This fall, step into three Grand Rapids neighborhoods to explore spectacular art installations, sculptures, public events, performances, urban interventions and community-oriented projects — and consider what it means to belong.
Our city has a rich legacy of public art defining and enhancing civic space, yet still faces difficult questions about access and boundaries. Project 1: Crossed Lines takes a deeper look at how these lines, both visible and invisible, affect our sense of belonging.
With this theme as inspiration, our team held conversations and collaborated with community members and Project 1 artists to ultimately select the three official Project 1 sites outlined below.
From September 7-October 27, join us in crossing the dividing lines of our city, and in investigating how art can help make cities places where we all belong. From performances and celebrations, to conversations and other happenings, there will be myriad ways for you to connect with and take part in the artists’ works throughout the seven-week exhibition.
Martin Luther King Jr. Park
Located in a residential neighborhood on the southeast side of the city, MLK Park will feature works by artists Amanda Browder and Heather Hart. Browder will wrap the exterior of the community lodge in the center of the park with a vibrant, multi-colored textile piece — created with the help of local donations and volunteers. Hart will install a sculpture in the park that mimics the roof of a house that appears to sink into the lawn. Visitors will be able to climb on the roof and enter the attic, and the roof will serve as a stage for local music, dance and spoken word. We chose MLK Park as a Project 1 site in collaboration with community members, city officials and the artists.
MLK Park site for Project 1 underwritten by Meijer.
An architectural intervention by artist Paul Amenta and architect Ted Lott, as well as a work by Amanda Browder, will be installed at Tanglefoot. This industrial campus is named after a flypaper manufacturer. For the last several decades, it has been home to artist studios. This rich creative history led Amenta and Lott to the site. Together they will build platforms for the creative experimentation of other artists, both figuratively and literally. Participation and collaboration are essential to their work. For Project 1, they’ll create a structure that responds to the existing architecture of the space by filling a partial courtyard with an accessible pavilion. Audiences and performers will occupy the new structure throughout the exhibition.
Downtown will be a key location during Project 1, featuring a walkable center-city experience with installations by four of our five commissioned artists. Amanda Browder will wrap several public structures throughout the downtown core with her textiles. Heather Hart will create a second sunken rooftop sculpture that will feature performances throughout the exhibition. Olalekan Jeyifous will create a large steel and wood sculpture. And Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s work will invite visitor participation through sound and light. Exact locations of their work within the downtown area will be revealed in the coming weeks.
Downtown site for Project 1 is underwritten by DTE Energy Foundation.
More information for each Project 1 site, including a calendar of activities and events, will be announced this summer.