New Year Traditions Around the World – Vietnam

The main holiday for Vietnam is New Year, called Tết Nguyên Đán {Day Wen Don}, and is celebrated in January or February depending on the Lunar Calendar. This year the celebration will take place on Thursday, February 19.

Tết Nguyên Đán

Tết Nguyên Đán emphasizes respect for elders and good luck in the upcoming year. To symbolize new beginnings, ancestral alters are decorated with apricot and peach blossoms, and a plate of various fruits is also set out to represent gratitude for the earth, respect for the dead and aspirations for a prosperous life.

Tất Niên offering

Incense is burned in memory of friends and family members who have passed, each stick of incense representing a different ancestor. Singing bowls are played during prayers by rubbing a wooden mallet around the rim of the bowls to produce a unique sound.

Another element to the Vietnamese New Year celebration is inscribing red scrolls with poetry. We have an example on display here as part of our Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World exhibition that reads “Paying respect to our ancestors for our family” and “Returning the favor to our parents for raising us.” Stop by to see them up close for yourself!

Vietnamese Scrolls

A statue of Buddha is also displayed on the alter since the majority of Vietnamese are Buddhist. The Buddha Lady shows compassion by listening to the cries of the people and helping them enter into heaven, and the Laughing Buddha has a large belly and big smile which symbolizes happiness and plenitude. Tradition says that you will receive good luck after rubbing his belly.

What are some of the New Year traditions in your family? Leave them below in the comments or post them on our Facebook page here.

New Year Traditions Around the World – Korea

Seollal

The Korean New Year, called Seollal, is the most important Korean holiday. Celebrating the first day of the new lunar year, Seollal can fall anywhere from late January to late February, depending on the lunar calendar. This year’s celebration will take place on Thursday, February 19. A three-day holiday consisting of celebrations on the day before the Korean New Year Day, New Year Day itself and the day after, many families return to their hometowns and take part in ancestral rituals.

Seollal celebrations  typically begin with everyone wearing a hanbok, or traditional Korean dress without pockets characterized by vibrant colors and simple lines. Hanbok are worn by modern-day Koreans as semi-formal or formal wear only during celebrations and traditional festivals.

Hanbok

Younger members of Korean families perform a ritual for the oldest family members during this time called sebae. Sebae is a deep, formal bow of respect that when performed well results in gifts of money from the older family members. Historically, parents gave rice cakes and fruit to children instead of money.

Sebae

Another ritual performed during Seollal is called charye. Charye involves honoring one’s ancestors by visiting their tombs, bringing offerings of food, fruit and wine. The day before Seollal is spent preparing the food that will be used not only to serve the family but also as an offering to ancestors. Many Koreans believe that the taste and appearance of the ritual foods determines the level of satisfaction of their elders, so great care is taken in preparation.

What are some of the new year traditions in your family? Leave them below in the comments or post them on our Facebook page here.

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World!

If you are a frequent visitor to Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, one of the things that we hope that you’ll observe is that we are striving to be “Always Growing, Always Beautiful and Always New…” Over the past few weeks, our staff and volunteers have been busy making the transition from our fall Chrysanthemums & More! exhibition over to our winter exhibition, Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World. This magical display features over 40 international trees and displays, the enchanting Railway Garden and so much more!

Lena Meijer helps decorate the German tree.

Lena Meijer helps decorate the German tree.

This year’s exhibition jump-starts the 20th anniversary celebrations here at Meijer Gardens and focuses on Asian cultures that celebrate the New Year. A central theme to these celebrations is the way that the past is honored, gathering to show respect and love to their ancestors and remembering those who are no longer with us. In Korea and Vietnam, that respect is shown via alters that are adorned with symbolic objects. Other customs include burning incense in memory of relatives and loved ones who have passed, and preparing ritual foods while dressed in traditional garb. The Japanese New Year, called Shogatsu, is marked with beautiful decorative gate pines known as kadomatsu which welcome ancestral spirits and guard against evil spirits.

Kadomatsu or Gate Pine

Kadomatsu or Gate Pine

A new addition to Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World this year is a display from Ghana, home of our African Sister City, the Ga District. Authentic, brilliantly woven kente and printed adinkra will be on display, handmade cloths that mark the symbolic significance of the Ghanaian people’s colorful history, customs and religion.

The much-loved Railway Garden returns for another year, meandering through four lush indoor garden spaces and bringing together colorful plantings with storybook scenes of West Michigan. The unique horticultural artistry complements the model trolleys, trains and handcrafted buildings replicating over 30 Grand Rapids landmarks that were designed by Paul Busse of Applied Imagination. Visitors will recognize favorites such as the Fifth Third Ballpark created with willow light posts and elm bark seating, the Ada Covered Bridge with a cedar roof and willow trusses and the Meyer May House with oak bark siding and red ruscus leaves.

