Storm King to Get $45 Million Revamp | Hudson Valley Events Round-Ups | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine
click to enlarge Storm King to Get $45 Million Revamp
Photo by Jerry L. Thompson
Mark di Suvero, Pyramidian, 1987/1998. Gift of the Ralph E. Ogden Foundation. ©Mark di Suvero, courtesy the artist and Spacetime C.C., New York.

When it comes to arts attractions in the Hudson Valley, few art appreciators, casual or serious, will argue that outdoor sculpture mecca Storm King Art Center reigns supreme among must-see regional sites. Opened in 1960 on land donated by industrialists Ralph Ogden and Peter Stern, Storm King (named for nearby Storm King Mountain) started as a museum dedicated to Hudson River School painters, but in the following year changed its focus to modern sculpture and begun expanding its footprint.

Today, the 500-acre museum in the Mountainville area of New Windsor draws hundreds of thousands of visitors a year and has one of the world’s largest collections of contemporary outdoor sculpture, with massive works by Alexander Calder, Richard Serra, Isamu Noguchi, and others. And now Storm King itself is about to get even more massive, and better overall.

click to enlarge Storm King to Get $45 Million Revamp
Photo: Storm King Art Center ©2020
View of the South Fields, all works by Mark di Suvero. From left to right: Pyramidian, 1987/1998. She, 1977-78. Private Collection. Mon Père, 1973-75. Mother Peace, 1969-70. Except where noted, all works Gift of the Ralph E.Ogden Foundation. ©Mark di Suvero, courtesy theartist and Spacetime C.C., NY.

Recently the center’s administration announced the coming of a $45 million capital project—its first ever—this fall that will dramatically transform the park’s environmental and artistic vision by expanding and overhauling its grounds and hospitality components. Visitor numbers at the park totaled 80,000 in 2012, rose to almost 222,000 last year, and are expected to top 240,000 this year. In a move aimed at meeting the increasing numbers of visitors that the social-distancing-friendly Storm King started seeing in the wake of the pandemic, the project is designed to more easily enable the on-premises making and exhibition of new works while better sustaining the property’s environmental diversity and improving its visitors’ overall experience.

“When we had our 50th anniversary, in 2010, the [center’s] board met and we started talking about what we could do to make Storm King even better for the people who visit and how to make it a more sustainable place overall,” says John P. Stern, Storm King’s president. “So it’s really exciting to see these new plans coming to fruition.”

A key feature of the new project will be the consolidation of the center’s multiple parking lots into a single lot with spaces for 580 cars, thereby opening 4.5 acres of the landscape for more art displays and other programming. The centralized lot will offer electric vehicle recharging stations, special spots for rideshare vehicles, and improved access for shuttles and buses.

click to enlarge Storm King to Get $45 Million Revamp
Image © Storm King Art Center
Rendering of new welcome sequence at Storm KingArt Center. Background right: Alexander Calder,The Arch, 1975. Purchase fund and gift of the Ralph E.Ogden Foundation © 2021 Calder Foundation, NewYork/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

New construction will also include a 19,375-square-foot conservation/fabrication/maintenance facility with 22-foot ceilings; several large access doors; a 1,000-square-foot wood shop; an 800-square-foot paint booth; and other workspaces. The new building will see Storm King better able to accommodate artists in residence, particularly those taking part in its Outlooks program, which showcases the work of new and rising artists, and its ongoing residency partnership with Shandaken Projects.

“We’ve never had a purpose-built museum here,” Stern explains. “Our main building is an old farmhouse, which has been very limiting in terms of what we can show and do. Besides being larger and structured with the artists and maintenance operations in mind, the new building will be much more flexible and adaptable to different uses. And the new parking lot system will make for a much better visitor experience by keeping the parked cars out of the sightlines, making it easier for people to walk or ride bikes and for people who aren’t driving. Along with the expanded bus sections, we plan to offer increased bus service to Storm King from Newburgh and other areas.”

Another key part of the plan is a new park entrance and welcome center with a 4,700-square-foot outdoor lobby, a ticket office, new restrooms, and other newly added conveniences. To increase shade on the grounds and expand its biodiversity, more than 600 new trees of varying native species will be planted at Storm King, where modernized water management systems will be installed throughout to retain on-site water at the expansive location.

Increased events programming of performances, concerts, and multidisciplinary collaborations like 2021’s pairings of artist Rashid Johnson and choreographer Claudia Schreier and musician Jason Moran and artist Allison Janae Hamilton and the center’s Starlit Screenings film nights will make up another element of the Storm King revamp. Overseeing the architectural renovations are Ireland’s internationally prestigious Heneghan Peng Architects and the New York-based WXY Architecture and Urban Design, while the New England-based Reed Hilderbrand is handling the landscape redesign.

click to enlarge Storm King to Get $45 Million Revamp
Image © Storm King Art Center
Rendering of new Conservation, Fabrication, andMaintenance Building at Storm King Art Center. RoyLichtenstein, Mermaid, 1994. Major funding providedby: Ford Motor Company Fund, Ralph E. Ogden Foundation, The Young America Foundation ©Estate of Roy Lichtenstein.

Set to be completed in 2024, the project is being partially funded with a $2.6 million donation from the state; $2 million from Empire State Development; and $600,000 from a New York State Energy Research and Development Authority carbon neutral development program.

“This new construction, combined with the 100-plus outdoor sculptures we already have in our beautiful natural setting; our new artist director and chief curator, Nora Lawrence; all of the new programming; and our incredible education, maintenance, and landscaping teams, will see Storm King continue to be an international destination in the decades to come,” says Stern.

Location Details

Storm King Art Center

Old Pleasant Hill Road, Mountainville

(845) 534-3115

Peter Aaron

Peter Aaron is the arts editor for Chronogram.
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