Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park Announces Opening of The Stuart and Barbara Padnos Rooftop Sculpture Garden

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First of several new and re-imagined garden areas at Meijer Gardens will contain prominent works on loan from Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C.

“The Padnos Rooftop Sculpture Garden is a completely new garden experience. It has an urban garden look and feel with stunning views of the wetlands,” said Meijer Gardens President and CEO David Hooker. “Our gratitude to the Padnos family for their ongoing support is deep and sincere."

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, one of the nation’s most significant botanic and sculpture experiences, is proud to announce the opening of the Stuart and Barbara Padnos Rooftop Sculpture Garden. Located on top of the recently completed 22,000 square foot Covenant Learning Center, this unique space is unlike any other garden or rooftop in West Michigan. The Padnos Rooftop Sculpture Garden is part of the Welcoming the World: Honoring a Legacy of Love expansion project and furthers Meijer Gardens’ mission of promoting the enjoyment, understanding and appreciation of gardens, sculpture, the natural environment and the arts.

Central to the experience on the rooftop garden is the blending of horticultural elements and sculpture, including the siting of four long-term loans from the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. Significant Modern and Contemporary sculpture from Alexander Calder, Henry Moore, Marino Marini and David Smith will be on view. The works by Calder, Moore and Marini represent different periods in the life and work of these artists than the existing works in our permanent collection. David Smith’s work is new to Meijer Gardens. An American abstract expressionist sculptor and painter, Smith is best known for creating large, abstract steel geometric sculptures and was a great influence on the post-World War II Minimal art movement. This loan was made possible due to Meijer Gardens’ ongoing relationship with the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden dating back to a long-term loan of Alexander Calder’s Two Discs in 2007. The Hirshhorn is currently undergoing its first redesign in more than 40 years, led by renowned architect and artist Hiroshi Sugimoto.

This new rooftop garden consists of a clean, modern design that creates a distinctly urban space that highlights vistas to the wetlands and boardwalk areas that mark the eastern border of the Meijer Gardens campus. The garden has been designed to be a beautiful, flexible space for events, weddings, gatherings and everyday enjoyment. The area is visible from the interior sculpture gallery space and the sculptures displayed will rotate over time depending on the sculpture exhibitions occurring inside. The horticultural elements of the garden have been designed to provide four seasons of interest. The Padnos Rooftop Sculpture Garden offers many environmental benefits, including moderating temperature changes in the Covenant Learning Center, stormwater management and offering a diverse habitat for birds, butterflies and insects.

“Meijer Gardens has done an incredible job of fusing Lena Meijer’s love of gardening with Fred Meijer’s passion for sculpture into an amazing institution. Stuart and Barbara Padnos also shared in those passions. It is a special delight for our family to be able to honor them by contributing to this wonderful addition,” said Jeff Padnos. “Our family is truly thrilled to be part of this wonderful example of what we can accomplish with vision and collaboration.”

The $115 million Welcoming the World: Honoring a Legacy of Love expansion project underway at Meijer Gardens is addressing facility needs that came from significant growth over the institution’s 24-year history. New areas across the campus will allow Meijer Gardens to expand annual horticulture exhibitions, provide more galleries for sculpture exhibitions and art storage facilities, add room for guests to move about safely and easily, host more events, add educational offerings, and create additional space that is LEED-certified and architecturally significant. The project is also adding parking capacity and improving vehicle flow.

Images and architectural drawings are available HERE:

About Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

One of the world’s most significant botanic and sculpture experiences, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park served 696,000 visitors in 2018 and was recently listed in the top 30 most visited museums in the United States by The Art Newspaper, the leading publication in global art news. The 158-acre main campus features Michigan’s largest tropical conservatory; one of the largest interactive children’s gardens in the country; arid and Victorian gardens with bronze sculptures by Edgar Degas and Auguste Rodin; a carnivorous plant house; outdoor gardens; and a 1900-seat outdoor amphitheater, featuring an eclectic mix of world-renowned musicians every summer. The internationally acclaimed Sculpture Park features a permanent collection including works by Claes Oldenburg & Coosje van Bruggen, Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Richard Serra, Louise Bourgeois, Ai Weiwei and Jaume Plensa, among others. Indoor galleries host changing sculpture exhibitions with exhibitions by Ai Weiwei, Pablo Picasso, Edgar Degas, Mark di Suvero, Jonathan Borofsky, Alexander Calder, Jim Dine and others. In June 2015, the eight–acre Richard & Helen DeVos Japanese Garden at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park opened. Created by renowned designer Hoichi Kurisu, the garden features sculpture by Anish Kapoor, Jenny Holzer, David Nash, George Rickey, Masayuki Koorida, Zhang Huan and Guiseppe Penone.

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