After touring the Richard & Helen DeVos Japanese Garden at Frederik Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids Township, high school art students found peaceful places to draw among the rocks, water and plants.
Inspired by the rushing waterfalls, flowering plants and many sculptures, they used their drawings once back in the classroom to create miniature landscape scenes in boxes featuring Zen gardens, boulders, trees, lanterns and other elements.
Art teacher Kimberly Meyers-Baas brought 45 students in her introductory art classes, drawing and color-theory on the field trip, with transportation funding by Michigan Youth Arts.
“I wanted to get them out of the classroom to have a different experience, specifically from the Japanese art tour,” she said. “I’ve been pushing the whole idea of man versus nature and a place of meditation. I challenge them to really experience how it might be different than a western garden.”
The eight-acre, $22 million Japanese Garden opened in 2015. It was designed by Hoichi Kurisu and the firm Kurisu International.