|Eve -- by August Rodin|
The Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park near Grand Rapids, Michigan provides delightful outdoor settings for sculpture. The rolling landscape reveals works of art framed by the natural surroundings of the massive garden space. Trails and walks lead the viewer to various works. A tram ride provides a narrated overview of the collection in the 132 acre park.
The organic nature of the entrance building's architecture is immediately apparent in the tree-like posts and beams. The floor, a work of art by Michele Oka Doner that is entitled "Beneath the Leafy Crown," is crafted with bronze seed, leaf and pod shapes, all embedded in terrazzo. Walking on this floor is like stepping on a forest path. The work is a wonderful expression of art in its full fledged practicality of everyday use.
Indoor sculpture includes this work, "Hagar," by Jacques Lipchitz. A cubist approach approach to the Biblical story of Hagar and Abraham, the work is considered a narrative and is elegantly placed in the central lobby of the Gallery at the Sculpture Garden.
The sweet gum trees with their five lobed leaves caught my eye. There is a Children's Garden, a farm area, a conservatory, and, of course, many magnificent works of art, all within the context of a practicing botanical garden.
Not to be missed, the Meijer Sculpture Garden bears repeat visiting as the settings for the artworks change with the seasons.
Wanda Hayes Eichler