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NYC-themed GRAM exhibit resonates with Grand Rapids

Ian Freimuth

With a nod to Billy Joel, the Grand Rapids Art Museum is in a "New York State of Mind" these days.

That's thanks to a special exhibition running this summer.

"T.J. Wilcox: In The Air" is a multi-media celebration of the Big Apple's skyline by artist T.J. Wilcox. 

“Imagine walking into a square room into which is inserted a circular screen 36 feet across, seven feet high, and there are 10 projectors above our heads projecting on this circular screen a 360-degree panoramic view of New York City," said Director of the GRAM Dana Friis-Hansen.

"It was shot all in one day. The film runs, start to finish, about 30 minutes, and scans dawn till dusk," Friis-Hansen said. "As you turn around you can see amazing things happening … with the clouds, with shadows, with airplanes…”

Friis-Hansen says the rooftop perspective gives people the sense of the city without any cars or storefronts.

Adjacent to the exhibit is a crowd-sourced project. It's an interactive piece that allows people to send in photos and stories that will then posted in the exhibit.

Friis-Hansen says he hopes audience members will walk out GRAM's doors with a renewed appreciation for  Grand Rapids' downtown environment.

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