New York based Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners selected for expansion project

We are pleased to announce that New York firm Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners has been selected to re-envision and expand our facilities. The firm was selected as part of a rigorous international search that began a year ago with more than sixty firms.
“Meijer Gardens has grown tremendously since opening in 1995 and has become Michigan’s leading cultural destination, welcoming visitors from across the nation and internationally. In 2015, 776,928 people chose to visit the park,” said David Hooker, President and CEO of Meijer Gardens. “We are excited to draw upon Tod and Billie’s creative vision and talent and work with them on this exciting project. Their unique perspective will further enhance our mission and dramatically improve our guest experience.”
Well-known for their masterful design of the iconic Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia and, most recently, the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment at Princeton University, Williams and Tsien see architecture as “an act of profound optimism.”
They have discovered a similar spirit in Meijer Garden’s unique marriage of beautiful art and inspiring green spaces. “We are deeply honored to be have been selected by Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park for this special project,” said Williams and Tsien. “From our very first visit, we were struck by the incredible quality of the sculpture collection and its sensitive installation throughout the grounds, as well as by their magnificent new Japanese Garden. We saw that the place and the people here are unique.”
Williams and Tsien are currently studying Meijer Gardens’ organization and mission in the context of providing a peerless visitor experience. The design effort is focused on advancing the organization’s unique mission of horticulture and sculpture, honoring its donors, and maintaining its commitment to accessibility, diversity, and the environment.

TWBT, 2012, Photo by Thomas Grimes

Billie Tsien & Tod Williams, photo by Thomas Grimes

 

About Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners:

Tod Williams and Billie Tsien have been working together since 1977 and founded their architectural practice in 1986. Located in New York, their studio focuses on work for institutions including schools, museums, and not-for-profits—organizations and people who value issues of aspiration and meaning, timelessness and beauty. Their buildings are carefully made from the inside out to be functional in ways that speak to both efficiency and the spirit. A sense of rootedness, light, texture, detail, and most of all, experience, are at the heart of what they design. Over the past three decades they have received more than two dozen awards from the American Institute of Architects, as well as numerous national and international citations. Outside the studio, Tod and Billie are devoted participants in the cultural community and have long-standing associations with many arts organizations. They maintain active academic careers and lecture worldwide. As both educators and practitioners, they are deeply committed to making a better world through architecture.

2016 Fifth Third Bank Summer Concerts at Meijer Gardens

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We are pleased to announce the Fifth Third Bank Summer Concerts at Meijer Gardens with an eclectic 30-show lineup. This lineup reflects a strong commitment to bring high quality, talented and broadly diverse artists to Meijer Gardens.

Our Member Presale will begin on Saturday, April 30, 2016 and close Friday, May 13, 2016 at midnight – sales will resume for members and the public at 9 am on May 14, 2016.

To help members and guests prepare for buying tickets and getting the best entertainment value possible, we have created an Insider’s Guide to help make every concert experience easy and hassle-free.

What concerts are you planning on attending?

Tears for Fears, June 6 at 7 p.m.
An Evening with The Monkees, June 8 at 7:30 p.m.
America, June 12 at 7 p.m.
Of Monsters and Men, June 13 at 7 p.m.
Ziggy Marley, June 15 at 7 p.m.
Tedeschi Trucks Band, June 17 at 6:30 p.m.
Michael Franti & Spearhead, June 22 at 7 p.m.
Fitz and the Tantrums, June 26 at 7 p.m.
An Evening with Jackson Browne, June 27 at 7 p.m.
Gregg Allman, June 29 at 7 p.m.
Ben Folds with yMusic, July 10 at 7 p.m.
The Decemberists, July 11 at 7 p.m.
Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, July 13 at 6 p.m.
Old Crow Medicine Show, July 14 at 7 p.m.
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, July 17 at 6:30 p.m.
Femi Kuti & The Positive Force Band and Bombino, July 20 at 6:30 p.m.
An Evening with Lyle Lovett and his Large Band, July 24 at 7 p.m.
Diana Ross, July 25 at 7:30 p.m.
Goo Goo Dolls, July 27 at 7 p.m.
Jay Leno, July 28 at 7:30 p.m.
Grace Potter, August 3 at 7 p.m.
WAR & Los Lonely Boys, August 10 at 6:30 p.m.
Toto, August 14 at 7 p.m.
ABBA the Concert: A Tribute to ABBA, August 17 at 7 p.m.
An Evening with The Beach Boys, August 21 at 7 p.m.
Lake Street Dive, August 24 at 7 p.m.
Seal, August 26 at 6:30 p.m.
Bonnie Raitt, August 31 at 6:30 p.m.
O.A.R., September 1 at 6:30 p.m.
Gavin DeGraw & Andy Grammer, September 7 at 6 p.m.

