Sculpture Garden to open in Southampton this week

Bucks County’s latest art exhibit can be found in an unexpected place.

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Matt Schickling / Wire photos – The  Art Community Experience Sculpture Garden at Mad Golfer Golf Club, 114 Street Road in Southampton, will open to the public on July 1.

Kal Katz, owner of Mad Golfer Golf Club, turned the underused putting green behind his pro shop into a sculpture garden.

He named the idea Art Community Experience, and it will open to the public on July 1. 

“The focus is that I wanted to bring some art into the community,” Katz said. “There will be some surprises, but the biggest surprise is the garden itself.”

Katz, a Newtown resident, was inspired by Grounds For Sculpture, a 42-acre sculpture park and museum in Hamilton, New Jersey. He has been a member there for about a decade, and in that time took classes, made friends with some of the artists and most importantly, appreciated the artwork.

IMG_0421“I decided, since I have the land here, that I was going to take it and turn it into a mini Grounds For Sculpture,” Katz said. He approached Gyuri Hollosy, an instructor and sculpture artist at Grounds For Sculpture, and asked for help. “He went and put the word out to a dozen sculptors. We build it and they will come, is basically what it was.”

Hollosy delivered, and now the garden will feature about 27 pieces of works by several artists. Last week, Katz, Hollosy and other workers were putting the finishing touches on the space.

“It was just dirt and stone before,” Katz said of the area between the putting green and the driving range. With assistance from Gasper Landscaping and other local businesses, they came up with a blueprint, bulldozed the area, cut out walking paths, laid sod and planted indigenous plants, rose bushes and shrubs.

IMG_0430The artwork ranges in scope. Some are large originals made of bronze, stone, resin and a variety of other materials, others are smaller versions of artwork at the Grounds For Sculpture. There is also an area for two-dimensional work that includes photo images transposed onto weather-resistant materials.

Katz said that this has nothing to do with his business or creating revenue. It’s free and open to the public.

“We have other ideas that we hope to expand on in the future,” Hollosy said. “This is isn’t the end yet.”

Part of that future is getting school districts involved and have students groups come to check out the work.

“Schools have cut back on their art programs and there’s not much left,” Katz said. “They can walk through the garden, touch and feel the sculpture and hopefully feel inspired. If they go down to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, they can’t touch anything.”

In the garden, he hopes they’ll find a more interactive experience. Eventually, he plans to designate the two-dimensional portion of the exhibit for student work.

As for others, it gives them a place to see artwork for free and in their own community.

“It was Kal’s dream to have this,” Hollosy said. “I hope people enjoy what’s here in front of them, and find peace and serenity.”

The  Art Community Experience Sculpture Garden will be open to the public starting on July 1. It is located behind Mad Golfer Golf Club at 114 Street Road in Southampton. For information, visit www.facebook.com/artcommunityexp

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