MONKTON — Amateur painter and sculptor Harvey S. Ladew had a keen appreciation of art in many forms: painting, traditional sculpture, garden design and, of course, the art of topiary. Over the years, Ladew Topiary Gardens has welcomed local, national and international artists to the gardens to exhibit and sell their work.
Integrating art into the grounds offers even more enjoyment and inspiration for visitors. Ladew Gardens endeavors to expose visitors to new forms of art using a variety of mediums. In juxtaposing art within nature, Ladew Gardens hopes to enhance the guests’ experience.
This year, Ladew Gardens is honored to showcase the dramatic works of award-winning sculptor John Ruppert in “Sight Lines and Discoveries: Engaging the Landscape,” an exhibition in Ladew’s wildflower meadow, formal gardens and nature walk, through Oct. 31.
Ruppert’s interest in natural phenomena — both in source and in the way that he works — is what drives his creative process. His artistic vision inspired the placement of his works within Ladew’s settings which are complementary, sometimes subtle and intriguing, serving as a catalyst for an experience that increases the awareness of one’s surroundings.
Ruppert creates in cast metals and manufactured materials such as chain-link fabric, mixed media and, more recently, video, digital 3-D printing and digital composite photography.
His works explore the space where natural order and human decision-making meet and the paradoxes that lie between. Ruppert has a lively curiosity about the natural world and the ways its elements affect how we live. He is fascinated with the pull of gravity, the fiery origins of rock, the persistence of eroding waves and lightning’s splintering power.
His work stems from a long tradition of artists who have been inspired by the grand and sublime beauty of the land, from the ancient Chinese poets and artists of Tao, to the 19th-century American landscape painters and, more recently, to artists working directly in the landscape considering our relationship to the environment.
“The sources for my work are drawn from the landscape and the processes that have formed it, the scale and power of industry, and the effect that environmental forces have on human ordering, ranging from remote ancient ruins to urban archaeology.” — John Ruppert
A resident of Baltimore, John is a full professor in the Department of Art at the University of Maryland, College Park. His work in metal castings, photography and media installations has been exhibited far and wide, across the U.S. and further afield in exotic places such as Iceland, Bolivia and China. He has received a long list of grants, awards and distinguished honors.
Ruppert’s sculptures are available for sale. A portion of each sale will be donated to Ladew Gardens’ educational programming.
“Sight Lines and Discoveries” is made possible in part through the generosity of Suzi and David Cordish and Karen and Mike Smith. The exhibit is included in the price of admission to the gardens.
For more information about Ruppert, visit www.johnruppert.com.
For more information about Ladew, call 410-557-9570 or visit www.ladewgardens.com.