I have written before about how Grand Rapids offers us big city livin’ without the commitment. As an aside, I need to tell you that this was astutely noted by my friend Megan, who now lives in Missouri. I am kind of wondering what Missouri has against me, as it has become a vortex that keeps sucking my friends in.
Anyway. I had an opportunity to visit the new Grand Rapids Art Museum. I am not what you would call a huge appreciator of art. I don’t know how long to look at the pictures before moving along, or if I should have a look on my face that seems to indicate that I ‘get it’ (99% of the time, I am pretty sure I don’t).
This all can be squarely blamed on my 7th Grade Art Teacher, Mrs. T. She inexplicably hated me. If I got a D on any given project she was feeling generous, and she threw me out in the hall all the time for no reason. This was my first, and fortunately last, experience with teachers hating me. Other than this incident I was pretty well-liked by teachers, professors, and particularly male grad assistants but I realize that last one was probably because I was relatively skinny and had a good tan throughout college and not due to my fine intellect as I had thought at the time.
Therefore my experience with the GRAM is purely based on the building itself. Aside from the Gordon Parks photography exhibit (sweet!!), I couldn’t tell you if this was the same stuff that was is the old building or not. The building is amazing – very sleek and not at all crowded which is the polar opposite of the old museum. It’s beautiful and fancy and shiny, and the gift shop is nice. I felt very big city for a few hours which is about long enough before I’m ready to be small town again.
If you have a Grand Rapids Childrens Museum PALS Membership, the GRAM is free in July. The staff keeps a good eye on the kids, but are really nice to them. They offered suggestions of things to find, kind of like a scavenger hunt. In the gift shop, the kids selected Diego Rivera tattoos but I can’t quite yet bring myself to put a weird distorted skeleton on my babies.
I really want to return to the GRAM alone, so I can mosey around calmly at my own pace and maybe sit and pretend I am sketching something. Mrs. T. won’t be grading it this time.