The crew from Applied Imagination installs the Railway Garden

The crew from Applied Imagination installs the Railway Garden

As you are making your holiday plans, we hope that you can experience our most joyous exhibition! Click HERE for a full listing of events, outings and special activities happening during Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World. 

This exhibition is made possible by Consumers Energy and the Meijer Foundation along with 36 sponsors including: Botanic and Sculpture Societies of Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park and Henry Mast Greenhouses, Inc. The Railway Garden is made possible by Warner Norcross & Judd, LLP.

2014 Holiday Gift Show

Holiday Gift Show

Saturday, November 8, 2014

9am – 5pm

Need a little inspiration for your holiday gift shopping? Our highly anticipated Holiday Gift Show offers a unique mix for the home and garden, not to mention beautiful jewelry and accessories for that special someone–or yourself. There’s something for all ages: from games and toys to books and music, you’re sure to find the perfect gift for everyone on your holiday shopping list. Happen to be a member? You can enjoy a 10 percent discount when you present your membership card!

We will be featuring more than 30 regional and international artists and vendors, all offering unique art and gifts for people of all ages and interests. From toys, games and books for the children on your list to exquisite and unique jewelry, culinary wares, books, music and gardening gear – there is bound to be something here for everyone on your list!

This year we are featuring {available for the first time outside of Japan and in limited quantities} three lines of authentic Japanese items from artisans hailing from our sister state, the Shiga Prefecture. Michigan’s Japanese Sister-State, Shiga, is a bustling marketplace of folk art, handcrafted works of art and specialty foods.  We’ve worked closely with Shiga’s artisans to bring these authentic Japanese goods to you! Come indulge yourself in items like handcrafted wooden beads and exquisite scarves. This is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity and these items will be available in limited quantities. Below are photos of just some of the many beautiful gifts that will be available in limited quantities:

Bowls Cup & Saucer Purple Necklace Scarves

For the ideal finishing touch, we will be offering complimentary gift-wrapping. It’s never too early to start your holiday shopping and there is no better place than at our Holiday Gift Show!

Join us in January and discover more from our Sister State via our Splendors of Shiga: Treasures from Japan exhibition, which will unveil historical artifacts and works of art on loan from museums in Shiga. This will be a wonderful prelude to the opening of The Richard & Helen DeVos Japanese Garden next June.

For more information on the Holiday Gift Show, visit http://www.meijergardens.org/calendar/holiday-gift-show/

Juror’s Choice, 3-D Finalists

We are honored that three of the artists from our Highly Recommended: Emerging Sculptors ArtPrize exhibition have been chosen as finalists in the three-dimensional work category by juror Shamim Momin, director of Los Angeles Nomadic Division.

If you have already viewed our ArtPrize exhibition, you might already be familiar with these works. Please consider a second visit to enjoy a closer look at the 16 works that make up Highly Recommended: Emerging Sculptors. If you haven’t yet been, we invite you to come check out this unique collection of artists. ArtPrize ends on October 12, but Highly Recommended: Emerging Sculptors will be on display through January 4, 2015.

Alisha Wessler’s From Afar It Is an Island is located in the Snell Gallery.  Composed of more than 100 individual objects, Wessler’s work explores the avenue of possibilities of sculpture through installation. Rather than creating a singular, large-scale piece as the focus of the viewer’s experience, she offers the opportunity to explore dozens of objects as one might encounter them in a museum environment filled with display cases. Each of Wessler’s objects merit consideration in its own right but the sum total of the entire installation creates a profound experience as if encountering remnants of another culture or historical event.

Wessler adds “From Afar It Is an Island pays tribute to designer Bruno Munari’s book of the same title, which explores perception of and possibilities with small objects. ‘Stones are like small worlds,’ reads a caption accompanying a crisp black and white photograph of a stone resembling a speckled planet, ‘If you look at them well, you discover many things: images, stories, strange markings.'”

Wessler holds a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a MFA from the University of Michigan Stamps School of Art & Design. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, including Johansson Projects, Oakland, California; MeetFactory, Prague, Czech Republic; Claire Morris Gallery, Ireland; Blütenweiss, Berlin, Germany; G2, Chicago; Gowanus Studio Space, Brooklyn; and the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, Ann Arbor. She lives and works in New York City.

Vote for From Afar It Is an Island by using the Vote Code 56457.

