Highfield Hall & Gardens announces its annual Summer’s Upon! Open House on Sunday, June 25 from 12:30 PM to 3:00 PM. The event includes the opening of a fairy house exhibition, the opportunity to meet internationally recognized fiber artists, estate and garden tours, free ice cream, and adorable goats munching on the property’s invasive plants. Admission is free and all are welcome.
To announce the event, Canadian artist Dominique Ehrmann has installed a huge quilted pinwheel in front of the mansion and California artist Ashley Blalock has created giant ‘snowflake’ white doilies in the Beech tree grove along Highfield Drive. These two installations alone are worth a visit to the property.
The event on Sunday begins with a docent-led estate walk around the property. These popular walks are perfect for those who would like to learn the history of the Beebe family who built the mansion in 1878, the community activism that saved the house from demolition, and the restoration of the building and grounds.
At 1:00 PM Highfield celebrates its third biennial Fairy House show. The show includes 25 artist-made fairy houses, each inspired by a different children’s storybook. Some of the books are well known, other less so, and visitors will enjoy both the artistry of the houses and discovering the secrets of which book inspired the artist. Seven of the houses are located in the mansion or on the porch, with the remaining 18 scattered around the grounds.
Participating artists in the fairy house show are: Bobbi Bailin, Sue Beardsley, Jim Bowen, Julie Child, Jackie deRuyter, Annie Dean, Sally Egan, Ron Geering, Kathleen Hall, Anna Holmes, Skee Houghton, Susan Jackson, Ramune Jauniskis, Toby Lorenzen and Bob Beardsley, Salley Mavor, Nancy Murphy and Mary Ellen McLoughlin, Sarah Peters, Nicole St. Pierre, Nancy and Emeline Porter, Susan Fuller, Cynthia Rose, Kimberly Sheerin, Terry Soares and Highfield Garden Volunteers, Linda and Sophia Steele, Angela Tanner and Amanda Wastrom.
Fairy house location maps will be available and there will be a free fairy house-making workshop from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM for families.
The event will include artist receptions for the new summer exhibitions, “Interwoven: Art Meets Nature, A National Fiber Exhibition” and “Once Upon a Quilt,” which features the artwork of Dominique Ehrmann, a three-dimensional quilter and fabric sculptor from Quebec, Canada.
Ms. Ehrmann, whose extraordinary technique combines traditional quilting methods with astonishing feats of engineering, will present a free talk at 10:30 AM, prior to the Open House. She will describe how she uses principles of children’s pop up books to create works as large as 72 inches tall and 18 inches deep. She will offer technical information and discuss the fascinating story behind her evolution from a chocolatier to a virtuoso quilter.
Ms. Ehrmann will also be available throughout the entire day to answer questions and describe how she sews in the woods using a solar powered sewing machine.
For those interested in learning more about the gardens and plantings at Highfield, Landscape Director Terry Soares will lead a tour of the grounds at 1:30 PM. This is a rare opportunity for visitors to learn about the restored formal gardens, as well as new varietal plantings and Highfield’s new Gardens Initiative.
To complement the festive activities, visitors walking along the fairy house tour will see goats from The Goatscaping Company who will be on site for one week munching on invasive plants.
Parking signs will be posted to direct visitors to parking areas and special parking in front of the mansion will be reserved for those with ambulatory concerns. Highfield Hall & Gardens opens for the day at 10:00 AM for those who would like to view the exhibitions prior to the Summer Open House.
Highfield Hall & Gardens, a restored 1878 mansion and estate, is located at 56 Highfield Drive in Falmouth, MA. Surrounded by spectacular gardens and woodlands, Highfield hosts art exhibitions, music concerts, culinary classes, festivals, family events and public programs. The mansion is open to visitors 7 days a week from April 15 to October 31 and year-round for programs and functions. Hours are Monday-Friday 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM, weekends 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM and free on Fridays during July and August from 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM. For information, call (508) 495-1878 or visit highfieldhall.org.