Highly Recommended: Emerging Sculptors – Meet The Artists, Part 1

It’s almost time for ArtPrize, and that means a new sculpture exhibition is 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 some of the participating artists below:

Katrin Albrecht

Katrin Albrecht is an artist from Germany. She began her career as a tailor, and then studied fashion design in Berlin before finding her field in Fine Arts and studying sculpture at Weissensse School of Art in Berlin, Städelschule Frankfurt, and Ecole Des Beaux-Arts, Paris. She also received an MA from Goldsmiths College in London. Her work has been exhibited widely and she has received several awards such as the Chelsea Arts Club Award with Berta Koch Collective in 2013.

Katrin Albrecht: Die Hutte Brennt / The Shed is on Fire. Vote Code: 57284

Katrin Albrecht: Die Hutte Brennt / The Shed is on Fire. Vote Code: 57284

Armen Agop

Armen Agop was born in Cairo, graduated from Helwan University, and first came to Italy in 2000 after winning the Prix de Rome. In 2008 he was awarded “The Sculpture Grant” given once a year to a prominent international sculptor by the Swedish organization KKV-B. In 2010, he received the international Umberto Mastroianni award in Piemonte, Italy.

Armen Agop: Untitled. Vote Code: 56385

Loris Cecchini

Loris Cecchini was born in Milan in 1969 and lives and works between Berlin and Tuscany. He has shown his work all over the world with solo exhibitions in prestigious museums such as the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. Loris Cecchini has also taken part in international exhibitions and numerous collective shows including the 49th and 13th Quadrennial of Rome.

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

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

Mat Chivers

The work of British visual artist Mat Chivers looks at how the fundamental phenomena that exist below the surface of things inform the way we experience the world around us. The process of making draws on combinations of analogue and digital technologies in works that embody a hybridisation of old-world subjects and techniques with contemporary envisioning processes. His practice focuses at the location between data capture and its consequent interpretation in order to explore the ambiguous nature of perception.

Mat Chivers

Mat Chivers: Chain of Events. Vote Code: 56263

Michele Ciribifera

Michele Ciribifera, born in Perugia in 1969, graduated in sculpture with Edgardo Abbozzo, at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Perugia in 1991. In 1993 he won the first prize at the sculpture symposium in S. Elena (CA), and in 1997 he exhibited on the first solo show in Sansepolcro (AR), a series of sculptures in which are present the structural tensions of elements directly drawn from natural context. In the match between reality and illusion, the sculptures of Michele Ciribifera define the mysterious interaction between energy and matter.

Michele Ciribifera: Double ondAnoma. Vote Code: 56946

Michele Ciribifera: Double ondAnoma. Vote Code: 56946

Chiara Dynys

Chiara Dynys was born in Mantua. Her works have become more site specific and, one might say, are developed in the perception of users that, coming across them, find themselves “different” and altered, rediscovering the feeling of their presence. “I often use the word passage to talk about my work. In fact, what is common to all my work is the sense of the crossing.”

Chiara Dynys: Love Hate. Vote Code: 56956

Chiara Dynys: Love Hate. Vote Code: 56956

Lucy Glendinning

Lucy Glendinning lives and works in Somerset, England. On graduating, she worked for the sculptor Elizabeth Frink. She has been awarded the Landscape Inst Award twice, Civic Trust and Red Rose award, for commissions. Her work is made in series, developed around ideas which start poems. These thoughts are usually derived by medical information, psychological studies, and a fascination with future society.

Lucy Glendinning: Feather Child 1. Vote Code: 56788

Lucy Glendinning: Feather Child 1. Vote Code: 56788

David Henderson

Born in 1956, David Henderson studied art with William Tucker, George Sugarman, and Vito Acconci. He received his M.F.A. from Columbia University in 1981 and his B.A. from Bard College in 1978. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He has pioneered the use of fiberglass and carbon fiber as structural materials in sculpture, exploiting the extraordinary tensile strength of these materials in ways usually associated with ultralight aircraft and sailboats, in order to achieve truly unique and astonishing results.

David Henderson: Corby 3. Vote Code: 57205

David Henderson: Corby 3. Vote Code: 57205

How Well Do You Know Meijer Gardens?

How well do you know Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park?

Try to identify the artist and title of each of these sculptures, which all reside in the Sculpture Park’s permanent collection. Submit your answers by leaving a comment on this post.

HowWellDoYouKnowFMGClaim bragging rights by naming all the pieces correctly!

We’ll share the answers next week. 

ArtPrize Exception to Meijer Gardens Photo Policy

As an ArtPrize Exhibition Center, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park will lift its restrictions on photographing works displayed in the sculpture galleries during the Shattered: Contemporary Sculpture in Glass exhibition.

Meijer Gardens normally prohibits photography in the sculpture galleries, in order to provide the best viewing experience for all guests and to protect the intellectual property rights of the exhibiting artists. Because of the unique nature of ArtPrize, and by agreement of the artists in this exhibition—we are pleased to allow photography for personal use during business hours for the full span the exhibition, September 18, 2013 through January 5, 2014.


