By Alicia Dziak
Just a short drive into the hills off Route 219 between Springville and Ellicottville lies one of the largest and oldest sculpture parks in the country, Griffis Sculpture Park. Since the early 1960s, over 250 sculptures of Larry Griffis, Jr. and other international artists have been residing in the woods and fields of the 450-acre park. Add in miles of scenic hiking trails, and the experience is one where art and nature collide.
The park is split into two sections, each with its own parking area. The Rohr Hill Road Site is characterized by towering sculptures set in fields and woods just off the road. The Mill Valley Road Site features miles of trails through a variety of terrain, perhaps most notably the semi-steep climb to the area that includes the stage used for outdoor concerts in the park.
On Sunday, Aug. 19, the park will celebrate a day of creativity at the sixth annual Griffis Sculpture Park Summer Festival from 2 to 7 p.m.
Headlining the festival is the Americana/folk band, Driftwood from Binghamton, N.Y. Their live performances are making them regional favorites in Western New York and beyond. Driftwood has been described as “a band with a rock n’ roll soul and a folk art mind.”
Additional performers are: The Probables (roots rock from former Big Leg Emma members), Sly Boots Circus (African drum & dance group), Kaleidoscope Sky (reggae and rock) and poet, Autumn Echo.
Admission will be $20 advance, $25 day of show for adults, 12 and under FREE. Gates open at noon. Tickets can be purchased online at: www.eventbrite.com/e/griffis-sculpture-park-sixth-annual-festival-featuring-driftwood-tickets-46761302314.
Park patrons can also take advantage of other special programming throughout the summer. The schedule of events is as follows:
• July 21, Screen Printing Activity, 12 p.m. (bring a white t-shirt).
• July 28, Free Guided Hike, 12- 2 p.m.
• Aug. 4, Stream Walk Searching for Brachiopods, 12 p.m. (bring water shoes or rain boots).
• Aug. 18, Free Guided Hike, 12-2 p.m.
• Aug. 19, GSP Summer Festival, 12-7 p.m.
• Aug. 25, Branch Sculptures, 12 p.m.
Admission to the park is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and students and free for children 12 and under. Admission is on the honor system and should be placed in the yellow box by the Mill Valley parking lot.
For more info, visit www.griffispark.org.