Michigan Legacy Art Park – Nature, History, and Sculptures at Crystal Mountain (Thompsonville)
Many people visit Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville each year to ski, golf, attend a wedding or special event, or even to take a ride on the Crystal Coaster alpine slide. What many of those visitors don’t know is that tucked in the hills of the resort is one of Michigan’s coolest sculpture parks – the Michigan Legacy Art Park. Home to more than 50 pieces of art that are displayed alongside wooded trails, this park is worth a stop for anyone who enjoys sculpture, Michigan history, or beautiful walks through the woods. We had a chance to visit in June and today we will share some pictures from our visit.
The Michigan Legacy Art Park traces its origins back to 1995 and was the idea of artist David Barr. “Barr was awarded the Governor’s Michigan Artist Award in 1988. In his acceptance speech, he told the audience of his desire to create a Michigan Art Park—a place where artists could tell the story of our state in and through the fundamental materials of nature. In his assessment of our state at that time, there was something missing – a place that expresses Michigan’s history through the arts. Illustrations or artifacts of that history already existed, but he wanted contemporary artists to bring that history to fresh and vivid life.”
Many of the permanent pieces here were crafted by Barr, and plaques in front of each one do a great job of explaining what each piece has to do with Michigan. We loved the way that the art is worked into the landscape and blends in almost too well at times.
The art park is a non-profit and asks for a donation of $5 per adult (children free) near the entrance. The park hosts an impressive slate of special events throughout the summer, including concerts and children’s art activities.
Below you will find some photos of the art we saw on our visit, and we look forward to visiting again and seeing even more of what this magical place has to offer! The park is open all year so make sure and add it to your next fall color, skiing, or summer trip!