Exploring the World Through the Eyes and Art of Roy Kanwit's Taconic Sculpture Park

Sunday, August 14, 2022

 Art1.the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

Taconic Sculpture Park

Whoever created this definition for the Oxford dictionary must have been familiar with the works of self-taught sculptor/artist, Roy Kanwit.  Mr. Kanwit's collection of work, displayed throughout the 3-5 acres of his personal property, can definitely be described as beautiful and evocative.  Influenced by his interest in Roman and Greek mythology, Kanwit has created a stone sanctuary of sorts among the most beautiful, natural environment at his home in Spencertown, NY.   We happened upon the Taconic Sculpture Park this weekend quite by accident and I can honestly say, for someone who's rarely speechless, the work of Mr. Kanwit left me without adequate words to describe out visit.

From the moment we arrived at the entrance to the park, we knew we were in for an adventure. 

Entrance to Taconic Sculpture Park

Admission to the park is probably the best deal in town these days at a modest price of $10 per vehicle.  We were greeted by Mr. Kanwit's grandson who collected our fee, welcomed us to the park and confidently answered our questions.  Not long after, Mr. Kanwit greeted us warmly, offered us bug spray in three varieties - non-toxic, a little toxic and very toxic.  Aside from his hospitality and quiet sense of humor, it was obvious that Mr. Kanwit not only loves his art, he loves sharing his art with the public.  He has created a welcoming, scenic and comfortable place for visitors to step out of the chaos of the world to wander among nature's beauty among the Catskill Mountains where they can commune with sights not typical in more traditional places we frequent.  Trust me, there's not much 'traditional' about this very unique destination.
Mr. Kanwit has been sculpting stone for over 40 years, a talent he first developed carving a bar of Ivory soap, then dabbling in wood carving and now using Vermont marble, limestone and cement.  I'm not sure which I find more impressive - his sculpting talent or his imagination.  Come along as I take you on a little trip through Roy Kanwit's imaginary world....
Roy Kanwit Sculpture Park

Taconic Sculpture Park Eye

No doubt the most impressive sculpture in the park is Gaea, Greek Mother Earth, which I'm told can be seen from the Taconic Parkway.   Post Script: In October on an autumn drive, we did, in fact, spot Gaea from the Taconic.

Gaea, who was completed in 1996, and rises over 19ft tall, has a door just behind her right ear which allows visitors to get an inside view.  From inside, brave visitors can climb the ladder and peer out the opening in the top of her head.  

They say the best things in life are unexpected and finding this treasure on our road trip yesterday was definitely the highlight of our day.  The Taconic Sculpture Park is open seasonally on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10:00-5:00 pm.  Oh, in case you saw something you can't live without, all the pieces are for sale!!!  There's even more to see than what I have shared, so plan a visit soon.  I promise you'll be speechless too.  Wear comfortable shoes and take a stroll throughout this wonderland of stone.  Mr. Kanwit has placed chairs and benches throughout the park which is located on Stever Hill Road (a long, gravel, dead end) just off Route 203 in Spencertown, about 40 minutes southeast of Albany.  Thank you Mr. Kanwit for your creativity and for generously sharing it with all of us!!

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