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Dorothy Riester

Dorothy Riester was an artist – a fact she first asserted at five years old. As a sculptor, Dorothy applied her artful touch to everything she did, shaping a life and career that were beautiful and inspiring in equal measure. As a trailblazer, Dorothy was accustomed to breaking the mold.

“It’s tough to be first at anything,”Dorothy once declared as she mused about lessons learned during her long and impressive career as a pioneer in the art world. “Just as society is starting to accept what you are doing, you are on to the next unpopular thing.”

In the 1950s and 60s that ‘unpopular thing’ was the creation of an informal sculpture garden and art exhibit venue hosted by Dorothy and Bob Riester on their beloved picnic-spot-turned-home and avant-garden in Cazenovia. Dorothy’s idea eventually went mainstream, garnering accolades from the art world and touted as a crowning jewel of Cazenovia’s community fabric.

From that initial concept, Dorothy was the founder of Stone Quarry Hill Art Park, one of the world’s first art-in-nature parks, which sits on the same 100-acre compound she and her late husband Bob called home for many years. Ever the visionary, Dorothy created the Robert & Dorothy Riester Fund for Stone Quarry Hill Art Park Preservation at the Community Foundation in 2003 to ensure the long-term preservation and maintenance of the art park’s grounds and physical property.

Dorothy was drawn to the Community Foundation because of its longevity and its unique ability to preserve the voice ofthe donor through the generations. It was reassuring to Dorothy that we will always stay true to her instructions for the use ofthe funds under its management no matter what the future holds.

With the sad news of Dorothy’s passing at the age of 100, we will strive to do just that. Dorothy’s charitable legacy will live on through her fund, and her unique vision for her and Bob’s cherished art park will be preserved inperpetuity. As we remember Dorothy and celebrate her long life, we will draw unending inspiration from the many lessons she taught us about the art of living and giving back.


Giving Options

To support the Robert & Dorothy Riester Fund for Stone Quarry Hill Art Park Preservation, visit its giving page here
If you're interested in opening a designated fund, learn more here.