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Meijer Gardens Hosts 25 Japanese Sculptors

The group exhibition “Tradition and Innovation: Japanese Ceramics Now” features leading sculptors from across Japan.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., — September 10, 2015 — Coinciding with the seventh annual ArtPrize competition, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park will host 25 Japanese sculptors in, “Tradition and Innovation: Japanese Ceramics Now,” the first all-national venue in ArtPrize history. These top artists were chosen to represent Japan after a national call for entries.


Beginning in January of 2015, a national call for submissions went out across Japan for artists to participate in this important exhibition. Nearly 300 submissions from every part of the country were received. A committee of eight art experts and two representatives from Meijer Gardens narrowed the sculptures to 25 that will be represented in this exhibition.


“The integrity and diversity of objects in this exhibition is nothing short of extraordinary,” said Joseph Becherer, chief curator and vice president of exhibitions and collections. “Conceptually and formally, every object reflects the evolving world of Japanese Ceramics.”


Officially beginning the week prior to ArtPrize, “Tradition and Innovation: Japanese Ceramics Now,” will be on display as Meijer Gardens’ fall exhibition from September 18, 2014 through January 3, 2016. In partnership with the famed Shigaraki Museum and Culture Park, this exhibition will display the great creativity in form, content and technique, showcasing a diverse interpretation of how broadly ceramics are thought of today.

Meijer Gardens sculpture


"The opportunity for Meijer Gardens to work so closely with the famed Shigaraki Museum and Culture Park has been an honor and a distinction we will long treasure,” said Becherer.


As an ArtPrize venue, “Tradition and Innovation: Japanese Ceramics Now,” will be free of charge during ArtPrize (September 23– October 11). Exhibition areas will be open to the public during Meijer Gardens’ regular business hours, as well as official ArtPrize hours (Sundays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Mondays, Wednesday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Tuesdays 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.). On ArtPrize’s opening day, the public will be able to register to vote in ArtPrize and exhibition areas will be on display from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. All other areas of Meijer Gardens observe regular hours and standard admission fees.


Visitors can register to vote and purchase official ArtPrize merchandise at Meijer Gardens.


Meijer Gardens Japanese sculptureExhibition and ArtPrize Programming

  • Gallery Walk
    Tuesday, September 29, 7 p.m.
    Fee: Free
    Join Joseph Becherer, chief curator and vice president, for the inside scoop on the exhibition. Walk through the galleries to learn more about both traditional and more innovative Japanese ceramics.

  • Curator’s Choice
    Wednesday, October 7, noon
    Fee: Free
    Join Laurene Grunwald; director of sculpture, exhibitions and installations, as she discuss her thoughts on the pieces in the exhibition. Share your thoughts and ask questions about the sculptures.

The exhibition “Tradition and Innovation: Japanese Ceramics Now” is made possible by: The Meijer Foundation and Botanic and Sculpture Societies of Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.


Meijer japanese sculptureAbout Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

One of the world’s most significant botanic and sculpture experiences, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park serves nearly 600,000 visitors annually. Meijer Gardens was recently ranked in the top 100 most-visited art museums worldwide by Art Newspaper, the leading publication in global art news. The 158-acre grounds feature Michigan’s largest tropical conservatory; one of the largest children’s gardens in the country; arid and Victorian gardens with bronze sculptures by Degas and Rodin; a carnivorous plant house; outdoor gardens; and a 1900-seat outdoor amphitheater, featuring an eclectic mix of world-renowned musicians every summer. The internationally acclaimed Sculpture Park features a permanent collection including works by Rodin, Oldenburg, Weiwei, Moore, Serra, Bourgeois and Plensa, among others. Indoor galleries host changing sculpture exhibitions with recent exhibitions by Picasso, Degas, di Suvero, Borofsky, Calder and Dine.  In June 2015, the 8–acre Richard & Helen DeVos Japanese Garden at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park opened.  Created by renowned designer Hoichi Kurisu, the garden features sculpture by Anish Kapoor, Zhang Huan and Guiseppe Penone, among others.