Stone Quarry Hill Art Park, with 104 acres of conserved land and over four miles of trails, overlooks the breathtaking rural landscape of Cazenovia and Madison County, New York. Inspired by the relationship between art and nature, the Art Park is dedicated to providing a unique environment for the showcasing of art by emerging and established artists in natural and gallery settings. Its mission is to educate and engage the public through exhibitions, collections, interpretation, and community outreach programs in the arts.
Come for an hour or stay the whole day. Sign up for a class, take a tour, attend a special event, or just come and enjoy the Art Park at your leisure.
We’re open 365 days a year from dawn to dusk. There is a $5/person admission fee, entrance is free for children 16 and under and members of the Art Park
Come Enjoy all the Art Park has to Offer!
unique outdoor sculptures, hiking, indoor gallery exhibitions, xc-skiing, running, sledding, picnicking, snowshoeing, dog walking, guided tours, art classes, corporate retreats, artist lectures, weddings, film screenings, live music
… and much more!
What is an Art Park?
In the simplest terms an art park is both a museum and a landscape. Walking on a trail at an art park serves the dual purpose of exposing visitors to art and nature. The walls of the museum are replaced with a backdrop of forest, meadows, ponds, and hills and showcase artworks that are often too large for an indoor gallery. These artworks are ill suited for preservation in a controlled environment; they are artworks that change, influenced as much by an artist as they are by and unpredictable environment of light, motion, color, and sounds.
From its beginnings, Stone Quarry Hill Art Park has embodied this idea of an art park, but, it has also offered more. Founder Dorothy Riester not only enjoyed art, she created it; her vision for an art park was no different. Stone Quarry Hill Art Park would be an art park that not only celebrates art, it would also celebrate its creation. Almost synonymous with the incorporation of Stone Quarry Hill Art Park, Dorothy and Bob Riester began an Artist-in-Residence program, catalyzing the creation of site specific art by inviting burgeoning artists to create work in response to the landscape of Stone Quarry Hill. Today, in addition to the residency program, Stone Quarry Hill continues to offer opportunities to experience art as process and product. Art at Stone Quarry Hill Art Park is available to everyone–an ongoing interaction between people and environment. Stone Quarry Hill Art Park celebrates art, artist, and place.
The History of Stone Quarry Hill Art Park
On a summer day in the late 1950s Dorothy and Bob Riester packed a picnic and drove from their home in Syracuse to Cazenovia to look at a plot of land, 23 acres in size located just off Route 20 on Stone Quarry Road. They decided to purchase the land and spent the next year building a summer home on the hilltop, taking advantage of views to Cazenovia and Oneida lakes.
“I designed the house to be a summer place, to be small with low maintenance, and to incorporate and be part of the landscape. The house would be shaped like a cone on its side two stories high on the northwest front, with a curving façade that generally would follow the contour line of the hill.”
Over the years Dorothy and Bob continued to purchase surrounding acreage when it became available. In 1965 the Riesters made their summer Hilltop home their permanent residence, adding a library and front entrance and expanding the small A-frame studio Dorothy used as work space for her various sculptures.
Officially, 3883 Stone Quarry Road was private residence, but for Dorothy, an active artist and community member, her home, studio, and land were always open for the enjoyment of others.
“By the mid-1980s, we were the owners of some 85 acres of beautiful rural land. We had built trails, gardens, and buildings, and although it was private land, it was still a place where many people came to enjoy the magnificent views, attend special events, and walk the trails.”
In 1991 in an effort to ensure the land would always be available to those that had come to enjoy its offerings Dorothy incorporated Stone Quarry Hill Art Park as a non-profit art park.
“…we decided our mission would be, along with conservation, to offer a place where artists could create and exhibit their work—an Art Park.”
2011 and today
In 2011, its 20th anniversary year, Stone Quarry Hill Art Park was recognized as #2 in National Geographic’s “Top Ten Sculpture Parks and Trails” in Secret Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Best Hidden Travel Gems.
Today, Stone Quarry Hill Art Park continues to offer visitors a place to enjoy art and nature. We honor Dorothy’s legacy, catalyzing the exploration of art and nature through its events, exhibitions, and program offerings. For Dorothy and Bob Riester, the house atop the hill at 3883 Stone Quarry Hill Road was more than a home, it was, and continues to be, a place where art, landscape, and people relate.