New Site Features Local Sculptures

October 14, 2002
| By Katy Rent |
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GRAND RAPIDS — Later this week when a new Web site is launched, Grand Rapids will take on the new nickname of "Sculpture City."

The site, — to debut at 9:30 a.m., Thursday during a special unveiling at the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park — will give viewers the chance to see the works of sculpture that have been collected by institutions and attractions within Grand Rapids.

The site will not just be for the close-to-home viewers, but will be available live to lovers of sculpture worldwide.

"Grand Rapids has always been viewed as the Furniture City and we want everyone to know that we have a rich history in sculpture as well," said Heidi Leestma, curator of arts education for the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.

A grant was secured from an unnamed donor explicitly to develop the Web site as a resource the community could use to showcase the history of the numerous sculptures around the city.

Almost 20 area groups worked together for more than two years to produce a high-caliber, organized and collaborative site for Web visitors.

"When you look in a sculpture book you get one view of the sculpture. But the whole point of sculpture is that it is three dimensional," said Leestma.

"With the Web site you will be able to view the sculpture from a couple of different views and on some even take a 360-degree look around the entire thing."

David D'Arcy, cultural arts correspondent for National Public Radio, also will speak Thursday about art in public places, specifically citing the works to be found throughout Grand Rapids and how the city's art plays an important role in creating an image.

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