In my effort to start visiting more places further north, I recently went to the Omi International Arts Center in Ghent, NY. It was a really neat place rather off the beaten path in the lovely Hudson Valley countryside. If you decide to take a day trip here, wear your walking shoes! It is a natural landscape on 300 acres of open land with no paved paths and large meadows to walk through. Although, I saw that they did have golf carts available for people who are not able to traverse the extensive park on foot and the website says they also have bikes.
When you first drive into Omi, you start by entering the Charles B. Benenson Visitors Center and Gallery where you can pick up a map, see some art in the spacious 1500 square foot gallery for paintings, sculpture and video exhibitions. This is also home to the adult and children’s art education programs. This building also houses the restrooms and Café with a spacious outdoor terrace and free Wi-Fi service.
In reading more about the beautiful visitors center, it was nice to see that the Charles B. Benenson Visitors Center and Gallery is an environmentally progressive, 4200 square foot LEED Certified building showcasing state of the art “green” systems. According to the website, Omi has chosen to protect and restore at least 50% of the existing habitat with native and adapted vegetation as well as providing over 90% open space to the development footprint to promote biodiversity.
As I mentioned, the park is a good size, and you will probably want 1-2 hours to see all the sculptures. Located two and a half hours north of New York City, the art park is in close proximity to Albany and Hudson. Both cities offer convenient train access throughout the Hudson Valley Region. My friend and I visited nearby Hudson after the park and had a pleasant lunch followed by an afternoon enjoying the town’s many unique shops. It was a great day and highly recommended!