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)

 

Four Ways to Prepare for the Online Members-Only Presale

It’s here. The 2014 Fifth Third Bank Summer Concerts at Meijer Gardens lineup has been released! There is a mix of performers, from reggae and folk to funk and jazz, to enjoy this June through September in the outdoor Amphitheater.

10_Amphitheater Garden2_Hebert

As the members-only presale on Saturday, April 26 at 9 am draws closer, we want to make sure members are prepared for the online sale*. For the best selection, we recommend purchasing tickets online at StarTickets.com. We worked with Star Tickets to make this process more efficient and easier than in years past since concerts continue to sell quickly online.

We want you to be best equipped to get the tickets you want, so here are four ways to prepare for the online member presale:

  1.     Renew Your Membership or Become a Member

Along with experiencing the beauty of Meijer Gardens year-round, two of the many membership perks includes discounted concert tickets and first dibs during the member presale. If you’re not already a member, we suggest becoming one ASAP prior to the presale. This also applies to membership renewal.

Learn more about the different membership choices or renew online by clicking on renew in your membership category.

  1.     Find and Write Down Your Member ID Number

After becoming a member or renewing, you’ll be emailed a member ID number. Jot down the number or keep your card on hand for the day of the presale. Below is where your ID number is located if you have a card.

MembershipCardNumber

This number is very important! It will need to be entered during the ticket buying process on StarTickets.com in order to receive access the presale and the price discount per ticket.

If you’re a member and have lost your ID card or don’t know your number, please email membership@meijergardens.org in advance of the presale or log into your member account to find it. Due to the volume of questions received the day of the presale, it’s best to plan ahead and know your ID number.

  1.     Create a Star Tickets account

Another important step to prepare is creating an account on the Star Tickets website. This is different than your Meijer Gardens login. Your Star Tickets login information is only used on Startickets.com as your concert-buying account. If you already have an account, you do not need to create a new one. BUT be sure you know your password and have updated credit card and account information before the sale.

create an account

Creating a Star Tickets login before the member presale will cut down on time the morning of the sale.

  1.     Know Your Concerts Beforehand

The entire concert schedule has been released. Make a list of your favorites and prepare to jump when we open the sale at 9 am on StarTickets.com.

If you wish to purchase tickets to multiple shows, at the end of each concert selection, pick “Add Another Event” at the bottom of the page and repeat the process. When you’re done purchasing all of your tickets, only then select Continue to check out.

StarTickets_Add Another Event1

Currently, we allow our members to purchase tickets to multiple shows without a set limit, but please note, we do monitor for signs of resale if large quantities of tickets are purchased per show. This has not been an issue in the past and we continue to take note of your concerns about this issue each year.

We hope this helps in the ticket buying process during both the members-only presale and public sales.

Still looking for more info? We’ve created an Insider’s Guide to buying concert tickets and concert FAQs. Check it out! Please comment below if you have any concert ticket or membership questions.

*Please be aware fees are associated with purchasing tickets online as compared to in-person at Meijer Gardens.

 

A Look Back on 2013 [Part IV]

We’ve reached the end of our 2013 recap! To see what else went on this year at Meijer Gardens, view Part I, II, and III of the series. The last few months have been busy ones as we planted thousands of chrysanthemums, set up our holiday displays and brought together 24 artists from around the world for our fall sculpture exhibition.  

Part 4
September–December 2013

mums

Chrysanthemums and More!
You know fall is here when Chrysanthemums and More! opens in September. Expansive mum displays, unconventional floral arrangements and the “mum wall” filled every inch of Meijer Gardens. Events like Mum Day, Giant Pumpkins and Hallowee-ones made the transition into fall fun for the whole family.

shattered

Shattered: Contemporary Sculpture in Glass
 Shattered: Contemporary Sculpture in Glass was a group exhibition which showcased 24 works of glass by 25 artists from around the world and coincided with ArtPrize. The exhibition explored the creative, conceptual and formal aspects of contemporary glass sculpture and is still on display until January 5, 2014. One of the pieces, Watching by Daniel Arsham, made it on the ArtPrize Juried Short List! Stop by and see these pieces before they leave in January.

