Pin It

Portfolio: Rock Star Meadow 

click to enlarge Rock Star Meadow in Lake Hill, a - sculptural installation 20 years in the making.
  • Deborah DeGraffenreid
  • Rock Star Meadow in Lake Hill, a sculptural installation 20 years in the making.

A lifelong obsession with art-making can begin in strange ways. In Nick Della Penna's case, he wanted to build a wall between himself and his neighbor on four acres he owns in Lake Hill. "The need to put a boundary between myself and an irascible neighbor—a physical barrier—it was that silly and innocent," Della Penna says. The original wall was designed to follow the contour of Mount Tobias, which frames the property's skyline to the northwest.

Twenty years later, the former Long Island third-grade teacher has transformed his field into an idiosyncratic sculptural installation akin to the bric-a-brac assemblages of Simon Rodia's Watts Towers. Like Rodia, Della Penna and collaborator Estelle Ross had no prior artistic training, and they learned how to build the walls, archways, portholes, grottos, and sculptural filigrees of Rock Star Meadow in the doing. "Everything is experimenting," says Della Penna, "responding to the vision, to what's already there, and doing things you haven't done before to keep you excited and to keep from getting bored."

click to enlarge Estelle Ross and Nick Della Penna.
  • Deborah DeGraffenreid
  • Estelle Ross and Nick Della Penna.

The work continues to this day, with Della Penna and Ross currently building a 10-foot tall stone archway over the entrance drive. When asked how he'll know the work is finished, Della Penna is blunt. "When I can no longer move," he says. "Age brings with it a sense of finality, so now there's even more drive behind the work."

Rock Star Meadow is a monumental vision, albeit a private one. Although Route 212, a busy thoroughfare connecting Woodstock and Phoenicia, is just 100 yards from the meadow, few people know of its existence. This is going to change this month. On July 27, Chronogram and KMOCA will host a reception at Rock Star Meadow from 3-5pm. The site is another of the Hudson Valley's singular creations. The meadow is located at 4145 Route 212 in Lake Hill, next to the Lake Hill Firehouse. For more information, e-mail kmocagallery@gmail.com.

Speaking of...

  • Nick Della Penna and Estelle Ross's sculptural installation in Lake Hill.

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • On the Cover: Robert Otto Epstein

    Robert Otto Epstein hand-grids his canvases and paints patterns with vivid '80s hues.
    • Sep 1, 2016
  • Parting Shot: Lisa Durfee

    Lisa Durfee’s documentation of unnoticed parts of shabby chic Hudson currently being shown at the Hudson Opera House.
    • Feb 1, 2017

Hudson Valley Events

submit event

Spring Annual Yard Sale

Sat., April 22, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and Sun., April 23, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. — Annual Yard Sale in support of our Veterans....
ZviDance @ Kaatsbaan International Dance Center

ZviDance

Sat., April 22, 7:30-9:30 p.m. and Sun., April 23, 2:30-4:30 p.m.

View all of today's events

Latest in Visual Art

  • GARNER Arts Festival –  May 20/21 – 11am – 6pm, Rain or Shine
  • GARNER Arts Festival – May 20/21 – 11am – 6pm, Rain or Shine

    GARNER Arts Festival celebrates art with exhibitions, performances, open studios, workshops and demonstrations throughout 14 acres of pre-Civil War industrial spaces. Food trucks, kids’ art workshops, and on on-site craft brewery round out the weekend. Kids under 14 free!
    • Apr 13, 2017
  • On The Cover: John Fallon
  • On The Cover: John Fallon

    "Performance: Paintings by John Fallon" are on exhibit through May 31 at Gillette's FRG Objects & Design/ Art gallery, on the second floor at 217 Warren Street in Hudson.
    • Apr 1, 2017
  • Engage Film Series at Upstate Films
  • Engage Film Series at Upstate Films

    Upstate Films will be kicking off their Engage Film Series with I Am Not Your Negro on April 1.
    • Apr 1, 2017
  • More »

Related to Visual Art

More by Brian K. Mahoney

Hudson Valley Tweets