Spring has arrived at Maryhill Museum of Art and the wildflowers are in full bloom. In the fields surrounding the museum are balsam root, lupine, phlox, lomatians, wild rose and much more. Inside the museum, visitors will find several exhibits featuring flowers as motifs and subject matter in a wide variety of artwork displayed.
"You won't want to miss nature's dazzling colors this year," states Colleen Schafroth, executive director of the museum, "The drive to the museum alone is truly spectacular and well worth your time."
On the grounds of the museum visitors can enjoy flower gardens and the annual Outdoor Sculpture Invitational. This exhibit features large-scale works by established and emerging Northwest artists including Marlene Alt, Allen Emhoff, Leon White, Guruhans Kroesen, Mary Kuebelbeck, Troy Pillow, Jeff Tangen, Jill Torberson, Arnie Garborg, and Julian Voss-Andreae. Subjects range from the serious to whimsical and include figures and abstracts. Also on exhibit are sculptures from the museum's permanent collection by Tom Herrera, Mel Katz, and Jeff Weitzel.
At the east end of the grounds is the Lewis and Clark Native Plant Garden. From this point you can see surrounding native wildflowers as well as the land the Corps of Discovery traversed in October 1805 and again in April 1806. The site also features a site-specific sculpture by architect Brad Cloepfil of Allied Works Architecture who's recently completed wing for the Seattle Art Museum opened this month. Called the Maryhill Overlook, this sculpture has won critical acclaim nationally and internationally. It overlooks the Columbia River and gives viewers an opportunity to experience the magnificent setting of the eastern Columbia River Gorge. A series of cutouts and windows in the sculpture isolates smaller views within the grandeur landscape.
Consider bringing a picnic lunch, spend time exploring the museum's generous grounds and gardens, and admiring the colorful peacocks. Admission to the sculpture garden and grounds are free.
Inside the museum visitors can enjoy flowers throughout the museum's permanent and temporary exhibits. Lilies, chrysanthemums and other flowers can be found as motifs on furniture and artwork in the Queen Marie Gallery. The exhibit Master Glassmakers includes a number of vases by the French art nouveau artist Emile Galle that feature such flowers as lilies and magnolias. In the Native People of North America Gallery objects of great beauty sport flower motifs on bags, clothing, and baskets from across North America.
Not far from the museum itself, is the historic Maryhill Loops Road, open for biking and walking from 7 a.m. to dusk each day. Admission is free. This 2.8 mile stretch is part of the original road built by Sam Hill around 1910 and is the first asphalt paved road in Washington State. Up and back, the walk is a little over five miles rising 850 feet through fields of wildflowers. It offers some spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.
Wildflowers can also be viewed near the Stonehenge Memorial, located about 2.5 miles east of the museum. Built hundreds of years after the original Stonehenge in England by Hill, as a tribute to the soldiers of Klickitat County who lost their lives, Maryhill Museum of Art's full-scale Stonehenge was the first monument in our nation to honor the dead of World War I. The location now also includes the Klickitat County War Memorial dedicated to the soldiers of Klickitat County who died in World War II, Korea, and Viet Nam.