Larger Than Life


A portion of Seward Johnson’s The Awakening at Grounds for Sculpture.

Morgan Lomax '24

Academy advanced art and photography students recently enjoyed hundreds of contemporary works on a forty-two acres site known as “Grounds for Sculpture” in Hamilton, NJ. Students visited the museum, sculpture garden, and arboretum to immerse themselves in the creations of numerous notable sculptors.

The installations at Grounds for Sculpture offer a welcomed getaway from the bustle of everyday life: “We were able to see so many different kinds of art through the sculptures, and each one told a different story,” says freshman Madeleine Soliman. Founded by artist Seward Johnson in 1989 on the site of a retired fairground, more than 700 artists have had work displayed on location, including prominent sculptors Clement Meadmore, Anthony Caro, Beverly Pepper, Kiki Smith, and George Segal.

Perhaps the most famous display on the grounds is Seward Johnson’s gigantic aluminum piece The Awakening. Academy junior and Art III student Emma Mansfield says “[it] was so fascinating, and I am shocked that someone can put so much detail into a statue that massive!” The sculpture, which sprawls across an expanse of 70 feet, has been profiled in LIFE Magazine and Time magazine. Students from the Academy were able to view the celebrated piece in-person, resulting in the sculpture soon becoming one of their favorites.

The trip has set a cheerful stage within the Academy’s art department. In the words of freshman Madalena Benegas: “I thoroughly enjoyed the trip and am so glad that I was able to get a better understanding of the immense talent and hardwork artists possess.”