Pyramid Hill is a study in contradictions. It’s a larger-than-life sculpture park, yet it’s also a hidden gem. It’s an indoor art museum that houses ancient artworks and outdoor sculpture park that’s an homage to all things modern and postmodern. It hosts a dazzling, multimedia, boundary-pushing lights show and a classic art fair featuring humble local makers and artisans.
The park gets about 50,000 visitors a year, and year-on-year attendance continues to grow. “We got a large influx of visitors during COVID because our park stretches over 300 acres, so there’s plenty of space to spread out and enjoy all the art and nature,” says Marketing Manager Delaney French. “The local community enjoys frequent visits to see new contemporary exhibitions, events, or to hike.”
Certain installations invite guests to touch, feel, and interact. “Paul” by Martin Gantman is a bold red bench that’s split in the middle, while Jim Tilly’s “Gyro Chair II” is a spinning seat that’s a whirling good time for the young (and young at heart). Jon Isherwood’s “The Age of Stone” is Butler County’s very own Stonehenge (see gallery below).
Pyramid Hill is marked with 80 larger-than-life sculptures in an environment of meadows, forests, and gardens. Visitors are welcome to stroll around on two feet, though if you want to cover all 300 acres, don’t hesitate to commission an Art Cart. Pyramid Hill is the only museum that offers delightfully rebranded golf carts to use on the grounds.
“The Gates” by John Hock (below) is a provocative piece made from painted steel and incorporates several architectural elements. Guests are welcome to take a rest on its bench-like lower section.
Visiting Pyramid Hill is a total sensory experience. Turn off a country road and you’ll find yourself face- to-face with a striking red monument (below) that marks the entryway. It can also be a historical experience. Fortified Hill is an earthwork created by the Hopewell people that’s pristine and perfectly preserved. It’s part of continued efforts to transform the park into a place that both honors and expands upon the vision of park founder Henry T. Wilks. “Pyramid Hill is planning a transformation to tell the stories of the land, people, and sculptures before they became part of the park,” says Interim Director Sarah J. Templeton Wilson.
Since art is a dynamic and evolving experience, so too is Pyramid Hill. The park’s annual holiday lights display has transformed into something truly unique over the past several years, and special events keep visitor experiences fresh and new. Looking ahead (or above?), French says the park’s location for 2024’s total lunar eclipse will be celebrated at the Eclipse Watch Party on April 8. “We are welcoming everyone to spread out across our 300 acres for a-once-in-a- lifetime experience.”
Photographs by Marlene Rounds