Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park unveils new welcome center featuring 'Crown Fountain' artist

click to enlarge Jaume Plensa's 'Utopia' was specifically commissioned for the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park's new welcome center. - PHOTO BY LAURA MEDINA
Photo by Laura Medina
Jaume Plensa's 'Utopia' was specifically commissioned for the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park's new welcome center.

Good things come in small packages but in the case of a soon-to-be-unveiled work by one of the most important living artists, good things come in 19-foot tall portraits spanning the walls of a new welcome center at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids.

"Utopia" is the largest indoor work from acclaimed Spanish artist, Jaume Plensa, who is known around the world for his stunning large-scale outdoor sculptures, like his famed "Crown Fountain" installation located in Chicago's Millennium Park, as well as his interpretation of the human face and the universal ways in which we use our face to communicate who we are to the world.

"Meijer Gardens is thrilled beyond words to be once again working with Jaume to secure what I know will be an iconic work of art celebrating art, the diversity of life brought by people from around the world and how beauty
can truly make the world a better place," David Hooker, President & CEO at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, said in a press release. "Our hope is that the whole world will be able to experience Utopia and have their lives
enriched."

click to enlarge Jaume Plensa's 'Utopia' was specifically commissioned for the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park's new welcome center. - PHOTO BY MICHAEL MORAN
Photo by Michael Moran
Jaume Plensa's 'Utopia' was specifically commissioned for the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park's new welcome center.

"Utopia" finds a permanent home is along the walls of the Garden Pavillion, a 7,400-square-foot room located within the garden and sculpture park's newly expanded and updated 69,000-square-foot welcome center designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects. The specially commissioned piece is Plensa's largest indoor work to date.

Carved from white marble, "Utopia" was created in Barcelona and consists of four 19-foot tall portraits of young women, all from different nationalities and backgrounds. Per a press release, the "faces represent universal symbols of the beauty inherent in humanity."

"Utopia" will be on display to the general public starting Tuesday, Nov. 30.

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