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The Westfield Voice

‘Art in the Orchard’, an installment by the Russell family

EAST HAMPTON – The Russell Family’s ‘Art in the Orchard’ is in full swing, taking place now and throughout Thanksgiving weekend.

This is the Orchard’s first new art installment in over a year.

30 artists and their sculptures are featured in the 6th Biennial of Art in the Orchard, and according to owner Russel Braen, “this is the best year yet.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the orchard held a holdover show featuring art from the 2019 installment.

This year they received 103 sculpture submissions from all across New England and New York. Out of those received, only 30 were selected.

Braen believes the high number of submissions is a result of the presented time that people were in, due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

Upon arrival at Park Hill Orchard, you will be welcomed by their ‘Big, Red Picture frame,’ which presents the orchard behind it as if it were a painting in a museum.

The art installation, ‘Big, Red Picture Frame’. Photo courtesy by Abbey Soukup.

The ‘Art in the Orchard’ sculpture-walk begins on the edge of the apple orchard and leads visitors across the street, along the woods and throughout the premises of Park Hill.

Zach Dossett and his partner found Megan E. Barry’s ‘ESCAPE TO NATURE’ is particularly interesting.

The sculpture itself is a simple road sign reading ‘ESCAPE FROM NATURE’ placed at the edge of the forest-line.

It was said Barry was attempting to encapsulate the mood of city-goers who move to Western Massachusetts, and grow to miss the hustle-and-bustle of the city.

“It’s such a unique and interesting event. I will definitely be in attendance next year” Dossett said.

Newly-weds Wyatt and Hannah Shell couldn’t agree more. They’ve been coming to ‘Art in the Orchard’ for years with their parents.

“It’s a great way to spend time outside in the fall with friends and family,” Wyatt Shell said.

Both of them had nothing but amazing and thoughtful things to say about the art featured this year. Hannah Shell especially enjoyed Eileen M. Travis, who created ‘The Poppy Field’.

Eileen M. Travis’s ‘The Poppy Field”. Photo courtesy of Abbey Soukup.

At the end of the walk, at the top of the hill sits the farmstand, where the hungry will not find themselves disappointed.

“We have all the farm foods,” Braen said.

The farmstand features an array of freshly grown apples and apple goods including pies and donuts, which are baked daily. They also offer fresh autumn squashes and a small pumpkin patch placed in front of the farm stand.

The orchard is offering “Pick your own apples” throughout the weekend of October 23. However, Braen allows those willing to brave the orchard with ladders to get the last of the season’s apples through the end of the month.

There are a multitude of weekend events taking place including weekly morning yoga on Sundays at 10am and musical events on the orchard’s ‘Willow Stage.’

You can check-out details of specific events on Park Hill’s website. There’s also more information about the art featured and other happenings around the orchard.

An art installment at ‘Art in the Orchard’. Photo courtesy of Abbey Soukup.

Park Hill Orchard is open seven days a week, 10am-6pm. Art in the Orchard is taking place now and throughout Sunday, November 28.

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