From Afar It Is an Island by Alisha Wessler. Vote Code 56457

Alisha Wessler – From Afar It Is an Island. Vote Code 56457

Loris Cecchini’s Wallwave vibration (anatomy of a diagram) is installed in the Balk Gallery. Although work in relief has been a significant to the history of sculpture since the beginning of time, it is infrequently encountered today. Because of its relationship to a wall or façade, relief sculpture is in dialogue with architecture. Here, the artist has created a “tattoo in relief” which appears as a part of the very fabric, or skin, of the wall. Architecture relies on the logic of geometry—primarily linear and planar elements—yet here the artist utilizes the geometry of the sphere in a roughly circular composition. As a result, the sculpture seems to pulsate or vibrate from behind the surface of the wall.

Cecchini states: “In my most recent sculptures, the Wallwave Vibrations series, one loses the element of the object proper. The concern for alteration is concerned more particularly with the physical manifestation of the vibrations, expressed each time with different frequencies and intensities, wherein the visual pattern becomes “echo” of a phenomenon like a succession of waves on a liquid surface. In this direction it is as if the architecture, or a portion of it, is modified by the relationship between the sculpture and the wall.”

Born in Milan, the artist lives and works in Berlin. He has a vast repertoire that, in addition to sculpture, includes photography, drawing and installation work. Regardless of medium, the artist’s overarching concern is for transformation. Cecchini has exhibited internationally including at the Palais de Tokyo and the Museé de Art Moderne, Paris, and MOMA’s PS1 in Brooklyn.

Vote for Wallwave vibration (anatomy of a diagram) by using the Vote Code 57136.

Loris Cecchini: Wallwave vibration (anatomy of a diagram). Vote Code: 57136

Loris Cecchini – Wallwave vibration (anatomy of a diagram). Vote Code: 57136

Osman Khan’s House engages the entire Michigan National Gallery. This work is composed of tubular fluorescent lights that form the framework of a house as a way to discuss the brightness but also the fragility of the American dream.

Osman Khan is an artist interested in constructing artifacts and experiences for social criticism and aesthetic expression. His work plays and subverts the materiality behind themes of identity, communication, economics and public space through participatory and performative installations and site-specific interventions. House is a full-scale gallery installation that references a traditional home but in decidedly minimalist terms. Experiencing the work calls the viewer’s attention to the ideas of the house as an object and form, but more profoundly to a myriad of concepts—from the personal to the communal, the social to the psychological—we each carry about a  house, and by extension, home.

Khan was born in Pakistan and grew up in New York City. He received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University in New York in 1995. He served as Creative Director for Elliance, a Web development company, until 2002. He completed his MFA at UCLA’s Department of Design, Media Arts, in 2004. He joined the faculty of the School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan as an Assistant Professor in the fall of 2009, where his teaching focuses on sculpture and installation, computational mediums and social practices. He was previously a Visiting Assistant Professor in the School of Art at Carnegie Mellon University.

His work has been shown at Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai, China; ZeroOne Festival, San Jose, California; Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit; L.A. Louver, Los Angeles; Witte de With, Centre for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, Netherlands; Ars Electronica Center, Linz, Austria; O.K Center for Contemporary Art, Linz, Austria; Socrates Sculpture Park, New York City; SIGGRAPH, San Diego, California; Bank, Los Angeles; telic, Los Angeles. He is a recipient of an Art Matters grant, Ars Electronica’s Prix Ars Award of Distinction and The Arctic Circle 2009 Residency. Articles about his work have appeared in Artforum, Artweek, Art Review, I.D., LA Times, The Wall Street Journal and Artnet.

Vote for House by using the Vote Code 56655.

Osman Khan - House. Vote Code: 56655

Osman Khan – House. Vote Code: 56655

Joseph Becherer’s ArtPrize Venue Reviews

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Our very own Chief Curator and Vice President for Collections and Exhibitions Joseph Becherer is once again writing about ArtPrize and reviewing nine of the major ArtPrize venues for The Grand Rapids Press.

Below are links to those articles and reviews. Visit MLive’s coverage of ArtPrize to see their complete coverage of ArtPrize 2014.

ArtPrize jurors show their respect for Grand Rapids with Shortlist

ArtPrize 2014 may be just what the doctor (and patients) ordered.

