Sculpture Trails Outdoor Museum is nestled in the woods south of Spencer in Greene County. Easy, well-marked trails guide visitors through over 150 sculptures strategically placed to compliment both the artwork and the setting.
The peaceful solitude of nature and art flow together in a harmonious dance at this unique property. Wander among ferns and wildflowers, hearing acorns falling and a turkey calling in the distance. Sculptures are numbered and a trail map gives the names of the pieces and artists. I was able to view sculptures from a variety of angles because of their beautiful placement among the trees.
The sculpture collection includes donated pieces, two-year juried exhibits by Trails Artists and sculptures made on the property. Owners Gerald and Lisa Masse began putting Gerry and his friends’ sculptures around the property. The museum was founded in 2002. “People just started showing up,” says Lisa.
The property provides art education and an outdoor sculpture experience to the community. Artists will find career development opportunities available here as well. During workshops, “older folks are happy to teach younger ones,” says Gerry. Tours for school groups, including “pour and tour” events, are an important part of the couple’s mission. “It’s all about those kids! You have to show them early.”
Sculpture Trails Outdoor Museum is free and open seven days a week, 10 am to sunset. Plan a trip in July to watch artists create forms, pour hot metals and create new artwork for the trails. “The property is always going to change and will never be done,” Gerry muses with a smile.
Heading south from Sculpture Trails, I stop for lunch at Yoho General Store in Solsberry. Talking with a group of hunters at the next table, they tell me I have to visit Tulip Trestle – “You won’t believe how big it is,” one of the men say.
Six miles west of Solsberry, Tulip Trestle spans Richland Creek Valley. The recently completed observation deck offers a grand view of the 2,295-foot railroad trestle, the third longest in the world. Driving underneath the trestle gave me another great view of this impressive structure.
Stopping by Owen Valley Winery’s Harvest Moon Festival on the way home, I got to observe a pour demonstration by Sculpture Trails Outdoor Museum artists. Guests were carving scratch block tiles and bowls from silicon sand/polyester resin forms. Masse and his crew poured hot aluminum into the molds and excited beginners walked away with original pieces of art.
“Forest Dancing” by Andrew Light, Lexington, KY