A Look Back at 2013 [Part II]

We’re looking back again on the past year and all the fun that was had.

April and May were busy months. Why? Because we had more than 150,000 visitors see the Butterflies Are Blooming exhibition! Our staff and volunteers were kept busy making it an enjoyable (and educational) experience for all ages – from class groups to bridal ceremonies in the Tropical Conservatory. Along with Butterflies Are Blooming, these two months were filled with special announcements.

Part 2
April-May

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18th Birthday
We’re finally an adult! We celebrated our 18th birthday with comments and well-wishes from our Facebook fans.

12_Amphitheater Garden_Hebert12013 Outdoor Concert Series Lineup Announcement
What a doozie. We announced the biggest lineup EVER, with 29 concerts planned to hit the stage from June to September. Performers on the list included B.B. King. Sheryl Crow, Owl City, Harry Connick Jr., Smokey Robinson and Old Crow Medicine Show! What concerts were you excited to see?

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New Acquisition of Richard Serra piece
In May, we were excited to announce the acquisition of Equal Intervals, Equal Elevations by American minimalist sculptor, Richard Serra. Equal Intervals, Equal Elevations is a site-specific work, composed of four large, forged-steel blocks placed at equal intervals in the hillside. Have you seen it yet?

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Looking East, Facing West: The World of Zhang Huan Opens
Chinese artist Zhang Huan’s work in Looking East, Facing West: The World of Zhang Huan was our sculpture exhibition this summer. As a sculptor, painter, photographer and performance artist, his themes of physical endurance and spiritual tranquility, Chinese history, and Buddhism were expressed in his sculptures. Did you have a favorite piece? 

Meadow Burn
Every 3 years, a controlled meadow burn takes place in our Wildflower Meadow, which is home to Scarlatti by Marc Di Suevero. This year happened to be time for another meadow burn. We captured the event in a time lapse video, which ended up being shared on WZZM’s newcast. Look at all that smoke.

Stay tuned for more recaps of the exhibitions, announcements and excitement that surrounded 2013.

A Look Back on 2013 [Part I]

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2013 is winding down. Let’s take a walk down memory lane and look back on the past 12 months of horticulture displays, sculpture exhibitions, summer concerts, year-round learning and exciting announcements at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.

Part I
January-March

06_Orchid30The Orchid Show
A fan-favorite, the Orchid Show brought hundreds of exquisite orchids and displays to Meijer Gardens. Orchid vendors from across the Midwest were there and members of the Grand Valley Orchid Society were eager to answer questions. There were too many favorites to choose from, do you remember yours?

Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture ParkConnected and Disconnected: The Sculpture of Hanneke Beaumont
From February through April, our winter exhibition,
Connected and Disconnected: The Sculpture of Hanneke Beaumont featured the Dutch sculptor’s impressive fluency with materials, as well as her command of the human figure. Celebrated for her figurative work, each piece was carefully rendered with textured surfaces, often encouraging thoughtfulness and introspection. Many of our members and volunteers said it was one of their favorite exhibitions!

Indoor Garden Ideas
During the winter months, our horticulture staff provided fun tutorials to do indoors, like forcing branches, creating dried floral arrangements and making terrariums. Did you end up trying any? 

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Butterflies are Blooming
Butterflies took flight on March 1! Thousands of tropical butterflies made their home in the Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory. New this year was the Butterfly Ballet, an interactive butterfly story performed by the Grand Rapids Ballet Junior Company. Our horticulture staff also answered FAQs about butterflies in a 3-part video series and we gave a glimpse at how the Butterfly Bungalow was set up.

SMB_2012_groupshotSneak Peek Concert Announcement
Members and guests were buzzing about who would be on the list for the 2013 concert season. We announced 4 acts from the lineup in mid-March: Montgomery Gentry, David Byrne & St. Vincent, Steve Miller Band and Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers featuring Edie Brickell. Were you as excited as we were about the sneak peek?

