Sculpture in the Park

One of my favorite gardens to visit in Michigan is the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. I only discovered it a few summers ago when Dale Chihuly was exhibiting there. See my post here.

One of the largest parts of the gardens is the 35-acre Sculpture Park. The vast meadows, ponds and grassy knolls showcase works from more than 30 artist. It is like an open-air museum. I thought I would share some of my favorite pieces with you.

Cabin Creek by Deborah Butterfield
The organic nature of this horse makes this a really interesting piece. It is in fact bronze casts of wood but the effect is the same from a distance. It looks like reclaimed art using pieces of drift wood.

Neuron by Roxy Paine
This is a new piece at the gardens and I like how it can be interpreted in so many different ways. It definitely has nature references but is made from decidedly industrial elements. It could be a "root ball elevated by the tendrils of the root" or an "abstract shape with powerful central form reaching out into space".

As you can see my children were rather enamoured with this piece.

Eve by Auguste Rodin
What I love about the setting is that the plants and trees really show of the sculptures. It is so serene and one can really meditate with nature as the back drop. Sometimes when I look at art in museums I feel closed in and don't fully appreciate the art. Plus these pieces are so large they need the vastness of the outdoors to really come to life.

Plantoir by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen
This one really appealed to the gardener in me.

I, you, she or he by Jaume Plensa
This is by far one of my favorite in the permanent exhibit. I love how it almost looks computer generated and a little Sci-Fi but the rocks bring an organic feel to it and the green grass just makes it all pop.

Standing Woman by Ossip Zadkine
I really like Expressionism and this one appealed to me with its shapes and lines.
Two Indeterminate Lines by Bernar Venet
This piece was just too temptingly interactive for my son. Apparently he missed the sign that says "don't touch".

Aria by Alexander Liberman
This piece sits in a large field. I like how the wispy grass seems to lift it up. The orange color of this massive structure against the brown grass, green trees and blue sky just sings.

King and Queen by David Nash
The King and Queen is made from bronze but looks like two pieces of wood that has been blackened. The artist is known for creating pieces from wood shaping living trees or carved ones that have died naturally.

Scarlatti by Mark di Suvero

The American Horse by Nina Akamu
And, here we are under the 24 ft. horse. Not necessarily my cup of tea in terms of art but I had to show it because it is so monstrous and powerful.

My next post will be on the wetland habitat of the gardens which is teaming with plants and animal life.


  1. Those are some pieces of art. You sure would have to have a tremendous amount of space to place them for effect.

    Cher Sunray Gardens

  2. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing this.

  3. I love these too...I especially love the first horse and the new in nature certainly takes on a new view and is so wonderful...I can see why you like this place.

  4. I like the neuron and the sci-fi piece. The three figures look like they're almost floating on the rocks and fit well with the environment. They seem so delicate given their size.

  5. I like these..and I so admire the artists that can do this...Michelle

  6. These sculptures add so much interest and creativity to the garden. The first horse is my favorite...beautiful! Whenever I see sculptures in a garden, they always seem to belong there.

  7. I need to pay a visit to the Meijer Gardens.

  8. What great sculptures! Each is so interesting. The "I, You, He or She" one is really different.


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One of my favorite things about blogging is the conversation with readers. Leave a comment and let's get talking. ~Karin

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