The countryside north of Kingston is a natural art gallery of forests, lakes, and Canadian Shield rock. A small part of it is a real art gallery too. The Godfrey Sculpture Park is located near the hamlet of Godfrey. It’s on the bucolic 60-acre property where sculptor Stefan Duerst has his studio. Originally from Munich, Germany, he trained there as a metal fabricator and blacksmith. He immigrated to Canada 15 years ago and had a shop in Kingston before relocating to his rural home six years ago with his wife and two children. The sculpture park opened last year and features Duerst’s work along with sculptors Chaka Chikodzi, Kevin Lockau, and German graffiti artist “loomit.” Duerst wants to attract more artists to showcase their work at the park and to create a tranquil space that people can visit to learn and practice activities like yoga and meditation. He’s also a certified Jin Shin Do(R) accupressurist and offers treatments. In addition to the sculptures, the property has a trail through the forest that goes past a beaver pond.
Stefan Duerst’s work is in public places across Canada and the world. He’s done commissioned works for government, corporations, and charities. Tony Orr works as his fabrication assistant. Orr is also a long-time broadcaster on radio stations in Kingston. He was also a Broadcast Journalism instructor for several years at Loyalist community college in Belleville. Duerst said his rural neighbors have been supportive of the Godfrey Sculpture Park because it’s bringing visitors to the community, which relies mostly on small-scale agriculture and seasonal tourism for economic activity. The rugged landscape on this former farm accentuates the sculptures. It gives visitors the opportunity to reflect and interpret what they see.
The Godfrey Sculpture Park is located north of Kingston, just off the Westport Road between Road 38 and Westport. Admission is by donation. Stefan’s friendly dog likes to greet visitors with a wagging tail and a stick in his mouth.