Graham Caldwell. Large Polychrome, 2011. Iridescent glass and epoxy, 107 x 54 x 15 inches. Photo taken by Meijer Gardens staff.

Meijer Gardens reserves the right to prohibit photography we deem as commercial or professional usage, or interferes with guests’ experiences. Photos of all works provided by the artists will be available on MeijerGardens.org and on Meijer Gardens’ Facebook page. Monopods and tripods are prohibited.

Coinciding with the fifth annual ArtPrize competition, Meijer Gardens’ fall exhibition, Shattered: Contemporary Sculpture in Glass brings together artists from across the globe to break down preconceptions about glass art.

A Pathway to the Past: Zhang Huan Memory Doors

The threshold between the past and the present can be seen in Chinese artist Zhang Huan’s Memory Doors Series featured this summer in the Frederik Meijer Gardens exhibition, “Looking East, Facing West: The World of Zhang Huan.”


Panorama of exhibition galleries courtesy of Chuck Heiney.

The Memory Door Series includes “Buddha” and “Figure of Country Buddha,” two unique pieces made of silkscreen collages embedded into carved wooden doors. These discarded doors were originally from farms in the rural areas of the Shanxi Province and with the help of woodcarvers from Dongyang, Huan based the relief carvings on images found in his very own collection of photographs and magazines. Huan hoped that by employing Chinese craftsmen instead of artists to help him complete the carvings, he would foster the idea of keeping traditional Chinese craftsmanship alive, and at the same time, explore new creative outlets and practices of their expert skills.


“Buddah” by Zhang Haun. Photo found on Google Images.

The enlarged photographs used by Huan are dated anywhere between 1950 and 1980. He first created then superimposed the photo collages, marrying the photographs with the carved landscapes on the doors. He uses the doors as a way to tell stories about the ever-changing conditions in China, which allows viewers to be transcended to a different time and place in Chinese history and heritage.


“Figure of Country Buddha” by Zhang Huan. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Although the juxtaposition of carvings and photographs may be what draws the audience into the mind of Huan, the doors themselves are also full of historical symbolism. These traditional wooden doors were salvaged by Huan himself from rural areas across China after being discarded in favor of new, Western-style doors. To Huan, the metal doors were the next step in the modernization of Chinese culture, and he saw the tattered, beat-up antique doors as inspiration, which became a foundation for the Memory Door Series.

Take a walk back in time by exploring Zhang Huan’s Memory Door Series at Meijer Gardens. “Looking East, Facing West: The World of Zhang Huan” continues through August 2

Connected and Disconnected

The enigmatic bronze figures of Dutch sculptor Hanneke Beaumont have been a source of great fascination and wonder since they first captured international attention in the late 1990s. Since then, her works have been exhibited and installed internationally from London to New York, Munich to The Hague. At Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, her sculptures, #25 and #26, are a continual source of inquiry and enjoyment in the Sculpture Park.

Join us now through April 28 for Connected and Disconnected: The Sculpture of Hanneke Beaumont, which features features 14 works demonstrating the artist’s command of the human figure. As the title suggests, Beaumont’s works allow guests to explore what it means to be disconnected from one another in an otherwise connected world. Included with admission.

Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park

Connected and Disconnected: Photo courtesy Chuck Heiney.
Hanneke Beaumont. Bronze #91, 2008-09. Patinated bronze on iron bases; 62 x 31 x 34 inches.
Hanneke Beaumont. Bronze #93, 2008-09. Patinated bronze on iron bases; 46 x 21 x 37 inches.

This is Beaumont’s first major museum exhibition in the United States. Her sculptures were created in a variety of media, such as terra cotta, bronze and iron and allow audiences the opportunity to understand her command of the human figure and her impressive fluency with materials.

Programming for the Exhibition

  • Perspectives
    Friday, February 22, 12 pm
    Katie Racey, Membership Manager
    Brett McPherson, Maintenance Staff
    Joann Wisnewski, Facility Attendant

Walk through the galleries with three staff members as they explore the exhibition from their own perspectives. Discover interesting personal interpretations of sculpture that you may never have considered before. Feel free to participate in the discussion; it is not necessary to be an art expert to find deeper meaning in art!

  • Gallery Walk
    Saturday, March 2, 2 pm
    Susan Wallsteadt, Psychology Professor, Grand Rapids Community College

Learn about the meaning of body language and facial expressions from a psychological point-of-view and explore the emotional content of Beaumont’s work.

Visit us at MeijerGardens.org for additional information.

Body Double Exhibition ArtPrize Overview

Bystander by June Lee

ArtPrize is finally here!

As an ArtPrize venue and host to our own fall exhibition, share a unique experience with us during Body Double: The Figure in Contemporary Sculpture, taking place not only during ArtPrize, but until January 6, 2013. Here is a break-down of when, where and how you can view 26 national and international artists whose artwork focuses on the figure as both an object and a metaphor.

Exhibition Information:
Recently, many artists have returned to the figure, but in decidedly contemporary terms. This exhibition will highlight contemporary sculpture around the subject of the human figure as both an object and a metaphor. Considering a wide variety of formal and conceptual approaches by artists from across the United States and around the world, Body Double illustrates the diversity and depth of the figure in Contemporary Art from more literal terms to those which are implied or symbolically stated. This exhibition explores the theme of the human figure including representations of the male and female nude.

