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Tippet Rise Art Center opens new scenic pavilion designed by Francis Kéré
Francis Kéré-designed Xylem at Tippet Rise Art Center in Montana, 2019. Image courtesy of Tippet Rise/Iwan Baan. Photo by Iwan Baan.


FISHTAIL, MT.- Tippet Rise Art Center welcomes the public for its fourth summer, offering tours of its monumental outdoor sculptures and architectural structures on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Visitors can explore the 12,000-acre working ranch via 10.5 miles of hiking and biking trails, or by shuttle van. This year, visitors can also explore a new scenic pavilion, Xylem, designed by celebrated architect Francis Kéré. The pavilion, which was inaugurated on July 13, is the first site-specific commission to be added to the art center’s collection since Tippet Rise opened in 2016.

The summer’s concert season began July 12 and continue for seven weeks, through September 7, 2019. The season brings together accomplished artists and up-and-coming stars for 23 indoor and outdoor recitals and chamber music performances, which will span more than four centuries of repertoire.

Tippet Rise co-founders Peter and Cathy Halstead said, “We are eager to welcome our incredible visitors to Tippet Rise again this summer. The fourth season offers a variety of special experiences from world premieres to Francis Kéré’s new gathering place—a quiet place to contemplate nature. We are thrilled to have collaborated with Francis on such a meaningful piece of architecture. We also hope that this pavilion will forever create a link between Montana and Burkina Faso, where the Tippet Rise Fund of the Sidney E. Frank Foundation is supporting the completion of a secondary school built in Francis’s unique, context-specific language.”

Francis Kéré said, “Standing on the high meadow of Tippet Rise Art Center, looking out at the mountains under a vast sky, people can face nature at its widest scale. But with this pavilion, Tippet Rise offers a more intimate experience of its landscape within a quiet shelter, where people can access the most secret part of nature: the heart of the trees. I am honored that Peter and Cathy Halstead invited me to contribute to their magnificent art center, and I am deeply grateful for their generosity in linking the creation of this pavilion to the construction of a new school in my home of Burkina Faso.”

Xylem, Designed by Francis Kéré
World-renowned architect Francis Kéré has designed Tippet Rise’s new 2,100-square-foot pavilion, Xylem, drawing inspiration from the wooden and straw toguna structures sacred in Dogon communities in West Africa. Nestled in a grove of aspen and cottonwood trees beside Grove Creek and the art center’s central campus, Xylem is constructed of locally and sustainably sourced ponderosa and lodgepole pine and features a canopy of vertical logs, which filters shafts of light onto the seating areas. The seating elements’ organic shapes are inspired in part by abstract paintings that artist and Tippet Rise co-founder Cathy Halstead created based on forms of microscopic life, in addition to the sinuous topography of the surrounding hills. Visitors to Tippet Rise may gather within Xylem to converse or contemplate the views, or sit and meditate in solitude. From time to time, programs will be hosted in the pavilion, including poetry readings and musical performances.

In keeping with the educational mission of Tippet Rise, the Tippet Rise Fund of the Sidney E. Frank Foundation is supporting Francis Kéré in building environmentally sustainable and climatically appropriate schools in West Africa by funding the construction of a new school he has designed in his birthplace, the village of Gando in Burkina Faso. Opening in January 2020, the Naaba Belem Goumma Secondary School will accommodate approximately 1,000 students.






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