The Rapidian

In the World of Gnomes: Louis Nyikon's Crystal Lake Lodge

There is more art to see than what is in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids for ArtPrize. Arnie's on Leonard is a venue displaying 11 pieces of art. One of these is a little lodge for gnomes made out of wood and bonsai trees.

/Jacky Petters

Underwriting support from:

/Jacky Petters

/Jacky Petters

Louis Nyikon's contribution to ArtPrize is a fairytale diorama titled Crystal Lake Lodge, on display at Arnie's.   

Old stumps, maple scraps, from gourds, milkweed pods, and gnome figurines are Louis Nyikon materials of choice.  With these he has created a whole world for his gnomes to inhabit.  Every aspect of his creations are thought out carefully in order for it to be a formally pleasing and convincing diorama. Displayed below eye level on a rotating table, it looks like it came straight out of an enchanted forest, every tree, waterfall, and mushroom, appearing perfectly suited in its place. The diminutive lodge sits over a lake, complete with a boat dock.

In order for it to come to life, Nyikon had to live in the lodge in his imagination, inspired by the natural form of the tree, visualizing each room, with grooves and boroughs in the stump suggesting waterfalls and lakes.

Crystal Lake Lodge is something that you cannot just glance at. There are many little details that make up the world for gnomes. Bonsai trees, lit windows, and figurines, are featured all around the lodge to give it balance. The lake and waterfalls reflects light very nicely to give it a natural look. Everything is preserved so it looks like it actually exists there and grew that way. There isn’t one part of this lodge that seems superfluous. It is easy to get lost in this little world, believing that you can wander around and live there.

To get lost in it for yourself, visit it at Arnie’s at 722 Leonard Street in Grand Rapids, Michigan.


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