The Rapidian

Expand your mind downtown

Neon sculpture by Swiss-born artist Ugo Rondinone will light up Grand Rapids' downtown skyline through April.
Underwriting support from:

Open Concept Gallery

Open Concept Gallery began operations in 2006 as a non-profit institution dedicated to increasing the understanding of 21st century art and today’s important social issues. The gallery organizes a wide range of educational programs for audiences of all ages. In conjunction with contemporary art exhibits, it hosts the "Art Talks" television show. It serves as a platform for contemporary art that allows artists and curators to consider perspectives, raise new questions and discover new approaches.


The gallery is open by appointment and arrangements can be made by email at [email protected].

Grand Rapids' skyline took on a new look, this month, with the installation of “Big Mind Sky” atop downtown’s Trade Center Building at 50 Louis Northwest. Installation of the neon sculpture by Swiss-born artist Ugo Rondinone was made possible by a partnership between Grand Rapids' Open Concept Gallery and Pro Helvetia – Swiss Arts Council. It will light up the downtown skyline until late April.

Rondinone’s works have been shown around the world in solo exhibitions in Paris, Boston, New York, London, Melbourne, Viena, Rotterdam, Zürich and São Paulo. According to Open Concept Gallery’s Executive Director, Dr. Zora Carrier, “Our mission is to bring world-renowned contemporary artworks and artists to the vibrant, local art scene. We are honored to be trusted to curate this important piece of Ugo Rondinone’s work here in Grand Rapids.” In celebration of the installation, the gallery will be offering a series of events including gallery talks and an accompanying exhibition.

The sculpture is best viewed at night. It is easily visible from the Wealthy Street overpass over US 131 and stands out when seen from in front of Hop Cat or at the VanAndel Arena. Be sure to check it out the next time you are downtown.

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