americans garden of art

America’s Garden of Art Book Released
After more than 2 years of work, we released a coffee table book titled, America’s Garden of Art. It features more than 230 new color photos, with essays by our president, chief curator and historian, and offers a complete description and depiction of Meijer Gardens throughout the seasons. Pick up a copy from the Gift Shop as a perfect collector’s item.

nash

David Nash & Alexandra Fuller for The Master Lecture Series
As part of The Master Lecture Series, we welcomed lectures from award-winning author Alexandra Fuller and internationally renowned sculptor David Nash this October. Fuller spoke on being raised for most of her life in Africa, and how it influenced many of her books, such as Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood. Nash talked about his 40-year career and how he’s used trees as the resource for nearly all his sculptural pursuits. His lecture was in conjunction with his visit to create a site-specific tree sculptures for the Japanese Garden.

FMG-Holiday2011_0427Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World
This year marked the 19th annual Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World exhibition! This exhibition focuses on the beauty of nature during the holiday season. Everyone young and young-at-heart can enjoy the Railway Garden, a unique horticultural display featuring 30 West Michigan landmarks recreated in natural materials, model trains and railways. There’s also more than 42 holiday displays to see and carolers, santa visits, family art activities and horse-drawn carriage rides to enjoy! It’s going on until January 5, 2014, so stop by if you haven’t already.

What a whirlwind of a year! Thank you for your continued support art, horticulture and education by being a member or guest of Meijer Gardens.

What was your favorite experience at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in 2013?

A Look Back at 2013 [Part III]

The summer kept us on our toes with 29 concerts, major Japanese Garden construction and dozens of weddings to coordinate. Here’s a recap of earlier this year in Part I, II and let’s take a glance at the hot (but fun) summer months.

Part 3
June–August

scs

Outdoor Summer Concert Series
It’s when you know it’s summer in West Michigan! This year proved to be the biggest lineup in our 11 year history of outdoor concerts. With 29 bands performing from June to September, it was quite the fun and busy summer for everyone! From returning acts like the Steve Miller Band and Lyle Lovett, to big names like Sheryl Crow, Harry Connick Jr. and Owl City, there was a concert for every music lover. It was a summer to remember.

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Japanese Garden Construction
The Main Gate is the first sight you see upon entering the Japanese Garden. Hoichi Karusu’s team of more than 30 Japanese carpenters worked their magic this summer starting construction on the main gate, waterfalls, Japanese Tea House, zig zag bridges and other main structures. Did you sneak a peek through the trees?

Riversedge Photography

Riversedge Photography

Hundreds of weddings
“I do.” Couples took their vows and/or danced the night away in one of our beautiful event spaces during the 139 weddings this year! We are honored to have been such an important part of these Big Days and hope to see many more happy couples in the years to come. Check out previous Meijer Gardens weddings by visiting our wedding Facebook page or Pinterest.

bamboo2

“Thai Beauty” Bamboo Installed
Removed from the Tropical Conservatory this summer was the yellow groove bamboo or Bambusa vulgaris “vittata,” which made way for another bamboo species, Bambusa multiplex or “Thai Beauty.” Native to Thailand, this bamboo’s leaves are small, giving a more graceful and airy appearance. Read about why we installed new bamboo in a previous post. 

Meet the Staff & What’s Blooming
Do you always see our horticulture staff out and about? Want to know more about what they do? We interviewed a few outdoor staff from our horticulture team, asking what areas they tend, their favorite part of the job and how long they’ve been at Meijer Gardens (a long time for some!). Look out for more staff videos in the near future. We also filmed bite-sized segements of “What’s Blooming” around Meijer Gardens. Watch both Meet the Staff and What’s Blooming.

Stay tuned for the last recap of 2013!