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 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.

2013: What Would You Like to See


Dear Lovers of Horticulture, Sculpture and Everything In-between: 

Thank you for reading our blog these past few years as we post about horticulture, education, sculpture and the many things happening at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.

As we look ahead in 2013, we hope to fill this blog with more information and stories involving every facet of Meijer Gardens—from what’s blooming to concert behind-the-scenes— from experts in our various departments. Posts will continue to inform about the exciting activities at Meijer Gardens as we work toward more consistent updates.

What would YOU like to see more of on this blog?  


The Foundation of a Japanese Garden: Boulder Placement Ceremony

For centuries, designers of Japanese gardens have placed special emphasis on boulders for their permanency. The solid and unchanging structure of boulders form the skeleton and foundation, and their selection and placement gives a sense of maturity to a new garden.

Selection of these boulders and rocks is important to the aesthetic and careful consideration of the qualities of each boulder is required. Our Japanese Garden’s Designer, Hoichi Kurisu, recently visited a West Michigan rock quarry and selected the individual boulders based on qualities necessary for a Japanese garden: size, weathered appearance, interesting shapes and subdued coloring.

These boulders were used to commemorate our own foundational beginning of The Richard and Helen DeVos Japanese Garden. Yesterday, we celebrated this permanency during a Boulder Placement Ceremony held for our members, donors and the public.

Boulder Ceremony in Grand Room.

Kicking off the Boulder Placement Ceremony, President and CEO David Hooker welcomed the crowd of more than 400 people and thanked all those who were there to celebrate the foundational beginning of the Japanese Garden. Hooker explained how more than 156 families, foundations and companies donated to the Japanese Garden campaign, helping Meijer Gardens meet and exceed the fundraising goal just six short months after announcing the new garden.

“The boulder placement is more than a ceremonial beginning of the Japanese Garden – it’s the foundation on which the garden will thrive for generations to come,” said Hooker. “We were given a great and significant gift that will be cherished and nurtured, not only by staff, but by the community and region.”

Consul General of Japan Kuninori Matsuda followed with remarks about promoting a mutual understanding of Japanese culture through the creation of this Japanese Garden.

“This garden has been received with much enthusiasm and I don’t have the slightest hesitation the Japanese Garden will become a ‘must-see’ once completed,” said Matsuda.

Following Matsuda was Japanese Garden Designer Hoichi Kurisu who spoke of his gratefulness to be a part of the project after meeting with Fred and Lena Meijer last year. A short film showcasing Kurisu and his team placing the first boulder of the Japanese Garden was shown (below) and Japanese poem titled, “Infinite Voice” was read by Kurisu.

“Good ground, good soil. Fred and Lena dropped the seed in the ground by the name of the Japanese Garden. That seed will grow from the good soil and we have to commit ourselves to nurture and share so the seed will grow,” said Kurisu.

Below is a gallery that includes images of the boulder placement with Hoichi Kurisu, presenters during the ceremony and behind-the-scenes of the construction site in its current state.

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The Japanese Garden is located in the northeast corner of the 132-acre property. Its design will convey the essence of the Japanese tradition—tranquility, simplicity and beauty —and include a variety of elements such as scenic bridges, waterfalls, a tea house, moss and bonsai gardens, among other features. The new garden will also feature works of contemporary sculpture by major international artists, such as Anish Kapoor and Zhang Huan, whose aesthetic forms will work in harmony with the space.

Nearly seven months ahead of schedule, view the garden’s progression during your next visit or look for photo updates on Facebook until the Japanese Garden’s completion in 2015.

Boulders and tree from Kurisu’s nursery place in the Japanese Garden.

The Connection: Spring Break Recap

The Connection is a membership level at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park,  comprising of a group young professionals in the area who wish to help “promote the enjoyment, understanding and appreciation of gardens, sculpture, the natural environments and the arts” in an innovative and way.

On April 19, The Connection held a Spring Break event that featured food from Qdoba Mexican Grill, an open bar, hands-on activities, a “Behind-the-Greens” tour with Director of Horticulture, Steve LaWarre, live entertainment, networking and more.

Recapping the event is Connection Steering Committee Member and Associate at Dykema, Elisa Lintemuth. Lintemuth has been an active member of The Connection since 2010.

Guests of The Connection mingled before the "Behind-the-Greens" tour.

