The Rapidian

A Legacy of Public Art: 1872 to 2010

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Gina Bivins, President of the Grand Rapids Historical Society, will present "A Legacy of Public Art: 1872 to 2010"

Gina Bivins, President of the Grand Rapids Historical Society, will present "A Legacy of Public Art: 1872 to 2010"

Face on the entranceway at St. James Catholic Church on Bridge Street NW, perhaps one of the city's earliest public art pieces

Face on the entranceway at St. James Catholic Church on Bridge Street NW, perhaps one of the city's earliest public art pieces /Photo Courtesy of Fred Bivins

A look back at local public art displays


 Think ArtPrize is a unique event? It is indeed. But it's not the first time a multitude of public art has been displayed in Grand Rapids. Gina Bivins, president of the Grand Rapids Historical Society, will present an extensive slide show of pictures representing public art displayed in the past when the Grand Rapid Historical Society presents "A Legacy of Public Art: 1872 to 2010" on Thursday, Oct. 14.

 

Find out whether you can recognize local publicly displayed art in the past. Among them is the sculpted face adorning the entranceway of the historic St. James Catholic Church on Bridge Street NW. Built in 1872, this Westside landmark features perhaps the city's earliest known public art.

 

Another art piece is one of the city's best known sculptures: the 1925 bronze statue of John Ball located at the John Ball Zoo. Other art displays  include the mid-1970s Festival of the Arts exhibits including Lorrie's Button located in the Ah-Nab-Awen Park.   Recent creations in 2006 are the delightful bronze statutes by Tom Otterness in a show titled "The Gardens to the Grand" featuring figurines in the downtown area and the Frederik Meijer Gardens. 

 

The delightful Ms. Bivins will begin her presentation at 7 p.m. Tuesday, October 14 at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, 303 Pearl Street NW. It is free and open to the public. Parking is free, too. It should be a wonderful evening!

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