 

#5WomenArtists – Louise Bourgeois

During Women’s History Month this March, we have joined the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) in Washington, D.C. by using the hashtag #5WomenArtists to share important contributions by women in our collection.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts, the world’s only major museum solely dedicated to celebrating the creative contributions of women, champions women through the arts by collecting, exhibiting, researching, and creating programs that advocate for equity and shine a light on excellence. On a daily basis, the museum’s social media platforms highlight women’s contributions to the history of art.

Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and bookmark their wonderful Broad Strokes Blog.

For our final week, we focus on the work of Louise Bourgeois.

Louise Bourgeois was one of the most intriguing and influential artists in Contemporary art.

Beginning her career as a painter, sculpture and installation work became her focus and strongest legacy. Biography and the relationships among family are frequently addressed in her work and Spider, one of her most iconic themes, is no exception.

In tribute to her mother who made a living repairing ancient tapestries, Bourgeois portrays spiders as clever, dainty and protective.  The eggs described in the lower portion of the body emphasize the maternal symbolism of the sculpture.

Can you name 5 women artists in our collection?

About NMWA:
The National Museum of Women in the Arts, the world’s only major museum solely dedicated to celebrating the creative contributions of women, champions women through the arts by collecting, exhibiting, researching, and creating programs that advocate for equity and shine a light on excellence. On a daily basis, the museum’s social media platforms highlight women’s contributions to the history of art.

#5WomenArtists – Jenny Holzer

During Women’s History Month this March, we are joining the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) in Washington, D.C. by using the hashtag #5WomenArtists to share important contributions by women in our collection.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts, the world’s only major museum solely dedicated to celebrating the creative contributions of women, champions women through the arts by collecting, exhibiting, researching, and creating programs that advocate for equity and shine a light on excellence. On a daily basis, the museum’s social media platforms highlight women’s contributions to the history of art.

Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and bookmark their wonderful Broad Strokes Blog.

This week, we’re featuring the work of Jenny Holzer.

Jenny Holzer is one of America’s foremost Contemporary artists with a broad repertoire across an international stage. As a conceptual artist, text—from the political to the poetic—is central to her repertoire. From large-scale digital images, to simple printed handbills, to carvings in granite and stone, Holzer carefully examines all physical and social aspects of the context of a given work and, regardless of media, meticulously considers the realization of the final form.

For the Garden, 2015, is a site-specific work commissioned by Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park for The Richard & Helen DeVos Japanese Garden. Through on site visits, dialogue with architect Hoichi Kurisu and careful research, Holzer decided upon the use of text from across the distinguished traditions of Japanese literature from the 9th century to the 20th. Unifying subjects were poetic expressions around ideas of the garden and mysteries of the natural world. Each was hand carved across the surface of 13 individual boulders to be discovered by the viewer as they explored the garden. “To reward the observant” quickly became Holzer’s shorthand description for the subtle and careful placement of text and the composition across the garden site.

Working directly with authors or their representative and translators, Holzer has created one of the most interesting and engaging works in the permanent collection. A list of poems and the original author / publication that comprises For the Garden can be found HERE.

What is growing & blooming in the Earl and Donnalee Holton Victorian Garden?

In the Victorian Era, greenhouses provided space for people to gather and appreciate the botanical uniqueness that was being discovered around the world. The Earl and Donnalee Holton Victorian Garden pays homage to this concept of displaying plants from tropical regions around the world. Water fountains, ornate planters, stained glass features and several sculptures including pieces by Edgar Degas and Auguste Rodin set the tone for the diversity of lush horticulture found within this space.

Here are some of the things that have been growing and blooming recently in the Victorian Garden:

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Blood Banana – Musa acuminata ssp Zebrina

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Pink Lantern Plant – Medinilla magnifica

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Purple Passion Flower Vine – Passiflora caerula

 

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Persian Lime Tree – Citrus x latifolia

This lime is the most commonly grown lime species for commercial use.

