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Resounds: Tippet Rise Art Center

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Anna Paige
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Pete Hinmon, co-director of Tippet Rise, on the main campus of the art center, with Two Discs, a sculpture by Alexander Calder, in the background

Another summer of COVID precautions prevented Tippet Rise Art Center in Fishtail, Montana, from opening for a season of classical music concerts and sculpture tours. However the Art Center did decide to take reservations for hiking and biking. The entire 2021 summer season sold out within a couple of days of being announced. (Hiking and bicycling tours are free of charge, but require advance reservations.)

Roughly 13 miles of trails and 13 miles of gravel road connect the nine sculptures at Tippet Rise. Distances between each sculpture vary from .5 mile to 3 miles on hilly terrain with very steep grades. The majestic Beartooth Mountain range is visible from throughout the 12,000 acre Art Center.

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Anna Paige
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Lindsey Hinmon, co-director of Tippet Rise, pictured inside Daydreams, a 2015 sculpture by Patrick Dougherty. In 2021, the center added poetry audio inside the installation

Co-directors Lindsey and Pete Hinmon provided a short tour of several sculpture on the main campus area and provided insights to the artwork as well as the philosophy of the Art Center.

Artist Patrick Dougherty composes with nature—wielding saplings and sticks to build monumental structures that echo the visual and audio landscape. Dougherty literally worked with nature at Tippet Rise, crafting his school house-like sculpture from local willows.

An interesting new component within Patrick Dougherty’s Daydreams, is an audio component. Visitors can activate an I-pad and listen to a number of poems recorded through a project with the Adrian Brinkerhoff Poetry Foundation. Lindsey Hinmon explains this interesting collaboration of art and poetry. Portions of poems by Peter Halstead and Kim Blaeser can be heard in the recording.

Pete Hinmon takes us into the newest sculpture, Xylem. Known for creating structures sympathetic to their natural environment, Francis Kéré is among the vanguard of architects working today. His outdoor pavilions are globally recognized for their debt to African vernacular architecture and their relationship to the unique sites they inhabit. At Tippet Rise, Kéré has created a gathering pavilion, inspired by the wooden and straw toguna structures sacred in Dogon communities in West Africa and constructed of locally and sustainably sourced ponderosa and lodgepole pine.

Corby Skinner is an independent marketing professional with an enormous capacity for assessing issues and creating positive, effective messages.
Anna Paige is a Montana-based journalist, poet and educator. She is originally from Wyoming and has lived in Billings for more than a decade, where she co-founded Young Poets, winner of the 2021 Library of Congress Award for Literacy.