Highfield Hall & Gardens To Host Summer Open House June 30

Magnificent outdoor stickwork sculpture, three new art exhibitions...
Patrick Dougherty at work on his stickwork sculpture at Highfield Hall & Gardens (Courtesy photo)

Highfield Hall & Gardens welcomes summer with an activity-packed Open House for the entire family on Sunday, June 30, from 12:30-3:30 p.m. Admission is FREE for this fun-filled afternoon.

Patrick Dougherty’s one-of-a-kind Stickwork Sculpture--created from thousands of woven willow branches and organic material--will be the centerpiece of the Open House Celebration. Guests can tour the completed monumental sculpture Dougherty and a team of community volunteers began creating at the beginning of the June.

Guests can also view three new exhibitions, enjoy an eclectic array of music, explore the estate, tour the gardens, and play giant instruments in the Music Garden along the Beech Tree Path. With inspiration from the art installations, guests can unleash their imaginations and create their own knotted-rope, mixed media, or stickwork masterpieces.

A highlight of the Open House is the opportunity to meet the artists featured in the summer shows at a reception from 1:00-3:00 p.m.

Unbound: Contemporary Rope Art challenges viewers to see rope for what it is and what it can be: a connection to others, our environment, and ourselves. The exhibit defines “rope” loosely as “any cord or strands of fibers united by being twisted, braided or threaded together.” Yet, in the hands of an artist, this common understanding leads to uncommon results. Marcia Young, publisher of Fiber Art Now, has brought together the work of twenty artists from around the country who have found unlimited expression in this seemingly mundane medium. Together, they have created a collection that is distinguished by contrasting materials and scale. Pieces include a knot that would fit into a child’s palm and a needle-lace scene viewed with a magnifying glass. Two-dimensional pieces, majestic room-sized installations, and interactive garden sculptures command an entirely different perspective.

Time to Break Free: A Steampunk Journey debuts at Highfield. There’s an adventurous side to the Steampunk Artistic Movement, and Canadian fiber artist Dominique Ehrmann fully embraced it to break away from working two-dimensionally and create this grand, free-standing sculpture. The creation, her largest, mixes wood, steel, glass, and other materials with textiles. It also tells the story of a heroine — a quilt adventurer — who breaks out of her chains, moves through a time machine, and realizes her freedom. Her friends — a punk-looking fox, faithful antelope, and wise raven — guide her every step of the way. Naturally, the story is a metaphor for the artist’s own journey, which is chronicled through photographs illustrating her step-by-step process. A dozen panels bring the Time to Break Free narrative to life.

In Beyond Color, local artist Sandra Hadley uses charcoal to explore and celebrate the world beyond color. She employs the basic tools of charred wood, kneaded erasers, and paper to create complex works that have been likened to photographs. She says that without the visual splendor of color, we see people, places, and objects in an unexpected context that creates an opportunity to rediscover the often-overlooked familiar. Her charcoal paintings have been exhibited at venues including The National Arts Club (NYC), the Salmagundi Club (NYC), the Boca Raton Museum of Art (Florida), Boston University, and the Cape Cod Art Association.

The Steve Ahern and Michael Oakland Duo will perform a unique mix of Dixieland, Jazz, R&B and Big Band music. Ahern studied trumpet, flugelhorn and flute at Boston University and The New England Conservatory. He has travelled extensively, performing with such greats as Aretha Franklin, the Manhattan Transfer, Liberace, Tito Puente, Frank Sinatra, Jr., and Tony Bennett. Oakland, host of the television show “It’s the Music, Man” is an award-winning producer and director and soundtrack designer. The uniquely styled musician and guitarist has shared the stage or the studio with greats such as Michael McDonald, Paul Winter, John Sebastian, Maria Muldaur, Phoebe Snow, and The Boston Pops Orchestra.

Highfield Hall & Gardens is located at 56 Highfield Drive in Falmouth. For more information, call 508-495-1878 or visit highfieldhall.org.

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