From late Spring until early Fall, visitors to The Mount in Lenox, Massachusetts can enjoy a free outdoor art exhibit at the hillside property of American author Edith Warton.  

The partnership between the estate and this group of sculptors, known as Sculpture Now, has endured since 2013 and has inspired day trip visits by people from all walks of life and hailing from all points on the map.  

The exhibit features the works of more than 30 artists and Connecting Point’s Brian Sullivan visited over the summer to bring us this next story.  


Read the full transcript:

Zydalis Bauer, Connecting Point: From late spring until early fall, visitors to the Mount in Lenox, Massachusetts can enjoy a free outdoor art exhibit at the hillside property of American author Edith Wharton.

The partnership between the Estate and this group of sculptors, known as Sculpture Now has endured since 2013 and has inspired day trip visits by people from all walks of life, hailing from all points on the map.

The exhibit features the works of more than 30 artists and Connecting Point’s Brian Sullivan visited over the summer to bring us this next story.

Brian Sullivan, Connecting Point: First time visitors to the Mount in Lenox, Massachusetts, the home of American author Edith Wharton and National Historic Landmark, are likely captivated by its beauty and serenity.

The landscaping alone is enough to draw in its annual fifty thousand visitors, whether it’s this ivy covered stone wall that surrounds the courtyard on the lower left side of the estate, or the manicured hedgerow walkways. The scenery could be described as visually striking, while at the same time physically calming. But not to be outdone by the beauty of nature, this cultural center hosts a free-to-the-public art exhibit known as Sculpture Now.

They’re an organization that started over 20 years ago with a small group of sculptors who wanted to show their work in the Berkshires. And, after a meeting with the Mount’s executive director in 2013, they found a home here, every year from June through October.

Ann Jon, Executive Director of Sculpture Now: I came up here for music and I met Susan Whistler, and asked her, “Would you be interested in having a sculpture show here?” And she said, “Yes, really very much.”

So, that was our first year and it worked really well. The Mount was happy, Sculpture Now was happy, and the artists were really happy to have beautiful sites.

Brian Sullivan: Those sites can be found scattered along the hillside, where a sign like this one is not only aimed at people behind the wheel, but pedestrians as well.

Susan Wissler, Executive Director of The Mount: It’s about a quarter of a mile walk from the parking area to the house, and we want people to really take their time. And the sculptures help people to do that, because normally they can walk past trees and meadows and not really see them.

But, once you have a beautiful piece of art very carefully placed in the middle of it, it causes people to pause.

Brian Sullivan: One such piece is this one known as Wildfire. What it first may appear to be one of the property’s trees that was struck by lightning is actually the artist’s way of calling attention to the devastation taking place in her home state of California. It’s a project that was a year in the works, a majority of that time spent casting the glass flames that sit atop this work of art.

Natalie Tyler, Program Director/Artist, Sculpture Now: It’s labor intensive, but in the end, I’m able to bring light and color into the work. And this piece in particular, if you see it with the sun going through it, my vision was that the flames would look like they were on fire, and the sun really does help.

Brian Sullivan: The foot traffic at the Mount hailed from all points on the map, with curiosity being the driving force in their day trip to this outdoor art museum. And with nature serving as the canvas, there is no time wasted in giving patrons the full three-dimensional art experience.

Ryan Bilodeau, Leominster, MA: As soon as we came in, I was like, “Oh, this is pretty cool, this is going to be different.” Then I saw the sculptures behind me over here looks kind of like ghosts and things. And so we’re like, “Oh, this is really neat.” It’s different than your normal museum.

Brian Sullivan: The piece in question can be viewed along the Ledge Walk Trail and is titled Art of Factual. It’s a mix of ethereal, beautiful, and spooky all at once, and it’s emblematic of the diverse array of sculptures on display here. Before I came here, the only photo I saw was of the buffalo sculpture on the hill, so I was expecting there to be sort of a Pink Floyd album cover vibe to this exhibit.

But, as I walk along these trails and the roadway seeing over 30 sculptures, I would say there’s more of a Chronicles of Narnia, dreamscape feel to this place. By design, each sculpture is set apart from the others to not only give them each their own space, but to also create that unique marriage between the industrial and natural world.

Lubia Martinez, Pittsfield, MA: There is such a big contrast between it just being in nature and it seems out of place. But, then I feel like the more you look at it, it seems like you can…you can take it in all together and like it, it belongs, even to a degree.

Brian Sullivan: As mentioned earlier, the natural beauty of the Mount attracts countless visitors from far and wide throughout the entire calendar year, but for the first timers who just happen to arrive between the months of June and October, Sculpture Now offers up a nice bonus feature to the landscape.

Colleen Gordon, Brick, NJ: I’m all the way from New Jersey and came to experience the beauty. For me, the sculptures were an extra surprise.

Shanice Smith, Albany, NY: Speaking with my friend, she had told me about this garden where it used to be an author’s house. So, I think I was just kind of drawn to the idea of coming to see flowers and some nature.

And that’s when we got to see the artwork, which was also like a bonus, a neat surprise to kind of come and see.