A Commitment to the City of Grand Rapids
Frey Foundation and LOVE
LOVE Unveiled in Grand Rapids
Love and commitment to their community led Edward and Frances Frey to establish the Frey Foundation in 1974. Now decades later, and under the leadership of a new generation of family members, that love and commitment continue, and community remains at the heart of every decision made by the foundation.
To honor this enduring legacy, the Frey family set out to identify a piece of public art that would illuminate their love for one another and their love for Grand Rapids, the place where it all began. They sought a piece that would continue their tradition of placemaking through public art and celebrate the culture of the community. They saw this as an opportunity to bring about an intersection of art and city life that would feel meaningful, magical and life-affirming.
After reviewing the works of 37 artists and considering 16 different sites for the installation, the Frey Foundation is proud to unveil LOVE by artist Robert Indiana on Louis Campau Promenade.
Louis Campau Promenade was selected for its central location and historical significance. The promenade is a pocket park and gathering space situated right in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids. It sits near Maya Lin’s Ecliptic at Rosa Parks Circle, which is also supported by the Frey Foundation.
The promenade is named in honor of Grand Rapids’ founder, Louis Campau who had a vision for Grand Rapids as a city by the river. In 1826, Campau established the first trading post very near to this location.
From a simple trading post to now becoming one of the city’s most photographed sites—LOVE is literally and figuratively where it all began. It’s thrilling to consider the evolution of Grand Rapids and all that its future will hold.
LOVE is among the most iconic images of 20th century American art. The masterwork of legendary Pop artist Robert Indiana (b. 1928), it has become a universal symbol of the power of art through the articulated strength of the most profound human emotion: love. Inspired in part by the impact of signage and advertising in American popular culture, Indiana helped pioneer text as art, and it immediately appealed to a wide audience.
LOVE debuted in 1965 as a special design for the Christmas card of the Museum of Modern Art. Its widespread popularity led to its use as a U.S. postage stamp in 1973.
The sculpture of LOVE is found in the most prestigious public and private collections around the world. Intended to be inclusive, it can be found in prominent sites from New York to Tokyo, Philadelphia to Lisbon and now Grand Rapids. He also created versions in Latin and Spanish, AMOR; and Hebrew, AHAVA.
The sculpture is 8’ x 8’ and made of Polychromed Aluminum.
About the Artist
Legendary American artist Robert Indiana was born Robert Earl Clark in 1928 in New Castle, Indiana. His childhood and youth were marked by frequent moves and poor health, but as a teenager, he discovered his artistic gifts. In 1946, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, later attending the School of the Art Institute of Chicago on the GI Bill.
After an intensive study abroad in Europe, he moved to New York in 1954. In the early 1960s, his work was exhibited and acquired by the Museum of Modern Art. He was seen as a luminary figure in the Pop Art movement. By the 1970s, Indiana’s repertoire was broadly and critically acclaimed, but it is LOVE that became an icon across the United States, Europe, and Japan. His work is eagerly exhibited and acquired by the most important public and private collections around the world.
Click here to learn more about Robert Indiana and his work.
Photos of the LOVE unveiling event in Grand Rapids, Michigan
LOVE is located in Louis Campau Promenade outside 99 Monroe Ave NW
Click below to watch an overview of the unveiling of Robert Indiana’s LOVE in Grand Rapids, Michigan