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Sculpture Park Festival has something for everyone

Casey Brink gave participants an inside look into his flower art during the second annual Summer Festival at Griffis Sculpture Park.
EAST OTTO—The second annual Griffis Sculpture Park Summer Festival brought out people of all ages to enjoy interactive art, music and food on Aug. 17.

Admission included entrance to the park, which features over 250 sculptures, viewing of local artists at work and access to live musical performances by Black Rock Zydeco, Workingman’s Dead and Folk Face. Those who wished to spend a little more had the opportunity to attend a pre-party that included brunch and an additional performance by The Observers.

Nila Griffis-Lampman, executive director of the Ashford Hollow Foundation, said that there have been some changes to the festival since last year. This year, a shuttle was made available to guests and vegetarian options were added to the menu. Griffis-Lampman also said that tours of the park and children’s crafts were both new additions to the festival’s itinerary.

“We’ll see what the response is,” Griffis-Lampman said. “And maybe we’ll add even more activities for next time.”

Griffis-Lampman also said that the musical artists they selected for this year’s festival were different than last year’s. “These artists are better suited for the event,” she said. “They’re more family-oriented and we want to appeal to people of all ages.”

The concert took place on top of the hill in the park’s “natural amphitheater,” surrounded by sculptures that visitors could pose next to, touch or even climb on. Poetry reading and drum circles were also offered to visitors, to add to the interactive festival. Visual artists set up their art projects among the audience, inviting visitors to watch them work.

Casey Brink, a local artist, displayed a flower painting he created at the event last year while working on a new one. “I’m going to be doing one a year,” he said about his painting. “They’re annual flower paintings.”

Griffis-Lampman said that Griffis Sculpture Park had hosted concerts in the past, but excessive rain and mud turned the road into a hazard. After the road was repaired two years ago, the Ashford Hollow Foundation, which Griffis-Lampman says aims to promote visual and performing arts, organized the inaugural summer festival.

“It’s a marriage of art and nature,” Griffis-Lampman said. “It’s gorgeous. It’s so green and lush. There are no other venues in the area like it.”

Alexandra Pozendsonyi, who was selling tickets at the door, agrees. She said, “The park is fantastic. It’s a one of a kind summer event.”

For more information on the Ashford Hollow Foundation, the Griffis Sculpture Park, or any activities the two offer, visit Griffispark.org.
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