The Rapidian

Artists to explore nature with creations at SiTE:LAB at Blandford Nature Center

This year's temporary art event will include diverse works of art, music, a bar and food all together for a diverse exploration of creative efforts in the forest.
LazerBoyz at SiTE:LAB Blandford Nature Center in 2012

LazerBoyz at SiTE:LAB Blandford Nature Center in 2012 /Courtesy of SiTE:LAB

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Plan your trip

WHEN: Saturday, July 27

12 p.m. - 11 p.m.


WHERE: Blandford Nature Center

1715 Hillburn Ave NW

Grand Rapids, MI 49504


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Blandford Nature Center 

Artwork from SiTE:LAB Blandford Nature Center in 2011

Artwork from SiTE:LAB Blandford Nature Center in 2011 /Courtesy of SiTE:LAB

A performance piece at SiTE:LAB Blandford Nature Center in 2011

A performance piece at SiTE:LAB Blandford Nature Center in 2011 /Terry Johnston

SiTE:LAB’s installations at the Blandford Nature Center has reached its third year of giving artists the freedom to explore the forest and let their creative minds loose.

This year the SiTE:LAB Blandford Nature Center installations will be located closer to each other on the west side of Blandford, allowing for visitors to easily access all of the artwork.

There will be work by photographers, painters, sculptors and performance artists. Approximately 30 projects will be on display.

One of the performance acts to look out for is LazerBoyz, a group of visual artists that use light as their medium. Dinderbeck, a local artist collective, will "set up a community of dwellings in the nature center that visitors can interact with," says Paul Amenta, co-founder and curator of SiTE:LAB.

The artwork is about the place and about the nature center, says Amenta.

"A lot of the artists use materials that are found there. Almost all of them engage with the physicality of the space."

In addition, there will be musicians such as Simien the Whale, Seth Galligan, J Oscar Bittenger, Karisa Wilson and Glenn Danles playing music and a t-shirt printing station that prints t-shirts on demand by Citizenshirt. Brewery Vivant's collaboration with Blandford, The Blandford Maple Amber Ale, will be served as well as their standby Farmhand Ale. Ice cream from Cherry Hill Ice Cream Parlor will be available. Food will be provided by Tommy Fitzgerald.

"It's always an interesting project. There's always a few surprises," says Amenta. "I never know how it's going to turn out."

Visitors should come prepared to have fun, explore and play- but also be ready for time outdoors.

"Wear sunscreen and bug spray," advises Amenta.

Those unable to attend Saturday may be able to see some of the installed artworks Friday or Sunday. 

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