GRAND RAPIDS, MICH.-Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park announced a major gift from The Jewish Federation of Grand Rapids in order to establish the first Holocaust memorial in Grand Rapids, anchored by Ariel Schlesinger’s Ways to Say Goodbye. This gift is made possible by a donation from the Pestka Family in memory of their father Henry, the survivors who settled in Western Michigan and the millions of Jews who perished in the Holocaust.
“Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is highly honored and very pleased to receive this significant and meaningful gift to acquire Ariel Schlesinger’s monumental sculpture Ways to Say Goodbye,” said David Hooker, President & CEO of Meijer Gardens. “The sculpture will be installed in 2022 and dedicated in memory of Henry Pestka and the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust. We are deeply grateful for this gift adding such an important work of art to our permanent collection. Our members and guests will forever benefit from this extraordinary gift which will serve to educate and promote peace.” continued Hooker.
Ways to Say Goodbye is a twenty-foot-tall aluminum cast of a fig tree that has shards of glass inserted among the branches. It is an exceptional work of contemporary sculpture dealing with themes of profound loss and grief and will serve to memorialize the millions of people who perished in the Holocaust and the Holocaust survivors of Western Michigan.