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Massive Montana Ranch Becomes Architecture and Arts Destination

With Tippet Rise Art Center, Big Sky Country gets a new destination for art, architecture, and sculpture

When you think of architectural destinations, Fishtail, Montana is probably not at the top of the list. Yet.

But Fishtail, located a couple of hours north of Yellowstone National Park, is now home to the Tippet Rise Art Center, a sprawling new sculpture park and concert venue that aims to "erase the traditional boundaries between art, nature and architecture." The brainchild of artists Cathy and Peter Halstead, who purchased the land in 2010, the site opens on June 17 on a working 11,500-acre ranch.

Ensamble Studio—a firm based in Boston and Madrid—has already completed a trio of sculptural works inspired by the rugged Montana landscape. Lead by partners Antón García-Abril and Débora Mesa, Ensamble carved holes in the hills to cast monolithic concrete "portals" and caves.

Last year, artist Patrick Dougherty used local willow saplings and sticks to create a swirling, nest-like construction around and inside a frontier-style schoolhouse. More sculptures created by Mark di Suvero and Stephen Talasnik dot the grounds, and additional installations are in the works. Miles apart, each artwork is reached by taking electric shuttles and hiking across the hills.

Two performance spaces will also host concerts and educational programs throughout the summer beginning on June 17.

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