The Griffiss International Sculpture Garden continues to grow. The latest addition is Freya, installed in 2012, and now part of the permanent collection. Lundberg’sFreya is now the 21st piece in the collection at the Griffiss Sculpture Park. In 2011, Mark Abildgaard was selected to install his third commission for the park, Green Light Column. All of the public works are created by professional artists associated with the Sculpture Space international program.
Griffiss International Sculpture Garden, a unique outdoor sculpture garden located in an industrial development park in Upstate New York, is located on the grounds of the Griffiss Business and Technology Park in Rome, N.Y.
Part of a Master Plan designed by Boston-based Sasaki Associates, the sculptures reflect an unusual collaboration between Sculpture Space, Griffiss Park Landowners Association and the Griffiss Local Development Corporation of Rome, New York and Griffiss Utilities Corporation. GPLA works with other entities to promote and expand business in Central New York State’s Griffiss Business and Technology Park, a 3,500 acre former U.S. Air Force Base now home to 65 businesses with more than 5,800 employees.
In 2010, Land Forms by Rob Licht was installed in November. One of two artists whose work was selected in 2010, Licht’s piece is visible from a main thoroughfare at Griffiss, Route 825. The other artist awarded a commission is Oneonta area artist Katarina Issakson whose piece, Sisyphus, will be installed in the spring. The installation of the Isaksson will mark the 19th sculpture to be sited since the young sculpture park’s inception only three years ago. In 2010 the Sculpture Garden also purchased Peels by John von Bergen, and Argonaut by Jonathan Kirk, both initially loans to the park.
The eight new sculptures installed in 2009 included a work uniquely supported by the nearby City of Utica. The city donated a 15-foot maple tree from its department of parks and recreation. Sculpture Space alumnus and local established artist James McDermid carved an abstract sculpture from the tree, entitled ‘Wish To Fly’.
Other works added in 2009: Polish artist Tomasz Domanski fabricated and assembled his stunning aluminum piece “Chimney”, that integrated an ‘art after dark’ theme. Also part of the ‘art after dark’ theme, which was developed by consultant Ken Kahn, California native Mark Abildgaard installed two glass columns that serve as markers for the new nature trails. British-born artists Jenny Polak and Jonathan Kirk both created interactive sculptures, Polak’s Lookout Landing and Kirk’s Pagoda Pavilion. Kirk’s Pagoda Pavilion is distinguished as an award winning commission selected in response to a ‘Griffiss Gazebo’ invitational for proposals.
Several works at the garden can be categorized as “green” art, including Lookout Landing by Jenny Polak, which is lit by LED solar-powered lights. Both Lookout Landing and Pagoda Pavilion can provide seating to park visitors.