Stay tuned for more recaps of the fun we had this year.
What was your favorite activity in the beginning of 2013.

Natural Beauty at Meijer Gardens’ Christmas and Holiday Traditions

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Smell the luscious evergreens in the covered entryway, take in the sights and sounds of the Railway Garden by weaving through the amaryllis, poinsettias, and cedar displays in the Seasonal Display Greenhouse, and enjoy the guest-favorite succulent wreath hanging in the Arid Garden.

You’ll soon discover this year’s Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World focuses on the beauty of natural materials.

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During your visit, anticipate a lush palette of horticultural favorites placed along the corridors and especially in the Railway Garden. The Railway Garden is home to more than 30 Grand Rapids landmarks made from earthly elements. From the Civic Theatre made of oak, chestnut and magnolia to the Meyer May House of red ruscus leaves, there’s beauty in every corner of this miniature city-space.

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Reflect not only the literal beauty of nature, but also on the authentic and natural elements adorning our collection of Scandinavian trees. These trees showcase generations-old tradition of crafting ornaments from organic materials found on the farm. Sweden’s tree is decorated with woven Julbock, a Christmas icon of the straw goat who carries the bringer of gifts. Explore Finland’s display of the Himmeli, a geometric mobile made of straw believe to ensure good crops and Denmark’s paper ornaments, shaped like a heart to express love and good will.

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Learn more about the cultural traditions and natural beauty found this holiday season at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park now until January 5, 2014 during Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World. 

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. 

#FMGColor Photo Contest

Autumn brings new color and beauty to Meijer Gardens. As the colors change, we want you to capture them!

#FMGColorStarting today through October 31, take pictures of fall beauty at Meijer Gardens and post on Instagram or Twitter (Twitpic) using the hashtag #FMGColor to enter to win admission tickets or tram ride tickets. We’ll randomly select and announce a winner on November 1. Happy Hashtagging!

 

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.

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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.

Countdown ‘til School’s Back

Parents and teachers know it’s better to learn by doing rather than watching. That’s where we come in! There are many hands-on activities for children available until the end of August at Meijer Gardens.

Countdown the days until school’s back in session by doing these five Meijer Gardens family-friendly activities.

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1. Meet Me at the Fair - Saturday and Sunday August 10 and 11; 1-4 pm
Bring the whole family to join us in our annual Meet Me at the Fair activity this weekend! Children can learn about life on the farm while doing fun activities including, picking vegetables, feeding and petting live animals, and playing traditional fair games at the Michigan Farm Garden.

2. Let’s Keep Moving in the Sculpture Park - Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturdays; $3 adults and $1 kids
The Kids’ Tram Tour is an interactive way of learning combining a variety of easy fitness activities related to our sculpture collection. Designed for kids ages 8 and under and their families, Let’s Keep Moving in the Sculpture is a great way to keep children active while learning about art.

3. Outdoor Artists Studio - Tuesdays at 6 pm IMG_0670
Art can provide skills important in academic success—creativity, confidence and focus. Stop by the Children’s Garden on Tuesday evenings and work with an artist to create miniature clay sculptures or colorful drawings of plants and flowers.

4. Squirmy Worms - Fridays at 11 am
The little ones interested in creepy crawlers? On Fridays at 11 am, kids can investigate the science of worm bins and composting in the Children’s Garden. They can examine worms in a compost bin, find out what food scraps worms eat, and go on a worm hunt for artificial worms hidden in the garden.

LMCG Topiary Frog5. Search & Find and Family Sculpture Hunt - Sundays 2 pm
Critical thinking skills can be developed in kids of all ages. Enjoy Search & Find in the Children’s Garden for the young ones, then go on to the Family Sculpture Hunt in the Sculpture Park (ask for copies of both at the Children’s Garden Information Center).

With these exciting educational activities here at Meijer Gardens, kids will be ready to go back to school before doors even open!