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Blue Butterfly Bush – Clerodendrum ugandense

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Angelwing Begonia – Begonia coccinea

There are also many Heirloom Spring Bulbs on display, including Tulip ‘Apricot Beauty’, Daffodil ‘Thalia’H. and ‘Gipsy Queen’ to name a few. Flowering annuals and tropicals are coming soon for summer!

#5WomenArtists – Sophie Ryder

During Women’s History Month this March, we are joining the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) in Washington, D.C. by using the hashtag #5WomenArtists to share important contributions by women in our collection.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts, the world’s only major museum solely dedicated to celebrating the creative contributions of women, champions women through the arts by collecting, exhibiting, researching, and creating programs that advocate for equity and shine a light on excellence. On a daily basis, the museum’s social media platforms highlight women’s contributions to the history of art.

Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and bookmark their wonderful Broad Strokes Blog.

This week, we’re featuring the work of Sophie Ryder.

Sophie Ryder was born in London, England where she studied combined arts at the Royal Academy of Arts. While she earned her degree in painting, she was encouraged to focus on sculpture by her fellow artists. It was there that she developed her Lady Hare figures as a counterpart to Ancient Greek mythology’s Minotaur.

Although well known in her native England, and throughout Europe and Canada, Ryder’s first major museum exhibition in the United States was here at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in 2007. Important examples of the artist’s work in a variety of media and in varying scale were shown. Work in wire, bronze, installation, drawings and prints drew connections and distinctions within the artist’s repertoire. Central to the exhibition was the recently completed bronze masterwork, Introspective and the colossal Curled-Up Figure in wire.


The idea of making three-dimensional sculptures entirely from wire was pioneered by Ryder. She begins with a metal armature, which is covered with wire of different thickness, including bed springs and other pieces salvaged from ships. To shape the wire she uses her bare hands and pliers, sometimes aided by a hammer. It is a very physical job and tough on the hands, which inevitably get filthy and cut at times.

“I have always considered myself an artist not a painter or a sculptor or anything in particular. I have always enjoyed experimenting with different media. I never realized that when you went to art school you had to be one thing or the other.” said Ryder. “I sculpt characters and beings – the dogs, the hares, the minotaurs – all characters beyond animal form. That’s what interests me – I am not interested in making a replica. I haven’t sat down and studied anatomy and bone structure. I just look at the way a dog moves, a hare jumps and translate it into my work.”

Can you name 5 women artists in our collection?

About NMWA:
The National Museum of Women in the Arts, the world’s only major museum solely dedicated to celebrating the creative contributions of women, champions women through the arts by collecting, exhibiting, researching, and creating programs that advocate for equity and shine a light on excellence. On a daily basis, the museum’s social media platforms highlight women’s contributions to the history of art.

#5womenartists – Kiki Smith

During Women’s History Month this March, we are joining the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) in Washington, D.C. by using the hashtag #5womenartists to share important contributions by women in our collection.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts, the world’s only major museum solely dedicated to celebrating the creative contributions of women, champions women through the arts by collecting, exhibiting, researching, and creating programs that advocate for equity and shine a light on excellence. On a daily basis, the museum’s social media platforms highlight women’s contributions to the history of art.

Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and bookmark their wonderful Broad Strokes Blog.

This week, we feature the work of Kiki Smith.

Most of Kiki Smith’s sculpture is figurative and implies a narrative. She creates a variety of work including drawings and prints but is most well-known for her sculpture. Works like Sleepwalker, shown below, frequently focus on a stylized female figure engaged in slow-moving activity that seems to express a dream-like or visionary image. Although the dark, rich patina is not typical for the artist, it encourages the nocturnal theme of this sculpture.

Smith is the daughter of American sculptor Tony Smith, who helped influence her career by having her assist in making cardboard models for his geometric sculptures. His work is also included in our permanent collection.

Smith was recently honored along with Bernar Venet as a 2016 International Sculpture Center‘s Lifetime Achievement Award winner.

Can you name 5 women artists in our collection?

About NMWA:
The National Museum of Women in the Arts, the world’s only major museum solely dedicated to celebrating the creative contributions of women, champions women through the arts by collecting, exhibiting, researching, and creating programs that advocate for equity and shine a light on excellence. On a daily basis, the museum’s social media platforms highlight women’s contributions to the history of art.