GRAM slated to open "on-time"

You think this project will never be completed, but according to an article


by Jeff Kaczmarczyk in the Grand Rapids Press, the Grand Rapids Art Museum is on schedule to be open for business in November of 2007. Don't take my word for it, take the GRAM CAM's word for it!

According to Kaczmarczyk, a $75 million capital campaign began in September 2001 with an initial gift of $20 million from Peter Wege. "The campaign -- including $55 million for construction, $4.5 million to buy and demolish privately owned buildings on the site, $2.5 million in transitional and moving expenses, and $13 million toward an endowment to fund operations -- crossed the $70 million mark this summer."

Too bad Dick Devos isn't interested in "cool cities". [link]

GRAM has also commissioned a 25 foot bi-chrome piece by Ellsworth Kelley for the atrium lobby of the new museum. According to a Grand Rapids Press article, "The lobby is a monumental space, and we looked for an artist that we felt could create a wall piece," said museum director Celeste Adams. "In terms of that genre, he is the pre-eminent American artist."

Is there any room for institutional critique in Grand Rapids? hmmm......

Posted on September 20, 2006 12:36 AM


well. i'm too much a hustler and proponent to critique.
but it should be rad....and the devos foundation is also a huge donor....
i'd like to hear some critiques. just so i can offer a closer view of what i think is going on. I think the mission of a museum is misunderstood by most artist. it has a very different mission then the uica...
while all the colleges have there own faults....this will provide a large nexus point to interact and mingle together.
oh and by the way i never see too many people at college level at the museum exhibitions. very rarely! for people who feel the have status to critique... i actually want them to do the research. it's motherfuckin free on tues. afternoon y'all.
next show open oct.6th.....eames 50th anniversary...and 100 chairs from vitra.

Posted by: ajpaschka on September 20, 2006 9:17 AM

My brother is working on the GRAM and my Dad went to check it out with him (he is a construction Superintendent). They said it is still about a year out. I don't know who to believe, but I know my Dad knows how to build and has organized larger jobs and similar sized jobs to this one. It would be wonderful if the building was open in the Spring, but I'm guessing that is just a dream.

Posted by: Matt on September 20, 2006 10:18 AM

Oh, they say it is going to open in November 2007? They originally said it would open in the Spring of 2007. Maybe it will be "On Time" then.

Posted by: Matt on September 20, 2006 10:19 AM

people forget construction always goes past deadlines...
and there are laws and permits to when the public is allowed into a building....after it is finished that is.
i'm sure someone sued someone sometime for inhaling construction dust...and it is the same for even the kelsey building opening up on division.

education wing is the first to move....
only us curatorial will be in this building after november.
the rest of the administration will work at the new building this winter.
don't forget this is a lot more complicated than an office building with a drop ceiling.

galleries are last to open...

Posted by: ajpaschka on September 20, 2006 4:28 PM

originally, and the giant board inside the entrance of the museum confirms this, it was supposed to open in fall 2006. Yeah, it sucks that it has taken this long, but we've waited about 96 years to have an actual museum space for the collection, we can wait a couple of months.

For my money, the museum has been doing some insanely interesting shows lately (German Expressionism, EAMES!)which is more important to me than the physical space. I may be biased, but if you miss the Eames exhibition, your a sucker.

Posted by: anthony on September 20, 2006 10:19 PM

Ellsworth Kelly? Boring. Sure he's a name, but I think doing a nation wide call for submissions or something would have probably produced something better than whatever Kelly is going to turn out to match the curtains.

Posted by: david on September 24, 2006 12:22 AM

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