Dana Lynn Harper works on her ArtPrize entry "Bloom Bloom" outside the Grand Rapids Downtown Market Monday, Sept. 22, 2014. (Cory Morse | MLive.com)

Dana Lynn Harper works on her ArtPrize entry “Bloom Bloom” outside the Grand Rapids Downtown Market Monday, Sept. 22, 2014. (Cory Morse | MLive.com)

 

Meijer Gardens invites sculptors to select emerging works in ‘Highly Recommended’

Loris Cecchini's 'Wallwave Vibration' is one of the sixteen works featured in Meijer Gardens' ArtPrize exhibition, 'Highly Recommended: Emerging Sculptors.' Carrie Westra of the Meijer Gardens staff applies paint Tuesday, September 16, 2014. (Chris Clark | MLive.com)

Loris Cecchini’s ‘Wallwave Vibration’ is one of the sixteen works featured in Meijer Gardens’ ArtPrize exhibition, ‘Highly Recommended: Emerging Sculptors.’ Carrie Westra of the Meijer Gardens staff applies paint Tuesday, September 16, 2014. (Chris Clark | MLive.com)

 

Grand Rapids Art Museum enters ‘[Dis]Comfort Zones’

Anila Quayyum Agha's "Intersections" as part of an ArtPrize 2014 media preview at the Grand Rapids Art Museum Monday, Sept. 15, 2014. The GRAM will be showcasing 19 ArtPrize artists. (Cory Morse | MLive.com)

Anila Quayyum Agha’s “Intersections” as part of an ArtPrize 2014 media preview at the Grand Rapids Art Museum Monday, Sept. 15, 2014. The GRAM will be showcasing 19 ArtPrize artists. (Cory Morse | MLive.com)

 

UICA’s ‘Collaboration’ is diverse, engaging

"Bio Interloper" created by Crystal Wagner is a large-scale site-specific installation made using everyday materials like birthday party table cloth, cut paper, and chicken wire in combination with layered screen prints. The piece explores ideas related to human beings and the increasingly severe divide between themselves and the natural world by growing, as if it were a life form, through the gallery. The ArtPrize piece is on display at UICA in Grand Rapids, Mich., September 15, 2014. (Joel Bissell | MLive.com)

“Bio Interloper” created by Crystal Wagner is a large-scale site-specific installation made using everyday materials like birthday party table cloth, cut paper, and chicken wire in combination with layered screen prints. The piece explores ideas related to human beings and the increasingly severe divide between themselves and the natural world by growing, as if it were a life form, through the gallery. The ArtPrize piece is on display at UICA in Grand Rapids, Mich., September 15, 2014. (Joel Bissell | MLive.com)

 

Ford Museum presents technically impressive works

ArtPrize entry 'kNights Watch' by artist Justin La Doux can be seen at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. (Emily Rose Bennett | MLive.com)

ArtPrize entry ‘kNights Watch’ by artist Justin La Doux can be seen at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. (Emily Rose Bennett | MLive.com)

 

Women’s City Club collection is intimate, thoughtful

ArtPrize entry by Grand Rapids resident David Dodde is a portrait of his father who passed in 2013. The artist used silver and his father's ashes to create the image that was screen printed by hand. The piece can be seen displayed at the Women's City Club. (Emily Rose Bennett | MLive.com)

ArtPrize entry by Grand Rapids resident David Dodde is a portrait of his father who passed in 2013. The artist used silver and his father’s ashes to create the image that was screen printed by hand. The piece can be seen displayed at the Women’s City Club. (Emily Rose Bennett | MLive.com)

 

Cathedral Square hosts calm, peaceful experience

"Urban Tumbleweed" created by Nathan Lareau is one of the ArtPrize entries hosted at Cathedral Square (360 Division Ave. S.), Grand Rapids, Mich., September 23, 2014. (Joel Bissell | MLive.com)

“Urban Tumbleweed” created by Nathan Lareau is one of the ArtPrize entries hosted at Cathedral Square (360 Division Ave. S.), Grand Rapids, Mich., September 23, 2014. (Joel Bissell | MLive.com)

 

Site:Lab @ Morton is passport to global art world

Ryan Roa, second from left, talks about his ArtPrize installation "Space Drawings" at the SiTE:LAB @ The Morton exhibition will feature live performance. Photo taken in downtown Grand Rapids, Mich. Tuesday, September 23, 2014. (Chris Clark | MLive.com)

Ryan Roa, second from left, talks about his ArtPrize installation “Space Drawings” at the SiTE:LAB @ The Morton exhibition will feature live performance. Photo taken in downtown Grand Rapids, Mich. Tuesday, September 23, 2014. (Chris Clark | MLive.com)

 

Kendall College exhibit explores money and art

Annie Krempa and Patrick Bradley look at Steve Lambert's ArtPrize entry "Capitalism Works For Me" at Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014. "I like that it's interactive," said Krempa about the entry. Krempa and Bradley are from Traverse City. (Cory Morse | MLive.com)

Annie Krempa and Patrick Bradley look at Steve Lambert’s ArtPrize entry “Capitalism Works For Me” at Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014. “I like that it’s interactive,” said Krempa about the entry. Krempa and Bradley are from Traverse City. (Cory Morse | MLive.com)

 

Highly Recommended: Emerging Sculptors – Meet The Artists, Part 2

Fall means ArtPrize, and with that comes a new sculpture exhibition opening at Meijer Gardens. This year’s exhibition, Highly Recommended: Emerging Sculptors, features 16 artists and also serves as our fall exhibition, running from September 19, 2014 through January 4, 2015.

