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The Grand Rapids Public Museum has partnered with Paul Amenta, originator and former director of Activesite to bring a new vision to the former Public Museum site at 54 Jefferson. The building, having stood vacant for well over a decade, will once again open its doors to the public with a spectacular display of art and artifact. Amenta has assembled student and faculty collaborative groups from seven different local colleges and arts institutions to create site-specific art installations highlighting and re-purposing disused museum artifacts.
The exhibition, MICHIGAN — Land of Riches: Re-examining the Old Grand Rapids Public Museum, will host an opening reception April 16 from 6-11 pm at the Museum’s 54 Jefferson location as one of the anchor locations for Art.Downtown. Participating organizations include Aquinas College, Calvin College, Grand Valley State University, Hope College, Kendall College of Art & Design, the University of Michigan, the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts’ ArtWorks program, and The Public Museum of Grand Rapids. The two storey building will include over a dozen gallery and exhibition spaces that will be transformed for this event.
The site work will repurpose museum specimens, artifacts, and displays, reinventing the “old” Museum building and its contents. One project of particular note is being headed by Mariel Versluis of the Kendall College of Art & Design Printmaking Department. Versluis and students will be creating a large scale whale out of Japanese paper to hang in the main gallery of the museum space. The whale is quoting and remembering the whale skeleton that was moved to the Public Museum’s new site on Pearl Street.
The MICHIGAN — Land of Riches: Re-examining the Old Grand Rapids Public Museum exhibition will be open Thursdays April 22 through May 15, 2010 from 2-8 pm. Additional activities at the site will be announced and will include a Family/Education Day, a Brown Bag Lunch Series, and an exhibit-inspired fashion show.
Disclosure: Mark Rumsey is a volunteer organizer for Art.Downtown.
International Artist and Local Strategist based in Grand Rapids. Recipient of the Rapidian's illustrious Hunter S. Thompson Superlatives Award in 2010.
Reports on: art and stuff