Where Art Meets Agriculture
Outside Cincinnati, a low-key sculpture garden shares space with a farm.
By Jane Durrell
Sculpture, Carol Boram-Hays; Photo, Tony Walsh
When is weather a compelling factor in viewing art? In an
outdoor sculpture park, of course, like Mac’s Farm and Sculpture Center, an
incongruous interruption in the suburban sprawl of Blue Ash, Ohio, at the edge
of Cincinnati. A sizable slice of the area’s sculpture community gathers in the
summer each year for the opening of the center’s annual exhibition. When I
visited in 2005, the day, heavy with humidity, was spottily overcast, but as I
walked past a table of ripe tomatoes toward a gathering of people, a flood of
afternoon light suddenly set everything in focus for the great pleasure of seeing
sculpture out of doors.
“This is a gallery, not a museum,” Robert McConaughy (also
known as “Mac”) had told me when I visited again in the winter and we made our
way across snow-covered ground. Although a few pieces are permanently
installed, most of the art seen here appears in the temporary exhibition
series, Without Walls, mounted once or twice each year. Thirteen artists are
included in the 2006 show. The 2006 installation is in place May 20 through
August, and there are plans for a drive-through, light–sculpture show December
21 through New Year’s Day. Mac himself has had a busy year, showing on the East
Coast as well as in Texas.
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