Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Grand Rapids, Michigan, a haven for art - who knew?
But wait!…there’s more: In addition to the permanent collection—which in itself would have been enough to warrant an overnight visit to Grand Rapids—there is always a guest artist who is invited to do site specific installations for a season. The current installation is A New Eden by Dale Chihuly. I love Chihuly’s glass work and I thought I knew what I would be seeing. I’d been to Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago a few years ago when he did an installation there. Here, as there, one enters through the typical greenhouse setting (smaller than Milwaukee’s domes) and I did recognize Chihuly’s motifs. But once I got outside I was unprepared for the scope and variety of his installations, which were done not only within the confines of the sculpture park, but spilled over into the natural areas as well. It's hard to describe the impact of seeing monumental glass in the landscape. The contrast of its fragility and luminosity with the scale and context is breathtaking. Pictures tell this story better than words. I invite you to view a photo essay by clicking over to my flickr page. This teaser is called Red Reeds. There are 500 of them:
How ironic that just last week I posted a complaint about having to miss the opening of the new Indianapolis sculpture park. I did miss it so I can’t compare, but this was a very satisfying alternative. In fact, although I did enjoy the art museum too, it played second fiddle, I’m afraid.
Grand Rapids, Michigan: a destination for art lovers. Who knew?