steel sculpture by a Spanish artist installed in Grand Rapids | Michigan News


By ROSE WHITE, The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) – A 16-foot-tall stainless steel sculpture by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa has been installed in downtown Grand Rapids.

Commissioned by the DeVos family, the sculpture titled “The Four Elements” is located at the northeast corner of Monroe Avenue and Lyon Street NW, reports The Grand Rapids Press.

“We were inspired by the long history in Grand Rapids of so many others bringing important and unique art to be an integral part of downtown and, in many ways, the first step in our community,” said Pamella DeVos in a press release. .

Alice Walker, vice president of public relations firm Truscott Rossman, previously told MLive that the DeVos family paid for the sculpture. The cost of the project was not disclosed.

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“The addition of this Plensa piece aims to portray a welcoming message of unity and diversity and is a wonderful addition to our city’s heritage and public collection,” said DeVos.

The 5,400-pound sculpture uses letters and symbols from elements for air, water, fire and earth to form a human figure. It is believed to mean “the many different characteristics that bring people together to form one human race,” according to a press release.

Plensa has created publicly displayed projects in cities such as Chicago, San Diego, Seattle, Miami, Montreal, London, Dubai, Bangkok, Shanghai and Tokyo.

“Grand Rapids’ reputation as an arts destination has grown for decades,” said Doug Small, president and CEO of Experience Grand Rapids, in a statement. “As community leaders help bring the work of renowned international artists to our doorstep, it not only improves the ‘quality of place’ for area residents, but also increases the attractiveness of visitors from all over. the country and the whole world. “

This is Plensa’s third piece in the Grand Rapids area, joining two others located in the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park.

Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss called the sculpture “another point of pride” for the city.

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