Exhibition and ArtPrize Programming:

  • Members’ Opening Reception and Panel Discussion with ArtPrize Artists
    September 18, 6-8pm
    Listen to some of today’s most innovative figurative sculptors discuss their work.  Moderated by Vice President and Chief Curator of Horticulture and Sculpture, Exhibitions and Collections, Joseph Becherer. Meijer Gardens’ members can register to vote and have the first glimpse of the exhibition.
  • Curator’s Choice
    September 21, noon, free
    Join Director of Sculpture and Exhibitions, Laurene Grunwald, and Curator of Arts Education, Heidi Holst, as they discuss their thoughts on the works in the exhibition. Share your thoughts and questions about the sculptures.
  • Gallery Walks with ArtPrize Artists
    September 22, 11 am, free
    Artists are scheduled to answer questions and discuss their work during the Gallery Walk. Participating artists include: Khalil Chishtee, Anne Harrington Hughes, Rolf Jacobsen, Kurt Kaiser, Deanna Morse, Dora Natella, Nan Nickson, Roger Reutimann and  Meri Tancredi.

FMG&SP ArtPrize Hours:
Opening Day: 9:00 am – 10:00 pm
Sundays:  11:00 am – 6:00 pm
Mondays-Thursdays: 9:00 am – 8:00 pm
Fridays and Saturdays: 9:00 am – 10:00 pm
These hours are complimentary only during ArtPrize and after October 7, regular hours and rates will return.

Human Resources by Lawrence Epps

ArtPrize: Wednesday, September 19 – October 7
FMG fall exhibition: Wednesday, September 19–January 6, 2013

ArtPrize admission is free.

ArtPrize: Complimentary exhibition areas are from the Cook Entry to just before the door to the English Perennial Garden.

Gift shop:
ArtPrize merchandise available.

An ArtPrize shuttle requiring a wristband will run from the covered walkway to the ArtPrize HUB, 41 Sheldon downtown during official ArtPrize hours only. The shuttle leaves at the top of the hour starting at noon during official ArtPrize hours. Wristbands serve as passes are two for $5.

Photo Policy:
Photography of our sculpture exhibitions is prohibited. Although the ArtPrize competition allows photography of exhibited artwork in many other venues, all exhibitions at Meijer Gardens are subject to our policies. We appreciate your understanding and compliance – this policy helps all guests focus on the viewing experience without interruption.

We’ve posted photos of each Body Double sculpture on our Facebook, website and in the display gallery below. Body Double Gallery Guides will also be available for guests to take home. These photos are intended for personal use only and to aid in ArtPrize voting.

We hope you enjoy this year’s fall exhibition, Body Double: The Figure in Contemporary Sculpture, from now until January 6, 2013!

Beverly Pepper: A Curator’s Perspective

Turning steel into works of art, Beverly Pepper’s talents have awed Grand Rapids this summer during the exhibition Beverly Pepper: Palingenesis 1962-2012, on display until August 26. Heidi Holst, Curator of Arts Education, explains why Pepper’s work is unique and sought after.

“This exhibition is unique because it is set up chronologically to display Pepper’s earlier pieces in metal starting from the 1962 Spoleto exhibition to her latest works,” Holst said. She also said that the monumental size of the pieces add to the distinction of the exhibition.

Holst’s favorite pieces of Pepper’s work are her polished stainless-steel pieces. She said she loves their reflective qualities.

“You can see yourself and the surroundings of these pieces, allowing you to feel like a part of them both.”

In our gallery, Quadro Vuoto (far left) and Excathedra (front) by Beverly Pepper.

Beverly Pepper’s earlier work was done mostly using basic welding techniques. She then began exploring other methods including heating up rods to create a more expressive rough edge, Holst explained.

To compliment the exhibition, Holst created several programs including a themed walk through the Sculpture Park, a steel cutting demonstration and an opportunity to gain perspectives of Pepper’s work from select Meijer Gardens staff.

On the walk through the Sculpture Park, Holst provided guests with further insight into other female sculptors on Meijer Gardens’ 30+ acres.

During the steel cutting demonstration, guests were able to see a process similar to Pepper’s, as Assistant Conservator and Sculptor Andrew Kline cut steel using an oxygen/acetylene torch and prepared the steel for welding.

Steel cutting demonstration with Assistant Conservator Andrew Kline.

“Steel is a messy, hot, dirty, smelly and dangerous material to work with,” Holst said. “The demonstration allowed guests to feel a greater appreciation of Pepper’s work through seeing the difficulty of manipulating steel.”

The interactive opportunity to gain and share perspectives of Pepper’s work with Meijer Gardens staff members provided guests with personal interpretations of sculpture, allowing many to view sculpture in a new light. These programs provided a new understanding to Pepper’s work.

As the summer winds down, so does Beverly Pepper’s exhibition Palingenesis 1962-2012. The exhibition is open until August 26, so be sure to check out these steel masterpieces before it ends next week.