Who, what, where, when?
On Thursday, April 19, I attended The Connection’s Spring Break event at Meijer Gardens. Spring was in the air as we ate dinner from Qdoba to the tropical sounds of Greg Secor of Pangea on the steel drums. After time to socialize and enjoy the open bar (with many people opting for the night’s special tropical drink), we had time to walk through the Butterflies Are Blooming exhibition as the butterflies were settling down for the night.

What did Steve LaWarre discuss?
Director of Horticulture, Steve LaWarre, gave us a private tour of the conservatory and pointed out several interesting plants. We all had the opportunity to try a seed from the cacao plant, and I learned that cacao tastes nothing like chocolate in its natural form. I had not realized what a process cacao beans go through to become cocoa and how lucky we are that early civilizations made the fortuitous discovery of chocolate! Following our tour of the conservatory, Steve directed us in planting our own Scarlet Runner Bean, which we were able to take home to enjoy.

Greg Secor of Pangea played the steel drums.

What was your favorite part of the evening?
I really enjoyed being able to go through the Butterflies exhibition with friends. Meijer Gardens was closed to the public at the time of our event, so it gave us an opportunity go through the conservatory without crowds of people around.

How can and why should people get involved in The Connection?
Personally, I enjoy being part of The Connection because it gives me a chance to meet other young professionals in the greater Grand Rapids area and to spend time with other members, who have become my friends. The events always include a delicious menu and a chance to learn something new—whether it is a behind the scenes tour of the Gardens, a sneak peak at ArtPrize and an opportunity to interact with the artists, or an informal lecture from the curator on a new exhibit. I am also looking forward to attending the Tuesday night concert series this summer with The Connection members.

If you are interested in learning more about The Connection, please come to our next event on Wednesday, June 20—we’ll be enjoying an Italian Bistro themed dinner and bocce ball on the lawn. People can find out more information about the next Connection event by e-mailing Katie Racey at or by contacting any of the Steering Committee members.

The Summer Concert Series is “Brighter Than the Sun” in 2012

We feel like a kid in a candy shop… and the candy is an eclectic mix of classic rock, folk, reggae, soul, alternative, and jazz music.

Below is our 25 act line-up for our 10th Outdoor Summer Concert Series, the largest to date in the 1,900-seat amphitheater! Listen to our Summer Concert Series Spotify playlist as you’re scrolling through the great acts that will be hitting the stage this summer.


The B-52s — Friday, June 1 at 7 p.m.
$43 presale | $ 46 member | $48 public
Rooted in New Wave and 1960’s rock in roll, the B-52s have created their own “guy vs. gals” vocal trademark style, highlighted in their hit, “Love Shack.”

Melissa Etheridge

Melissa EtheridgeFriday, June 8 at 7 p.m.
$75 presale | $78 member | $80 public
Her fourth album in 1993, Yes I Am, featured hits, “I’m the Only One” and “Come to My Window,” a song that brought Etheridge her second Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Performance.

Jimmy Cliff — Wednesday, June 13 at 7 p.m.
$40 presale | $43 member | $45 public
Jimmy Cliff is a Jamaican musician, singer and actor and is best known for songs, “I Can See Clearly Now,” “You Can Get It If You Really Want,” and “Many Rivers to Cross”, which helped popularize reggae across the world.

Foreigner — Thursday, June 14 at 7 p.m.
$62 presale | $65 member | $67 public
Foreigner is hailed as one of the most popular classic rock acts in the past thirty years, racking up smash hits like, “Cold As Ice,” “Juke Box Hero,” and “I Want To Know What Love Is.”

Steve Miller Band — Sunday, June 17 at 7 p.m.
$77 presale | $80 member | $82 public
Producing number one hits like “The Joker,” “Fly Like an Eagle,” “Rock’N Me” and “Abracadabra,” the Steve Miller Band is considered a classic rock legend.

Al Green

Al Green — Monday, June 18 at 7 p.m.
$68 presale | $71 member | $73 public
An American gospel and soul music singer, Al Green is famous for his 1970’s hit singles, “You Oughta Be With Me, “I’m Still In Love With You” and “Let’s Stay Together.”

Gov’t Mule — Thursday, June 28 at 7 p.m.
$32 presale | $35 member | $37 public
Formed in 1994, Gov’t Mule is a Southern rock jam band created as an Allman Brothers Band side project by Warren Haynes and Allen Woody. The band has produced eight critically acclaimed records in almost two decades.

Emmylou Harris — Friday, June 29 at 7 p.m.
$48 presale | $51 member | $53 public
With a career that’s sold more than 15 million albums and garnered 12 Grammy Awards, Emmylou Harris has been a major figure in several of America’s musical movements of the past 30 years.

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