Roving Around Ghent, New York’s Architecture + Sculpture Park, Art Omi

Looking for new works through Upstate New York's free, dog-friendly arts paradise

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Through our years-long quest to participate in art adventures outside of NYC (that fit within a day trip), the 120-acre sculpture and architecture park Art Omi continues to rank high on our list. More than 60 large-scale works—and growing—can be discovered (and interacted with) on the grounds and in the on-site gallery. The organization—built around a residency for artists, dancers, musicians and writers—keeps the entire experience free for all visitors (and dogs are welcome, so long as they are leashed). Highlights are numerous, though perhaps the greatest of all is walking between the sprawling fields and winding wooded paths, happening upon unexpected treasures.

During our recent visit, we booked a free ticket for the indoor exhibition dedicated to the works of Howardena Pindell. Just three guests are allowed into the large, clean space at a time. A projection of Pindell’s stunning video “Free, White and 21” (1980), which addresses the obstacles of being a young, Black woman, set the tone for the entire exhibition. Back outside, two hours of strolling brought us to Art Omi signatures—like Rob Fischer’s “Omi Pond House” (2016) and Alex Schweder + Ward Shelley’s teetering “ReActor” (2016)—and to brand new works on site including artist Chemi Rosado-Seijo’s site-specific “Mahican Pearl-Hole (The Mahican Bowl)” and Bianca Beck’s colorful, figurative “Untitled” (2020).

Two-and-a-half hours from NYC and only 15 minutes from Hudson, New York, Art Omi offers an escape for those who enjoy thought-provoking art scattered throughout their time outside.

Images by David Graver