2021
Lynda Benglis / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY.
Mark Dion, Storm King Environmental Field Station, 2019. Courtesy the artist and Tanya Bonakdar
Gallery, New York/Los Angeles. Mark di Suvero, Neruda’s Gate, 2005. Lent by the artist and Spacetime
C.C., New York © Mark di Suvero, courtesy of the artist and Spacetime C.C.
Wangechi Mutu, Poems by my Great Grandmother I, 2017. Courtesy the artist and Gladstone Gallery.
Brandon Ndife, Shade Tree.
Wangechi Mutu, Crocodylus, 2020. Courtesy the artist and Gladstone Gallery. [Photo by David Regen]
Mark di Suvero, Pyramidian, 1987/1998. Gift of the Ralph E. Ogden Foundation © Mark di Suvero,
courtesy of the artist and Spacetime C.C.
Wangechi Mutu, In Two Canoe, 2022. Courtesy the artist and Gladstone Gallery.
Wangechi Mutu, Shavasana II, 2019. Courtesy the artist and Gladstone Gallery.
Joel Shapiro, Untitled, 1994. Gift of Sony Corporation of America. Generous support also provided by
Georgina T. and Thomas A. Russo © 2021 Joel Shapiro / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Mark
di Suvero, Pyramidian, 1987/1998. Gift of the Ralph E. Ogden Foundation © Mark di Suvero, courtesy of
the artist and Spacetime C.C.
Mark di Suvero, Pyramidian, 1987/1998. Gift of the Ralph E. Ogden Foundation © Mark di Suvero,
courtesy of the artist and Spacetime C.C.

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