our guiding stars

Mission + Strategic Vision


Peter Reginato, Mummenschanz, 1980,  steel, 68 in x 40 in x 30 in, Grounds For Sculpture, Gift of Polytechnic University, Original Gift of the Dobkin Family, photo: David Michael Howarth Photography


Grounds For Sculpture is a 42-acre sculpture park, museum, and arboretum founded on the site of the former New Jersey State Fairgrounds. Opened to the public in 1992, it has become one of the premier cultural destinations in New Jersey, welcoming and enchanting three million visitors since then. Founded by artist and philanthropist Seward Johnson, the nonprofit Grounds For Sculpture presents and conserves an exceptional collection of contemporary sculpture, offers outstanding programming for all ages, and provides rotating exhibitions in six indoor galleries.


Grounds For Sculpture combines art and beckoning spaces to welcome, surprise and engage all visitors in the artist’s act of invention.

Strategic Vision 2018-2028

Grounds For Sculpture (GFS) is in a period of significant transition, building on a sound and vibrant foundation of success over the last 25 years. A strategic planning process has resulted in a long-term vision that sets our aspirations to be a leader, magnet and vibrant forum that invites a diverse public to create, learn, and discover personal meaning in their interactions with art, nature and one another. Our plan identifies key strategic priorities (Impact, Relevance & Capacity) that will drive the next 3-5 years of work toward our larger vision.

GFS seeks to be inclusive, reflective, and responsive to the dynamic world we live in. The potential power of this aspiration was driven home during the planning process by a concurrent exhibition, Joyce J. Scott: Harriet Tubman and Other Truths. The exhibit helped us to imagine other future opportunities to be more explicit about our commitment to diversity and inclusion at all levels, and to reach out to individuals, families, and groups who might otherwise not be served by our offerings. This work has moved our Board to articulate and commit deeply to values and goals of relevance, social impact, responsiveness, inclusion, diversity (among our Board, collection, artists, staff, volunteers) in a remarkable way. It has enabled us to see and feel what we can do if we fully commit to these values.

We plan to expand and deepen our impact by growing as a cultural hub in the region. We will focus on deepening our engagement with, and providing meaningful encounters for, all our visitors. We will expand our educational reach and maximize our role as a leading cultural organization in NJ. Growth will be strategically paced to balance our capacity with demand and financial viability.


  • visiting an oasis of beauty, where art and imaginatively landscaped gardens awaken the senses, enhances well-being, and stimulates reflection.
  • the experience and discovery of art in nature is transformative.
  • the visual arts should reflect the complex and dynamic world around us, inspiring essential conversations and understandings.
  • in artists’ abilities to envision anew, challenge perceptions and inspire; we support them in taking ambitious next steps in their creative process.
  • in a democratizing approach to art in which novice and connoisseur are equally at home.
  • in a culture of inclusion that reaches out and warmly welcomes in.
  • that curiosity, discovery, and playfulness have and will continue to guide our work.
  • in a culture of imagination, innovation and forward thinking.
  • that as a museum we have the responsibility to serve as a platform, convener and bridge within and among our communities.
  • in nurturing imagination by connecting people with art, artists, and the creative process.


Download the full plan: Grounds For Sculpture Strategic Vision 2018-2028
* Adopted by the Board of Trustees on March 9, 2018


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