ArtPrize 7 Update at DeVos Place Convention Center

ArtPrize announced the twenty artist entries selected from among 1,550 eligible works during the first round of public voting, that will move on to Round 2 Voting with the hopes of winning the world’s largest art prize.  The four artists amongst the top 20 are showing at DeVos Place Convention Center




WORLDS LARGEST PETOSKEY STONE DISPLAY Using petoskey stone and fossil, a framed two-dimensional display with a square shape that measures approximately nine feet (9ft.) tall by nine feet (9ft.) wide / a depth of approximately 4 inches and a weight near 700lbs. Subject matter- State of Michigan map with all 83 counties.



“In A Promised Land” revisits the aftermath of the horrific Tulsa race riot of 1921, which left Black Wall Street – the most affluent black community in America at that time – in ruin. What’s even more unnerving is that many survey courses of American and African American history have made a glaring omission to this event in history. One has to wonder how this is even possible, but in the American conscience, forgetting has always been easier than remembering. In a country where most would like to consider racial discrimination something that all but ended with emancipation and to think that holocausts are something perpetrated on foreign soils, a collective amnesia lasting nearly a century has buried the fact that a Black Holocaust did happen on American soil. The Tulsa race riot of 1921 is considered by many to be the deadliest occurrence of racial violence in American history. 


  • The Race by Kurt Swanson from Grand Rapids, MI


  • The Race” consists of three bicycles made completely out of wood and a 1970’s photo of the artist; racing each other and racing into the future. Many types of wood were used in this project including, oak, ash, mahogany, aspen, maple and bamboo. It has presented me with some very unique challenges in building and constructing this project; sometimes frustrating, sometimes very rewarding. Several wood pieces were stained, carved, shaped, while others were steamed and bent into tortured shapes. When discerning the message to communicate in this art piece, I considered the importance of my first bike. It was my first taste of freedom, my gateway to independence. It was basic transportation and every kid in my neighborhood had one. Rides to our childhood destinations frequently ended up in informal races to an imaginary finish line and in the same way we were hurrying to an unknown future.

BREAKTHROUGH  by Breakthrough Team from Ada, MI


BREAKTHROUGH is a community-powered art endeavor and mental health initiative, conceived in a collaboration between two psychotherapists and a fine artist. The vision and mission for BREAKTHROUGH is to raise awareness for mental wellness and fight stigma on a personal and community level. The community is invited to participate in the creation of the artwork, by visiting our “breaking studio” where they may break ceramics as a symbolic gesture of accepting and breaking down old and dysfunctional paradigms free of judgement or shame. The resulting pieces of individual “breakthrough” will be saved and reconfigured in a large mosaic symbolic of the re-birth and freedom that comes with the authentic expression of one’s humanity and the courage to connect with others or to seek help when needed.

More details on the website…



1 Sunday 5 Museums Free General Admission

Sunday, April 26, 2015 | 12 – 5PM

For one day each year, Amway is excited to partner with world-class public institutions in Grand Rapids so that families can come downtown and experience the uniqueness of each museum FREE of charge. So, make it a family-fun day and bring your entire family downtown Grand Rapids on April 26th and have fun exploring five great museums.

Partnering museums include:

In addition to the museum visits, enjoy variety of other fun, family-friendly activities and convienences throughout the day, including:

  • Free shuttle rides to and from all five participating museums.
  • Fun activities at the entrance to each museum

2015 Entertainment Lineup

FREE shuttles will circulate between all five museums from noon to  6 pm





2 Day Figure Drawing Event

AT The Well Being – GRAND RAPIDS

Dates: 30 & 31 May 2015

Times: 9am to 5pm

The Well Being 1118 Front Ave NW – Grand Rapids 49504

The ArtisTTable and artists Royce Deans and Tali Farchi always provide inspiring and intensive drawing events with live models. Now for the fourth time, they are bringing an ArtisTTable figure drawing event to Grand Rapids.

Artists interested in working from the figure in a friendly and vibrant atmosphere are encouraged and invited to be a part of this event both days or may choose one day or the other to attend.

There will be both long and short poses, new models every 2 or 3 hours.

Bring your own supplies, including drop cloths if necessary. Some tables, chairs and easels supplied. If you come for both days, you may leave your materials in place.

Coffee, tea, water and light snacks will be provided.

