On a rainy Saturday, August 13, chapter members assembled at the beautiful Frederick Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids. Despite the rain, our spirits remained undampened as we toured the property and learned about the history of this gem at the heart of our chapter’s footprint.

Perhaps most interestingly, the temporary exhibit in the main hall was of a Nigerian-British artist Yinka Shonibare (on-display until October 23). The artist combines his Yoruba background with his upbringing in the United Kingdom to offer insight and criticism of the post-colonial world. It was a delightful surprise that the artist comes from the same tribal background as our very own executive board treasurer and Central Michigan University professor, Felix Famoye. He and his partner, Busola, immediately identified the cultural affinity from Yinka’s name alone.

Other key exhibits in the statue garden include American Horse, a two-of-a-kind (the other one is in Milan, Italy) statue inspired by a design crafted by Leonardo DaVinci himself, and a piece by famous Chinese artist and dissdent, Ai Weiwei.

We concluded the visit with a beverage and conversation at the café and discussed future plans for the chapter. We have a lot in store!

Thank you to everyone who participated! We look forward to connecting during our multiple upcoming fall events, including regional meet-ups near Lansing and in Kalamazoo and a film discussion in October. Stay tuned.