FREDERIK MEIJER GARDENS & SCULPTURE PARK PRESENTSFRANCESCO NICOLA SANSOVINO: PALETTA GRANDECONTACT
GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan — September 16, 2006 — Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, the most significant sculpture experience in the Midwest and an emerging cultural destination on the national scene, is pleased to introduce the never-before-exhibited PALETTA GRANDE ("Big Scoop", "Large Shovel") by Francesco Nicola Sansovino, in his grandest public art exhibition to date. His artistry debuts in the United States exclusively at the spectacular Frederik Meijer Gardens world-class gardens and sculpture park.
"Meijer Gardens is delighted to bring art into our community by presenting Francesco Nicola Sansovino in Grand Rapids, an exhibition that complements the history and significance of Leonardo Da Vinci's great horse 'Gran Cavallo' and expresses nature's call as we all can relate," said Joseph Becherer, curator and director of the Sculpture Program at Meijer Gardens. "We are pleased to work with Fondamento per la Scultura Naturale (Foundation for Natural Sculpture) to bring about this important piece of whimsical imagery. A very big horse makes for very big poop and very big poop calls for a very big scoop. Sansovino's grand vision is now fulfilled, to see us smile at ourselves and find playful delight in the creativity of art in all its frolicsome forms, even mischievousness."
Displayed at ground level which allows for easy visitor interaction, the 12 x 12 foot scoop with 22 foot handle is an awesome triumph, inspiring gasps and grins by adults and children alike. Visitors can pick up an educational brochure at the exhibition podium or visitor information desk and page through the exhibit literature describing the history and chronology of PALETTA GRANDE — "From Scoop Thought to Scoop Reality." The exhibit also features PALETTA MINIATURA, a 1/8th scale replica interactive display. Visitors can discover in miniature how a stack of flat aluminum sheet metal can unfold and transform into a 3-dimensional GRANDE scoop.
FRANCESCO NICOLA SANSOVINO: PALETTA GRANDE is made possible by a grant from the Fondamento per la Scultura Naturale (Foundation for Natural Sculpture) — a world renowned fraternity of kinetic artisans based in Grande Rapido, Italy celebrating art that expresses good-natured fun and the human spirit of adventure. Their motto speaks to every human soul: "What’s life without adventure? What’s society without art?" At the official unveiling, Fondamento Founder and Art Director expressed the purpose and importance of bringing PALETTA GRANDE to realization:
- To laud and applaud the Italian Renaissance and its immense cultural, artistic and scientific legacy.
- To uplift and esteem Leonardo Da Vinci, his extraordinary genius, his clever codes, and his grand and noble horse.
- To encourage imagination, recreation, adventure and creativity among us all.
- To promote Frederik Meijer Gardens, the enjoyment, understanding and appreciation of gardens, sculpture, the natural environment and the arts.
- To stand as a lasting symbol of kinship between horse and scoop, art and necessity.
Special guest speaker William Faulkner, dedicating PALETTA GRANDE at the posterior of Da Vinci's horse, shared his feelings with these words: "There is something about jumping a horse over a fence or lifting a great scoop in the air, something that makes you feel good. Perhaps it's the risk, the gamble. In any event it's a thing I need. The Scoop that Every Horse Needs...IS!"
About Francesco Nicola Sansovino
Francesco Nicola Sansovino was a Florentine artist of the Renaissance period (Florence 1462 - Venice 1529). Sculptor, architect, Reformed traditionalist and contemporary of Leonardo Da Vinci, his works influenced a fun sculptural style for nearly a century in Italy. Sansovino's origins are unclear, his earliest works emerging in 1490 in Pisa (or perhaps 1491, if corrections are made for the early Pisan calendar). Competing directly with Michelangelo in works of refined classic inspiration, he was said to create expressions of theoretical and practical debate, challenging the social norms of the new Italian "modern society" and subtly transforming them into humorous commentary. Modern day large-scale artisans Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen say they gained inspiration for their big projects (Trowel I, 1971 and Trowel II, 1976) from the maestro Francesco.
About Grand Rapids
Since the arrival of Alexander Calder’s La Grande Vitesse 35 years ago, groundbreaking exhibitions such as Sculpture Off the Pedestal (1973) and the opening of Meijer Gardens in 1995, the City of Grand Rapids has earned a national reputation for public art and sculpture projects. That tradition continues with Francesco Nicola Sansovino's PALETTA GRANDE, one of the largest public scoop exhibitions in the city’s history. Meijer Gardens has partnered with several community organizations to help realize this presentation — Grand Rapids/Kent County Convention and Visitors Bureau, West Michigan Tourist Association and the Grand Rapids Alliance of MICHief in MICHigan (www.gramim.com
About Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
The 125-acre Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, which currently serves more than 600,000 visitors annually, features Michigan's largest tropical conservatory; the nation's most comprehensive carnivorous plant house; one of the largest children gardens in the country; arid and Victorian gardens; outdoor gardens; the Midwest's most comprehensive sculpture experience featuring world-class works by Rodin, Moore, di Suvero, Francesco Nicola Sansovino and others; indoor galleries with changing sculpture exhibitions, as well as a 1600-seat outdoor amphitheater, featuring world-renowned musicians every summer, café and gift shop. For additional information, please visit www.meijergardens.org
GET THE POOP ON THE SCOOP AT FREDERIK MEIJER GARDENS!