2 Day Fee: $90.00

1 Day Fee: $50.00

Accepted methods of payment are:
Cash and credit card at the door.

Checks made payable to ArtisTTable may be sent to:

P.O. Box 262
Acme, Michigan 49610

(Do not send cash)

Pre-registration is preferred.

Register online:

Online registrants will receive a free sketchbook upon arrival.

For further information contact the ArtisTTable at:


On Friday, April 10th from 6-11pm, ARTISTS TAKE OVER downtown Grand Rapids. Visitors will hop aboard 3 trolleys to explore 38 different locations full of art, culture and ideas. With over 50 shows you won’t want to miss a thing during Art.Downtown. Here are some tips and tricks to plan a great night featuring friends, conversation, and art.

Maps! Maps! Maps!

Digital or print—we have you covered. For the Art.Downtown. attendee on-the-go, check out the Art.Downtown. google map. If you are feeling old school, snag a map from a volunteer or trolley guide. For the pre-planners you can scope both on our website and start planning your evening!

Don’t waste time looking for parking, grab a spot in a city lot! We suggest the Gallery City Parking Ramp (10 Commerce), Commerce Weston City Parking Ramp (38 Commerce) or Cathedral Square (360 South Division)

 Here is a Sneak Peak.

Art Downtown. is helping to celebrate the launch of the DisArt Festival and UICA, GRAM and The Fed Gallery will host Art of the Lived Experiment Exhibitions. Additional locations featuring DisArt exhibitions including: Access is a Civil Right, DisArt Local Show, IceBreaker, and Robert Andy Coombs: New Portraits 

Shows celebrating the year of Arts+Access include: Creative Expressions, Maps and Faces, and Art.Downtown. Live at Heartside,

We hope you make Art.Downtown. a night out by grabbing dinner and a drink while taking in a great art showboth Two Beards Deli, and San Chez provide dinner with a view, while Lantern Coffee and Pyramid Scheme feature shows and tasty beverages. From there some of your favorite venues are just a block away. Don’t miss new shows at Vertigo Music, Grand Rapids Community College and Sanctuary Folk Art!

Want to have some interactive fun? Stop by the Big Block Party outside of Kendall College at 17 Pearl and don’t miss the shows in 17 Fountain Atrium and 104 Gallery!

Art.Downtown. is a great time to check out emerging curators at work. Don’t miss Ladies Night, Weft, Chain & Stitch, Forms of Production, Binary, No Place, Terms of Service, WorkinOnit and Neon BordersThere are great student site-specific shows including GVSU’s Intersecting Spaces and Kendall College’sVisual Data 01.

Art.Downtown. is all about local artists! There are over 567 participating curators, artists and documenters, but only a few solo shows. Check out David Greenwood at the GRAM, Stephanie Mabie’s Process and Output at Crafthouse.

Great handmade goods are just a hop, skip and a jump away, Parliament the Boutique is launching new collections and the AIGA Pop Up Shop won’t last long! Collaboration is key in the Connectionsand Circumference shows both at 235 South Division. Drawing and mixed media collide at Walking the Line at Devos Place.  

Tips for hard to find shows: Go around the back of 120 South Division and up to the top deck to catch some tunes during The BeatSuite at Mexicains Sans Fronteries, Duck into the alley across from the trolley stop at Weston and Division to find Enter Here

Want to get a guided tour and the inside scoop? Grand Rapids Art Museum is hosting docent led tours of their collection and various locations along the Avenue for the Arts route. RSVP Here!

Get on a Trolley and Ride!

There are three trolleys running throughout the night with stops at 10 anchor locations. We will save you a seat!

  • Grand Rapids Art Museum (101 Monroe Center)
  • DeVos Center (303 Monroe Avenue)
  • Kendall College of Art and Design (17 Pearl St)
  • Grand Rapids Community College (Ransom St)
  • DisArt Hub ( 50 Louis)
  • Lantern Coffee Bar and Lounge (100 Commerce Ave)
  • The Avenue for the Arts 3 locations (S. Division and Weston, S.Division and Williams, S. Division and Goodrich)
 There are a few gems that didn’t make it on the map and we don’t want you to miss them!

  • Crepes by the Lakes will be serving great eats in the lot at 106 South Division. 
  • Studio Thrift and Vito Art– is an L-Loft “trunk show” and open reception for Studio Thrift featuring artwork by Derrick Hollowell located in 106 South Division.
  • WMCAT Students will have works displayed in various locations along Avenue for the Arts!

