Storm King Art Center, just north of Manhattan, turns the idea of a museum inside out. It is 500 acres of breath-taking gentle slopes and fields, punctuated by more than 100 large-scale sculptures by luminaries such as Alexander Calder, Louis Nevelson, Isamu Noguchi and Maya Lin, among many others. The fact that Storm King is in the fertile Hudson Valley, means it is a food and art lover’s paradise.
For the summer solstice, Storm King takes its privileged position in the farmlands up another level, with its Fourth Annual Summer Solstice Celebration — a farm-to-table feast under the stars with cocktail reception, a dinner inspired by the special exhibitions now on view, private tours of the grounds and a live music performance by Pete Francis of Dispatch featuring the Dragon Crest Collective.
About 250 guests will start off with Brooklyn Brewing Company beer and colorful cocktails by Tuthilltown Spirits from nearby Gardiner, that play off the vibrant sculptural work of Linda Benglis’ special exhibition Water Sources.
The menu is sourced in large part from local purveyors and designed by Peter Hoffman of Back Forty Restaurant West (NYC) and Shelley Boris of Fresh Company in Garrison, New York. It is their fourth collaboration on this much-anticipated event. They took inspiration from the other special exhibition on view, making reference to Outlooks, Luke Stettner’s on-site biochar work, transforming living matter into charcoal. The chefs draw a dramatic contrast between foods that love a bit of char — lamb, octopus, sweet potatoes, eggplant — and the liveliness and brightness of late spring and early summer vegetables. “We didn’t want to be as confined by place this year, but allowed ourselves to be to be seduced by the artists when creating the menu,” says Boris.
All proceeds from the event will benefit Storm King Art Center. Tickets start at $150 per person and are available online.
If you can’t make it to the event or just want to visit Storm King Art Center (it’s a great way to get your art fix if you’re entertaining rambunctious kids who aren’t quite ready for indoor museums), note that chef Boris’ Fresh Company runs the Storm King Café’s seasonal menu of light and hearty fare to fuel your stroll around the grounds. The driving time is from 1-2 hours, depending on where on the island you live and is well worth the trip.