Art and music interact with nature at Tippet Rise Art Center

By: AXS Contributor Dec 21, 2016
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About two and a half hours drive from Yellowstone National Park is a haven for the arts.

2016 is Tippet Rise Art Center’s inaugural year, opening with the mission to provide the public with an experience drenched in Montana nature. What sets it apart from other art spaces is the stark relationship between the music, sculpture, and the vast environment.

“After six years of planning and work and a lifetime of dreams, we are about to have the pure joy of opening Tippet Rise by adding the only element that’s still missing: the public,” said Peter and Cathy Halstead, founders of Tippet Rise. Their vision is to make “Tippet Rise a place where people feel the profound connection between their own inner nature and the natural world around them, a place where great music collaborates with the big sky and art is rooted deeply in the land.”

  • The Sculptures
    Founders Cathy and Peter Halstead scoured the world for the perfect spot to fulfill their dream. They found it in Montana. "Because of the e
    Image courtesy of Tippet Rise

    Founders Cathy and Peter Halstead scoured the world for the perfect spot to fulfill their dream. They found it in Montana. "Because of the enormity of the rolling hills and the way they meet the mountains and the way the sky is so gigantic, you really feel it," Cathy Halstead said about the land. “It's such an adventure.”

    Tippet Rise is 11,500 acres of working cattle ranch. And continuing the efforts toward complete sustainability, about 200 cows and 3,000 sheep graze the land to maintain it the way it has been for centuries.

    Sheep sightings only emphasize the immense scale that the sculptures have to call home.

    Driving up over the hills of Tippet Rise slowly reveals the series of sculptures dotting the land. They seem like small insignificant pieces at first, but being at their feet is a completely different engulfing feeling.

    The sculptures have their own environment up close, working with their surroundings to create “unique relationships between land and sky,” according to Tippet Rise. There are several pieces that all have different goals, read more about them and their artists here.

  • “You just have to see it for yourself”
    Words fail the magnitude of Tippet Rise. The environment, the art, the music are all elements that just need to be experienced in person.
Ag
    Image courtesy of Tippet Rise

    Words fail the magnitude of Tippet Rise. The environment, the art, the music are all elements that just need to be experienced in person.

    Again in step with conservation, visitation to the center is limited and reservations are necessary. Admission, however, is free. Visitors are able to explore the premises via electric shuttles and walking trails.

    The live music performances for the summer season are sold out, but usually are free for 18 and under and $10 for general admission. There are still film screenings available.

    Lodging is off-site, but there is a comprehensive list of local amenities is available on the Tippet Rise website.

  • Music
    The first summer music season at Tippet Rise will include seven weeks of classical music (starting the weekend of June 17) with performances
    Image courtesy of Tippet Rise

    The first summer music season at Tippet Rise will include seven weeks of classical music (starting the weekend of June 17) with performances by world-renowned musicians. Performances will be held both outdoors and in at the Olivier Barn, Tiara Acoustic Shell and at the various sculptures.

    Excellence was the goal in every detail surrounding creating intimate musical spaces. “You just feel music in such a different way when you're in a small room with musicians,” said Cathy Halstead, We wanted to be able to bring that kind of experiences to the next generations."

    Outdoors, there’s the drama of being en Plein air and the mountains with excitement from the ever-changing weather. Indoors, at the Olivier Barn, audiences get to experience drastically beautiful music in a room that feels like an extension of the instrument that is being played.

  • The final frontier
    The backdrop of the 11,500-acre center is the Beartooth Mountains seemingly glowing behind green rolling hills. This almost obscenely beauti
    The final frontier Image courtesy of Tippet Rise/Iwan Baan

    The backdrop of the 11,500-acre center is the Beartooth Mountains seemingly glowing behind green rolling hills. This almost obscenely beautiful natural space does not go underutilized, as it is the wide open gallery space chosen to exhibit enormous integrated sculpture pieces and outdoor musical performances.

    Environment was not only an inspiration for the center, it was the main focus. All infrastructure on site was designed and constructed conscious of the landscape and was built with blending in, not standing out in mind.

    "It's a very humbling experience," said Alban Bassuet, Tippet Rise director, and acoustician about the setting for Tippet Rise. Being in nature determines what you can and can't do, unlike the established world he explained.

    Bassuet designed the center with attention to every detail to create a place that appreciates and pays respect to the natural space. This effort continues the complete immersion that Tippet Rise allows for its visitors.


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