DisArts Festival

Photo Courtesy of DisArt 2015


Grand Rapids, MI

April 10-25, 2015

Changing perceptions about disability, one work of art at a time.

April 10, 2015 marks the opening night of the DisArts Festival, an international exhibition of artwork by artists with disabilities taking place throughout Grand Rapids. During the 2-week festival, which runs through April 25, you’ll have the opportunity to view a film festival, a fashion show, several cultural education events, and dance performances as well as more traditional art exhibits.

If you’d like to hear the Curator Talk that kicks off DisArt Festival, head to the GRAM at 6PM on April 10th. Lots of other events are going on throughout the evening, some in conjunction with Art.Downtown.

The U.S. premiere of Art of the Lived Experiment will also take place at the DisArt Festival, and will be on display at three downtown locations: the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM), Kendall College of Art and Design, and the Urban Institute for Contemporary Art (UICA). Art of the Lived Experiment was curated by artist Aaron Williamson for the U.K’s DaDaFest International 2014 and includes a range of artworks, from sculpture and painting to photography and ceramics, by artists from around the

Location: venues throughout downtown Grand Rapids
Date/Time: April 10 – April 25
More Info: Visit the DisArts Festival website:

Harrison Bankhead Quartet


Sunday, May 3rd at 3 p.m. in The Underground Series,

LaFontsee Galleries, 833 Lake Drive S.E., Grand Rapids

“The Chicago-based jazz bassist Harrison Bankhead is an avant-garde-leaning musician with a journeyman’s ability to fit within an array of jazz styles from straight-ahead to free jazz.” Matt Collar, The All Music Guide.

Grand Rapids celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Chicago’s Association For the Advancement of Creative Musicians with a performance by Harrison Bankhead’s Quartet on Sunday, May 3rd at 3 p.m. in The Underground Series, presented in the unique surroundings of the LaFontsee Galleries, 833 Lake Drive S.E., Grand Rapids, in association with

Bankhead’s quartet presents a high energy two saxophone front line with proven bass/drums rhythm section reaching heights familiar to John Coltrane’s late period — highly spiritualized, ecstatic hosannas seeking the universal tone – while able, sometimes within the same piece, of introspectively delving into traditional African musical instruments and cultures.

Bassist Harrison Bankhead and drummer Avreeayl Ra are a Chicago rhythm section of enormous range and stylistic flexibility, able to lay down a straight ahead groove as they did at The Wealthy Theatre with trumpeter Malachi Thompson and poet Amiri Baraka in 1999, or push the music into free range as you heard at the Wealthy Theatre when Bankhead joined the Roscoe Mitchell/Fred Anderson Quintet in 2003.

Appearing in Grand Rapids powering Harrison Bankhead’s Quartet on Sunday, May 3rd at 3 p.m. they’ll reinforce the multi-directional musical possibilities of saxophonists Mars Williams and Edward Wilkerson Jr., two musicians firmly in the post-John Coltrane/Archie Shepp/Albert Ayler/Roscoe Mitchell saxophone continuum who, as A.A.C.M. artists, play a wide range of woodwinds (including Didgeridoo) and African percussion.

With Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians celebrating its 50th Anniversary on April 26th, this is a perfect time to experience the spectacular heights of fire and thunder some of the most creative musicians on the planet improvise in the moment.

With this concert, The Underground Series seeks to, in the words of Tum Records, “promote more experienced musicians whose work is not favored by the commercial trends of our time.”

As series curator Lazaro Vega said prior to the Charlie Kohlhase Explorers Club concert, “The corptocracy will not give you this music: to find it you have to go underground. Thanks for digging.”

Bankhead’s long association with Fred Anderson on the bandstand at Anderson’s The Velvet Lounge in Chicago seasoned the bassist to be ready for anything, and to always groove. He plays beautiful, precise, swinging lines on vocalist Dee Alexander’s new release “Songs My Mother Loves,” and ably takes his working quartet through the sonicsphere on the new album “Velvet Blue.”

Ticket are $20 in advance, $10 for students with a student I.D. and $25 at the door. Advance tickets available only from . The phone number at the LaFontsee Galleries is (616) 451 – 9820. The LaFontsee Galleries are wheel chair accessible.

To find LaFontsee Galleries please see, .