Outdoor Art

“A space goes beyond functional to fun with the addition of an unusual element,” says Warren Simmonds of San Anselmo based landscape architecture firm Simmonds and Associates. “It could be a gauzy, romantic cabana, which becomes a piece of sculpture in its own right, or it could be a whimsically placed piece. One client has a pair of very large bronze figures by Fernando Botero that look like they are about to jump into his lap pool!”

If you’re looking to turn your own backyard into a setting for art, Simmonds says it’s “important to find a piece or pieces that speak to you, stir a deep emotion within you,” adding that some of his favorite resources for outdoor sculptures include Donna Seager Gallery, I. Wolk Sculpture Gallery, New Leaf Garden Gallery and local artists like Jim Brubaker, Archie Held and Karen Shay. As a landscape architect, Simmonds also advises that when planning an outdoor setting for sculptures, you should keep your backyard plant palette a little more subdued than normal, so as not to compete with the art, unless a great plant is the art, or an intentional counterpoint. He also says that if the art is to be placed in an up-front foreground location, it should usually be of a smallish scale, with more interesting detail. If it will be seen from a distance, it needs to be large, and generally have more space around it. Pieces that you will pass in transitional spaces can be a range of sizes, but “should delight the person passing by, evoking humor or interest in their play of light, shapes, or possibly water.” Simmonds and Associates (San Anselmo). 415.460.0460, simmonds-associates.com