Cold Hollow Sculpture Park: An Outdoor Gallery Inspired by the Rural Landscape
September 20, 2021
In the days before opening Cold Hollow Sculpture Park, David Stromeyer used to walk up the dirt road between his house and studio and feel a mix of emotions.
He would stop to examine the tall sculptures he created in his studio and displayed in meadows on his property. On those walks, Stromeyer felt confident about his work but grew frustrated that his sculptures weren’t seen much by the general public.
“It was bittersweet back then. I was generally proud of my accomplishments and how everything looked here,” says Stromeyer. “But the bitter part was that more people weren’t experiencing it.”
That all changed in 2014 when he and his wife, Sarah, opened Cold Hollow Sculpture Park to the public. Located in Enosburg on a former dairy farm, the sculpture park became a nonprofit in 2019 and hosts public events throughout the season.
Cold Hollow Sculpture Park features about 70 of Stromeyer’s sculptures built with steel, concrete, stone, and other materials. Visitors can explore the park for free between June and October to see Stromeyer’s impressive collection that spans five decades.
His pieces include whimsical sculptures with names like Joy, Jumoke, and Looking Homeward. Other works that might appear austere and raw still feature a playful twist.
“I try to keep an element of play in everything,” Stromeyer says with a smile while taking a break outside of his studio on a September afternoon.
-Sarah and David Stromeyer / photo by Richard Charnov
Coming to Enosburg, Vermont
During a post-college cross-country bicycle trip, Stromeyer began thinking about what he wanted to do with his life. After cycling across Canada and ending up on the West Coast, he hitchhiked back to Vermont, where he spent a good chunk of his college days while studying at nearby Dartmouth.
“On that cycling trip, I thought about what I wanted to do next and how I wanted to do it. None of the options presented then seemed quite right,” Stromeyer recalls.
Upon his return, Stromeyer studied Vermont maps and decided where to look for land. He narrowed his choices by visiting properties with specific contours and easy road access. Then he would figure out if anything he liked was for sale.
“It was not the typical way to buy land,” he jokes. “Most people use a realtor.”
In 1970, Stromeyer found the perfect spot in the foothills of the Cold Mountains. He purchased 200 acres in Enosburg, ten miles south of the Canadian border. Sarah Stromeyer joined him there in the early 1980s.
“David chose this land, a former dairy farm, as a place to make art, knowing that the life he would make would follow from the work,” Sarah Stromeyer says. “He did not know what that work would look like, but knew it would be made and seen on this land before it went anywhere else.”
In addition to the park, Stromeyer’s sculptures are exhibited and collected by museums, universities, corporations, and municipalities across the country and private collections internationally.
Art on a Former Dairy Farm
-Visitors at Cold Hollow Sculpture Park near Song for My Father, which Stromeyer created in 1989.
This land had been a farm since the mid-1800s and is still used for agriculture. Today, farm equipment can be seen and heard sweeping through the meadows, cutting and collecting hay for a neighbor’s dairy cows.
“David makes all the work here and is in part inspired by the feel and qualities of the landscape,” Sarah Stromeyer says. “The openness of the farm meadows ringed by woods and facing the bowl of the Cold Hollow Mountains sets a tension between the freedom of open space and the cradling mountains, at once stimulating and nurturing.”
Enosburg, located in Franklin County, is a small town located about an hour from Burlington and less than 30 minutes from Jay Peak. Scenic, rural, and situated west of the northern Cold Hollow Mountains, Enosburg is not necessarily where you would expect to find a sculpture park of this magnitude.
“Our remoteness in this part of Vermont means that to come here, people must make a journey to an unknown territory to find something they wouldn’t expect to be here,” Sarah Stromeyer says. “It’s a story as old as it is irresistible: of journey, surprise, discovery.”
For David Stromeyer, he can’t imagine living and working anyplace else.
“I never regretted owning this land,” he says. “And the real reward of this place is that people who come here really appreciate it.”
Visiting Cold Hollow Sculpture Park
Cold Hollow Sculpture Park is located at 4280 Boston Post Road in Enosburg. The park is open for the season until October 11, 2021. For more information, visit www.coldhollowsculpturepark.com.
Event: On October 9, 2021 – Walk The Meadows with the Artist
David Stromeyer discusses his newest sculptures and introduces a special project celebrating his 50 years of making art on the land.
Book Release: This fall, Cold Hollow Sculpture Park is publishing Art Making On The Land, David Stromeyer at Cold Hollow Sculpture Park. The book highlights Stromeyer’s sculpture-making process and is richly illustrated with 330 images and multiple page spreads. Visit www.coldhollowsculpturepark.com for book release updates.