Home Arts & Entertainment Art Jim Henson exhibit opens at the GRAM

Jim Henson exhibit opens at the GRAM

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By Selena Reyes

Unlock your inner puppeteer and take a nostalgic stroll through the immersive Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited on display at the Grand Rapids Art Museum, where patrons can get an exclusive peek into the creative process used to make “The Muppets” series, “Sesame Street,” “Fraggle Rock,” “The Dark Crystal,” “Labyrinth,” and plenty more. 

Renowned innovator and inventor Jim Henson is recognized as a leading face in American family entertainment. His popular and beloved creations were brought together for the traveling exhibit that debuted in Seattle of 2017 and has made its way to the GRAM. 

“You can spend a few hours here,” said Elizabeth Payne, the Communications Manager for the GRAM. With over 170 items from the famous puppeteer’s career, including his early works, there are many familiar-faced iconic puppets and historic costumes, as well as early character and storyboard sketches and behind the scenes footage. 

Fanatics can be assured they will get a closer look at classic faces such as Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, and the dynamic duo Bert and Ernie. Dark Crystal fans can also view some of the creature-like animatronics as well. 

“We began the process in 2018 and we are also the eighth location to host the exhibition,” Payne said. The once white walls were brightly painted to welcome in the new exhibit. And to keep the well preserved displays in their immaculate condition the museum does not allow ink pens on the second floor, but pencils are encouraged to enter the exhibit. 

The long awaited exhibition took five years to make it to the GRAM and will be making one of its last stops here before retiring from tour. So this Grand Rapids exhibition offers one final opportunity for local Henson fans to take a crack at puppeteering and create their own original puppet design. 

This interactive experience opened Oct. 1 and will wrap up Jan. 14, 2023. The general cost is the entry fee into the GRAM plus the exhibition fee totaling $16. However, for GRCC students entry into the museum is free with a valid RaiderCard, and students will only need to reserve tickets for the exhibit which costs $8. You can purchase your tickets here.

Collegiate reporter Selena Reyes poses with puppets at the Jim Henson exhibit at the Grand Rapids Art Museum.

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