The art of capturing a city is a tricky one for artists since you want to be true but not trite in your representation.
Luckily for us, one of the largest collections of Reynold Weidenaar, an artist who hails from West Michigan and went on to earn international acclaim, will be on display at the Grand Rapids Public Museum in honor of the 100th anniversary of his birth, celebrated in the new exhibition, Through the Eyes of Weidenaar.
Before Weidenaar left our region, he spent a lot of time recording the city of Grand Rapids. Many of these early drawings are being exhibited for the first time in many years and can be quickly identified under the titles of "Locomotive Shops," "Eyes of the City," "St. Mark's Cathedral," and the "Farmer's Market."
Anyone who is interesting I seeing the history of Grand Rapids through the eyes of this local artist, who began his higher education training at the Kendall School of Design, is sure to enjoy this collection on display.
A generous amount of the works featured in this stunning collection were made possible through the gift of Weidenaar's art to the museum by another international local luminary, Jay and Betty Van Andel, co-founder of Amway.
As an incentive to get your kids to respond to this exhibit on Jan. 17, the first 100 kids aged 12 and under to visit the museum will receive a complimentary sketchbook. Later, please encourage these kids to post their images on social media under the hashtags #RapidGrowth and #Weidenaar. I would love to see how they envision our city 100 years later in contrast to Weidenaar's work.
Admission: Free with general admission.