In the fall of 2021, Landis added yet another sculpture, “Bracing Stone,” by local artist Kristen DeFontes-Wells, to its collection. This sculpture, made of limestone, steel, and reclaimed lumber, sits near the Meeting House, majestically overlooking the Schoharie Valley.
As an artist looking at another artist’s art, I was intrigued by this piece. To me, it spoke about the precarious balance between man and nature. The natural pieces weigh in at a massive 2,275 pounds and dwarf the manmade pieces of steel and reclaimed lumber, perhaps suggesting the enduring stability and power of the natural world.
The Landis Arboretum has a history rich in the arts since its inception. In the 1950s, it was a meeting place for writers of poetry and novels, dancers, painters, actors, and musicians, all using its location and the beauty of nature as the backdrop. Fred Lape, the Arboretum’s founder, was himself an accomplished poet and musician.
The Arboretum continues to be a haven for creative minds, welcoming artists of all media: sculptors, painters, musicians, actors, writers.