Friday, July 1, 2016

Tippet Rise: Magic arises from imagination, deep pockets and prime location

"Daydreams" by Patrick Dougherty, under construction last fall at Tippet Rise, is part of a glorious landscape merging
art and nature, with indoor and outdoor performance spaces, world known sculpture and a roster of international performers. 

Tippet Rise Olivier Barn concert hall going up in October.




TIPPET RISE spared no expense in hiring the best people available for each position.
And its designers and builders made certain it is environmentally correct in every way.
Tippet Rise completed Olivier Barn concert hall.
Peter Halstead, left foreground, opened the program, with Christopher O'Riley, in chair, director of programming. Above right, from left: Bruce Keller, Christene Meyers and Corby Skinner framed by an Alexander Calder sculpture. 
For music director of Tippet Rise, founders Cathy and Peter Halstead chose nationally known pianist Christopher O’Riley, host of National Public Radio’s “From the Top.”
Big Sky Journal features innovation at Tippet Rise 
O’Riley’s diverse music series features world premieres by prominent composers, and internationally renowned artists --“immersive concert experiences” in both the acoustically perfect Olivier Barn and the open-sided, moveable outdoor acoustical shell, Tiara.  Other performances will be staged at sculpture sites.  
Dozens of workers helped finish Tippet Rise's outdoor
concert space, Tiara, and the rest of the major
buildings between autumn and this summer.
HIRING ENTERPRISING Frenchman Alban Bassuet to champion their project was shrewd, for they found someone whose artistic sensibilities parallel theirs.  Their bold ambition – creating modern art in a rugged landscape -- works.  The sculptures look made for the place, rising against a backdrop of sagebrush and volcanic rock.
Bassuet is known internationally for his ability to "stretch" and break down boundaries.
He’s supervised projects in Greece, Switzerland, Iceland, Houston, Boston and Taipei.
Alban Bassuet, left, and sculptor Ricardo Sanz during
an early period of the design phase. A much larger
piece -- massive in size -- now dwarfs humans.
The Halsteads’ dream saw people “free to move about the land, appreciating it as an extension of their enjoyment of the arts,” Bassuet says.  “And they insisted each piece occupy its own space.”
WITH SCULPTURE commissions in the millions (a single work carries a $5 million price tag), the Halsteads determined that viewers concentrate on each piece individually. For that, a large expanse of land was a necessity. 
“Rise” is a suggestive title for the project, considered by many to be Montana’s most daring and expensive arts endeavor.
“What we are doing here is progressive,” says Bassuet. “We’re about renewable energy, sustainable farming, hiring local people, buying locally, making magnificent art."
Bassuet believes lovers of music, art and landscape will travel from far beyond to experience this new “land art” space. 
Peter Halstead explains to a full house how he and his wife, Cathy,
merged their various interests in creation of Tippet Rise.
TICKETS TO THE performances venues – outdoor and indoor -- cost only $10.  The first season sold out immediately, and in the tradition of chamber music soirees, the audience is only 100.  Music aficionados enhance their concert going with a tour of the sculptures created by internationally known artists.   Drivers shuttle people to nine large carefully positioned pieces.  More will be added.    
 "DAYDREAMS" is an installation by internationally praised environmental artist Patrick Dougherty.  The one-room prairie schoolhouse looks like a set piece for “Little House on the Prairie,” enticingly draped in woven saplings and sticks.  The building is new, but designed to appear old.  Nails have been pushed up to look as if they’d spent decades battling the elements. Dougherty’s woven willows bring the building to life.
Tippet Rise invites lovers of art, music and landscape to indulge their senses.
    A Mark di Suvero's six-story work has a metronome-like pendulum and A-frame supports.  It was moved from Dallas, one of 55 cities to host the artist’s work.
Another di Suvero piece, “Beethoven’s Quartet,” is a monumental musical sculpture.
 Ensamble Studios of Madrid artist Ricardo Sanz installed two vertical rocklike forms which lean toward one another.
Famed structural artist Stephen Talasnik’s “Pioneer” appears to float, drawing the eye up towards the “big sky” which stands sentinel above the rolling hills.   
THE INDOOR CONCERT space showcases designer Laura Viklund’s glorious wooden frame, in the guise of an “old barn.”  Complementing it are new-age, perfect acoustics, with green room, dressing room, piano storage room and lifts.  Water, electricity, insulation, heating and cooling, including solar panels, are all “planet friendly.”
Veteran rancher Ben Wynthein manages the property, insuring that it remain a working ranch, digging wells and monitoring grazing lands for sheep and cattle. Pete and Lindsey Hinmon direct logistics and operations, including working with teachers from surrounding towns.
The Halsteads hired Montana labor and contractors, recruited local landscapers, maintenance workers, marketing specialists, ushers, stagehands and drivers.  They signed on local caterers Wendy Reed and Nick Goldman, remembered for their inventive feasts at Big Yellow House in Absarokee. The artists -- from U.S. cities and Europe -- fell in love with Montana, Bassuet says, “and found themselves captivated by its spectacular settings.” (His own affinity for the project resulted in moving his family to Montana.)
 Exquisite craftsmanship is the byword at Tippet Rise. Utility lines are hidden.  Even the parking lot looks discreetly natural, “to entice the eye as one approaches,” says Bassuet.  The place is a metaphor for art’s transcendent quality, its ability to connect people and engage them in the landscape. 
    “Tippet Rise is the tip of the spear,” Bassuet says.  “We believe people will visit – almost as a pilgrimage. Tippet Rise will become a destination of itself.”

Rancho Penasquitos and the Canyon Preserve await. 

UP NEXT: Who knew that near the heart of busy San Diego, a piece of country awaits discovery by this native Montanan.  Las Penasquitos Canyon Preserve and Ranch is a lovely, rugged park with a historic adobe ranch house built in 1823. The place is now on the National Historic Register and offers hiking, biking, equestrian trails and more. It's near Carmel Mountain Ranch, and the I15, but you wouldn't know it's in the city. Remember to explore, learn and live, and catch us Fridays when we post for the weekend.

1 comment:

  1. This is a glorious achievement for Montana and arts-nature loving people.