Meijer Gardens maintains a close relationship with artists in our permanent collection and relied on their recommendations of new and upcoming sculptors to form this group exhibition.

Meet the rest of our participating artists below, and see our Meet The Artists Part 1 blog post to read up on the other artists that are participating in Highly Recommended: Emerging Sculptors.

Osman Khan

Osman Khan was born in Pakistan and grew up in New York City. He received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University in New York in 1995.  He is an artist interested in constructing artifacts and experiences for social criticism and aesthetic expression. His work plays and subverts the materiality behind themes of identity, communication, economics and public space through participatory & performative installations and site-specific interventions.

Osman Khan

House by Osman Khan. Vote Code: 56655

Sean Paul Lorentz

Born in Petaluma, California, Sean Paul Lorentz lives and works in the San Francisco Bay area and is the West Coast Studio Manager for sculptor Mark di Suvero. He graduated in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts at Studio Art University of California. His work is the product of an instinctive process involving personal experience and the perpetual development of skills within the mediums of life and steel.

 

Bogie by Sean Paul Lorentz. Vote Code: 57577

Bogie by Sean Paul Lorentz. Vote Code: 57577

Alyson Shotz

A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and the University of Washington, Seattle, Alyson Shotz has upcoming solo exhibitions at Millesgarden Museum, Stockholm, Sweden, and the Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum and Hamilton College, Clinton, NY. Her work is included in the permanent collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NY, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art among others.

Spiral Helix by Alyson Shotz. Vote Code: 56209

Spiral Helix by Alyson Shotz. Vote Code: 56209

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tom Price

Tom Price (b. London, UK, 1981) studied at Chelsea College of Art (2001-2004) and received a MA at the Royal College of Art, Sculpture School (2004-2006). In 2009 he was featured alongside Grayson Perry, Michael Landy, Sir Anthony Caro and Cornelia Parker on the BBC 4 television documentary, Where is Modern Art Now?, presented by Gus Casely-Hayford. In 2010 he featured on BBC 4’s, How to Get a Head in Sculpture, also featuring Marc Quinn and Sir Anthony Caro.

Network by Tom Price. Vote Code 57469

Network by Tom Price. Vote Code 57469

Daniel Silver

 

 

 

 

 

Born in London in 1972, Daniel Silver was raised in Jerusalem and moved back to London in 1994. He has exhibited extensively across the UK and internationally. He holds a BA of Fine Art from Slade School of Art and an MA of Fine Art Sculpture from the Royal College of Art.

 

 

Untitled by Daniel Silver. Vote Code: 56854

Untitled by Daniel Silver. Vote Code: 56854

Alisha Wessler

 

 

Alisha Wessler lives and works in New York City. She holds a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a MFA from the University of Michigan Stamps School of Art & Design. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, including Johansson Projects (Oakland), MeetFactory (Prague), Claire Morris Gallery (Ireland), Blütenweiss (Berlin), G2 (Chicago), Gowanus Studio Space (Brooklyn) and the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology (Ann Arbor).

From Afar It Is an Island by Alisha Wessler. Vote Code 56457

From Afar It Is an Island by Alisha Wessler. Vote Code 56457

Christopher Yockey

Christopher Yockey was raised in Royal Oak, Michigan. He has a MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art, and in addition to his own work, works with sculptor Mark di Suvero. He is also an avid hockey player, living in New York City with his wife and daughter.

You Have Options by Christopher Yockey. Vote Code 56621

You Have Options by Christopher Yockey. Vote Code 56621

Antonella Zazzera

 

 

Antonella Zazzera lives and works in Todi, Italy. She completed her studies with a degree in painting at the Pietro Vannucci Academy in Perugia in 1999. Over the years, she has deepened her knowledge of Italian Art and the recovery of its values: Sign, Light and Space. Always faithful to her first intuition, her current work of sculpture is the result of a process which springs from photographic researches leading her to focus the importance of Light in the definition of both Space and Form.

Armonico CLXVII by Antonella Zazzera. Vote Code 56891

Armonico CLXVII by Antonella Zazzera. Vote Code 56891