Pyramid Hill expands Founder’s Day to a weekend celebration

Hamilton sculpture park and museum to announce new events, programs for 2024.

Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum will host Founder’s Day Weekend on Saturday and Sunday, when it will celebrate the park’s history and announce the 2024 season highlights.

“Those that already know and love the park are encouraged to bring a friend to experience the land, art and activities the park has to offer. For those that have never been to the park, this is a great opportunity to discover the park,” said Sarah Templeton Wilson, executive director at Pyramid Hill.

For the first time, Pyramid Hill will offer free admission for the entire weekend. Founder’s Day Weekend will serve as the official announcement of the season’s programming, updates to the museum facilities and contemporary art exhibitions.

The free admission during regular business hours, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, is in memory of Harry T. Wilks.

Founder’s Day is an annual event at Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum that celebrates the March 11 birthday of Wilks.

“Founder’s Day is an excellent way to experience the entire park as it was intended by Harry T. Wilks — full of art, nature and community,” Templeton Wilson said.

Wilks, a Miami University alum, was a prominent lawyer in Hamilton County who served the community through philanthropic endeavors. He had a passion for art, sculpture and nature. Wilks first purchased a 40-acre property to build his home, which has become known as the iconic Pyramid House. Later, he purchased additional land, and converted the property into Pyramid Hill, a 300-plus acre nonprofit sculpture park and museum. Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum opened in 1997. Wilks brought joy to many before he died in 2014 on his 89th birthday.

“We really encourage people to get out to the park and enjoy it,” said Delaney French, marketing, and sales manager at Pyramid Hill. “Founder’s Day is the park’s mission in a nutshell. It’s art and nature, and it’s really about the community.”

On Saturday, Steven Tuck of Miami University will lead a guided conversation about Pyramid Hill’s ancient sculpture collection. The antiquities collection is being re-curated and it will be entirely housed inside the iconic Pyramid House, and guests will be given an inside look at the process. Tuck’s tour was a visitors’ favorite last year. Participants will hear stories about the artists, patrons, subjects and beliefs of the ancient cultures in which the pieces were created. Two tours will be offered at 11-11:45 a.m. and 1-1:45 p.m.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

There will also be a Meet and Mingle at the Pyramid House Museum with Templeton Wilson from 10-11 a.m. Saturday. Guests will enjoy coffee, snacks, and they can explore the newly re-curated ancient sculpture collection.

Another highlight will include an Outdoor Sculpture Tour of the Pavilion Lawn from noon to 12:45 p.m. Guests will join a staff-led walking tour and conversation about the outdoor monumental sculptures in the Pavilion area. Tour stops will include visitor favorites such as Age of Stone, In Pieces, and The Web.

Additionally, there will be a Family Scavenger Hunt at the Visitor Center from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Guests should check in with staff at the Visitor Center to begin the scavenger hunt, and they will be in search of spring blooms along the Gallery Loop. For a complete schedule of activities and events, visit pyramidhill.org/events.

Also, during Founder’s Day, attendees will get the inside scoop on long-awaited updates on Fortified Hill, a Native American earthworks site adjacent to the park. Pyramid Hill is the current steward of the land, which is the traditional homelands of the Myaamia (Miami) and Saawanooki (Shawnee) peoples. Guests will find out the latest updates and hear how to get involved in the project.

The announcement about spring programming will include events and activities, exhibitions, workshops and special events, including the Total Solar Eclipse Watch Party on April 8, beginning at noon.

“There are definitely some long-awaited announcements that people have been looking forward to,” said French. “People are going to be really excited about the things we have coming for 2024.”

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