The Verbier 3-D Foundation is a non-profit cultural organization dedicated to promoting contemporary art, environmentalism and education through its Artist Residency and Sculpture Park.
Founded in 2010 by New York-based artist Madeleine Paternot and Verbier-based artist Kiki Thompson, the pioneering organization creates an experimental and educational Artist Residency and Sculpture Park at an altitude of 2,300 meters, inspired by the stunning Alpine landscape of Verbier, Switzerland.
Our mission is to support emerging and established talent by pushing artists out of their comfort zones, fostering development that might not be possible in the studio space.
The research-led residency is co-curated by Alexa Jeanne Kusber and Paul Goodwin with a perspective of creating a cross-disciplinary residency for artists to investigate modern environmental issues in creative dialogue with local scholars, scientists and the public to chronicle the impact of the surrounding natural environment.
The Sculpture Park is an evolving display of multimedia works developed during the residencies from artists such as Olaf Breuning, James Capper, Onyedika Chuke, Gregory Coates, Tarik Hayward, Chloe Dewe Mathews, Zak Ové, Will Ryman, and Josette Taramarcaz, among many others.
Find out more about our visiting and collaborating artists, view upcoming and past exhibitions, and engage in our evolving education programmes.
What we do
Our aim is to generate an aesthetic sensibility in the arts and for artists to develop innovative series of works and creative propositions in situ that can provide a prism to see the fragility, but also the beauty, of our environment in a new light.
The Sculpture Park, located at an altitude of 2,300 meters in the Swiss Alps, is a space where visitors can experience monumental sculpture and site-specific commissions.
The power of art is its ability to articulate human emotions and values such as beauty and truth. On the mountain, faced with such sublime vistas, the visitor can experience these works of art… completely removed from the gallery or museum, directly confronting the truth of nature. This is the true meaning of a museum without walls.
Paul Goodwin, Verbier 3-D Curator
Verbier 3–D Sculpture Park, or the museum without walls
In 2011, Verbier’s first Sculpture Park was created by the 3-D Foundation on the path between the ski lifts of La Chaux and Ruinettes, at an altitude of 2300 metres.
The Sculpture Park features new work by emerging and leading artists that welcomes engagement to experimental ideas around art and environmentalism.
Each year, new thought-provoking work in the field of “Climate Research Art” is developed during the residency and exhibited in the Verbier 3-D Foundation Sculpture Park for a period of at least 2 years.
Visitors of all ages have the opportunity to access artists’ research and further learn about the crossroads between climate, knowledge and art in the alpine environment the work was inspired from.
Recognising the potential impact of severe environmental conditions – snow, wind, water, sun – the works featured in the Park are exhibited on long-term rotation or are time-based works.
Free Guided Tours of the sculpture park are available throughout the year.
Kiki Thompson, co-founder of Verbier 3-D, is a professional artist and designer. She spent the formative years of her life in New York, received a BA (Hons) in Art and French from Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, UK., then returned to Verbier, Switzerland.
Inspired by the rugged mountains of the Alps, she segued into a short career as a professional snowboarder following the World Cup Circuit and chasing winter between hemispheres. Many of her sculptures have the same sinuous lines that are left on the mountain after a fresh snowfall.
Kiki has exhibited in Switzerland, New Zealand, New York, California and London. Her artwork appears in prominent public collections in New Zealand and Switzerland as well as in notable private collections worldwide. She is the Art Director of Swiss Bright Design: sustainable sculptural lighting.
When the artists are in residence in Verbier, she strives to push them out of their comfort zone to get them to a new level in their artistic practice. She is a strong advocate of the educative component of the residency for a grass roots understanding of contemporary art practices.
CH / USA
Madeleine Paternot co-founder of Verbier 3-D is a painter and published author, based between New York and London. She received a B.A. in Anthropology from Vassar College (NY) in 1995. She has a Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Fine Art in 1998, Kensington & Chelsea College (London).
Madeleine was selected for “Swiss Art in the UK 2001” and showed at the Swiss Embassy in London. Over the past 16 years she has participated in multiple group exhibitions and more than a dozen solo shows. Her work has appeared in private and public collections in London, Killarney, Paris, Milan, Lausanne, Verbier, Dubai, Boston and New York.
Nomadic by nature, Paternot has lived all over the world, using her travels as a springboard for her own artworks.Paternot truly champions international exchange as a way to enhance creativity and this is a frequent focus within her artistic and educational business endeavours. As well as an intrinsic part of the making of Verbier 3-D Artists Residency
She completed a residency in Painting at the School of Visual Arts, (NY) in 2009 and 2010. It was during the SVA residency, which both Kiki and Madeleine attended, that the Verbier 3-D Foundation was initially crystallised.
Alexa Jeanne Kusber
Alexa Jeanne Kusber is an American independent curator and creative based in Zurich. Throughout her career she has maintained a focus on questioning and expanding the notion of curating. She currently is the Public Programming Curator at the Museum of Digital Art (MuDA) in Zurich where she attempts to disrupt and strengthen the practice of cultural mediation. Concurrently she curates a residency program at the Verbier 3-D Foundation, creating a space for artists and experimentation to meet in an alternative context in which the artists’ practices are challenged to create cutting-edge contemporary art in relation to place.
Before moving to Switzerland in 2015, she had spent eight years in London working independently as curator and arts manager developing exhibitions and educational programs (such as “From Now to Eternity”, “Disappearing Moon” and “[re]locate”) and collaboratively with organizations such as ACE (Arts Council England) and The British Council. Alexa was part of the small team that developed The Museum of Everything in 2009, and went on to manage a dynamic cultural project for Ralph Lauren, much of which involved supporting young international artists throughout Europe through exhibition and educational programs.
Alaina Simone is the owner and founder of two businesses: Alaina Simone Incorporated, an artist liaison consultancy focused on internationally recognized artists, gallery collections and institutions, and Alaina Simone Productions LLC, a production company that specializes in creative partnerships between brands, cultural influencers and contemporary artists. She has produced and curated exhibitions, with corresponding educational programming, in the United States and abroad. Simone’s independent practice focuses on the intersectionality of race, gender, power, identity and the environment, as it relates to the African diaspora and women.
Leading publications have recognized her exhibitions, including the The New York Times, Art in America, and The New Yorker among others. She has placed work in public and private institutions including Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Fowler Museum at UCLA, and Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, to name a few. She is a Board Member of Verbier 3-D since its inception in 2010 and a committee advisor for SculptureCenter, Watermill Center and the National Arts Club among others. Simone was a guest speaker at New York Arab Art & Education Initiative Summit (UNESCO), Pratt University and IESA International, to name a few. She lives and works in New York City.
Professor of University of the Arts London, Paul Goodwin is an independent curator, urban theorist and researcher. His curatorial, research and writing projects extend across the interdisciplinary fields of contemporary art and urbanism with a particular focus on black and diaspora artists, and visual cultures. Paul has focused on the dynamics of how processes of migration, globalisation and transnationalism are yielding new forms of innovative artistic and curatorial practices in European, African and American contexts.
From 2008 to 2012 as a curator at Tate Britain he directed the pioneering Cross Cultural Programme that explored questions of migration and globalisation in contemporary British art through a programme of international conferences, workshops, talks and live art events.
Current research projects in development include a project on the relationship between black radical imaginaries, Afrofuturism and cities in the UK, USA and South Africa and Ghosts: technologies/subjectivities an exhibition and research programme across University of the Arts London in 2014-2016.
Goodwin is curatorial director of the 3-D Foundation. During each residency he provides personal directed feedback for each artist.