400 Artists, 38 Destinations, 3 Trolleys, 1 Night
This spring, Art.Downtown. will captivate audiences on Friday, April 10, 2015 from 6-11pm. Expanding from the Avenue for the Arts corridor in the Heartside Neighborhood to Kendall College of Art and Design and Devos Place in central downtown, this one night event features several hundred artists in dozens of galleries, businesses, and studio spaces around downtown Grand Rapids.
Here’s some of what to expect, rain or shine: artists and musicians exhibiting and performing at a variety of unexpected locations from U-haul trailers, the art museum, parking lots and private studios. Come early and stay late, for a night on the town with family and friends.
Grand Rapids Trolley will provide free transportation to all the major areas of Art.Downtown. Volunteers and maps will be on-site to help guide you to various sites, restaurants, and parking locations. Meet and speak with artists, curators, and shop owners about everything from artistic methods to collective movements. Join the excitement and see what our downtown arts community has to offer!
As an added bonus, Art of the Lived Experiment opens on April 10 kicking off the DisArt Festival, with participating sites included as Art.Downtown. hotspots.
Stay updated on Art.Downtown. information by attending planning meetings at 307 S. Division Ave, and by visiting our website, www.avenueforthearts.com. Follow @AveForTheArtsGR on Twitter, and join the event conversation by using #ArtDowntown. Connect with Avenue on Facebook for detailed updates about Art.Downtown. and special event postings!
What do visitors like about Art.Downtown.?
“ The trolley. The Art. The people. Downtown alive!”
“The local artist focus and the synergy of multiple institutions, galleries and artists showing at the same time.”
“The participation of several facilities. It was nice to view not
just different artist’s work, but to also get a completely different feel in the environment and space that it was shown. The energy was very good with all the people out and about, it successfully got people outside and doing something new and different.”
Avenue for the Arts would like to share our BIG thank you to
Kendall College of Art and Design, Ferris State University (KCAD)
and recognize additional support from Dwelling Place, UICA, Rapid Growth Media and The Heartside Business Association
for continued sponsorship for Art.Downtown.
There are a few easy ways to navigate Art.Downtown. We suggest throwing caution to the wind and starting with your favorite location (see the list below) and grabbing a print map from one of our 75 volunteers. Or you can download the PDF here: Map. We also have this handy digital map that can be navigated by smart phone!
View Art Downtown 2014 (Classic) in a larger map
Get On Board with a Trolley Tour…
GRAM will be open for Art.Downtown. from 6:00 pm-10:00 pm. Admission price for guests participating in Art.Downtown. is $1.
GRAM’s general admission price that evening will be $5 and admission is free for members!
-7:30 pm-8:30 pm: A tour will be lead by a docent at GRAM highlighting Michigan artists
-8:30 pm-9:30 pm: GRAM’s Preparator, Erwin Erkfitz, will meet the group at the trolley stop outside of GRAM and take them to selected sites on the Avenue for the Arts. At each location on the Avenue the group will talk to an artist or curator about their work or their space.
Pricing for the tour will be $15 for nonmembers and $10 for members. Register online today!
Park and Ride
Easy and convenient parking is available at sites along the trolley route.
*To see the Sites featured in Art.Downtown. 2014, click on the “2014 Sites” Tab.
Sites Featured in Art.Downtown. 2014
Kendall College of Art & Design- 17 Pearl
Kendall College of Art & Design- 17 Fountain
Verne Barry Place Courtyard- 8 Weston
Craft House- 40 S. Division
Live/Work 42- 42 S. Division
Pub 43- 43 S. Division
Republic- 45 S. Division
87 Orange Photography- 105 S. Division
Martineau Apartments- 106 S. Division –
Harris Building- 111 S. Division
Propaganda Donuts- 117 S. Division A
Martineau Apartments- 120 S. Division
Window Gallery- 121 S. Division
Vertigo Music- 129 S. Division
Have Company- 136 S. Division
Sanctuary Folk Art- 140 S. Division
Kelsey Apartments- 235 S. Division
Cathedral Square- 360 S. Division
Two Beards Deli- 38 Commerce
Pyramid Scheme- 68 Commerce
Lantern Coffee Bar and Lounge- 100 Commerce
Bang Blow Dry Bar- 3 Oakes
UICA- 2 W. Fulton
Tower Pinkster- 4 E. Fulton
Volunteer: helps to plan event, shares promotion material, hands out maps or acts as a trolley guide.
2015 Learning Lab Team:
Teunis Verwijs: Art.Downtown. Event Coordinator
Dustin Coon: Art.Downtown. Promotions Coordinator
Molly Tiesma: Volunteer/Education Events Coordinator
Ethan Ross: First Fridays Promotions Coordinator
Devin Hendrick: Community Engagement Coordinator
*Learn about the 2015 Learning Lab team by reading their bios below.
Teunis Verwijs: Teunis is a senior at Calvin College hoping to graduate this coming May with a BFA in Studio Art and a Minor in Business. He is interested in the ways art and life can inform each other, and passionate about counteracting inequalities–particularly with regards to race and gender. His childhood was punctuated by airports and moving boxes, as he grew up traveling. His family lived in Barranquilla in Colombia, Kigali in Rwanda, and he attended boarding school in Kijabe, Kenya. He currently lives in Eastown with his spouse and three children. Just kidding, no children yet.
He enjoys interacting with different cultures and trying new things because of those eventful formative years. His hobbies include watching horror movies (with the exception of slashers,) cooking, and listening to music. One of his favorite places along the Avenue for the Arts is Vertigo Music. They have a wide selection, good deals, and a nice space. Hi Herm!
Dustin Coon: Committed to accelerating human progression toward cosmic achievement by utilizing intuition, creativity and analysis in the areas of artistry, promotions, design, composition, discourse and enlightenment among all relative communication fields. Whether it be promotions for charity or interdependence, exhibits showcasing the continuance of extraordinary artworks, murals that inspire personal outlooks or discourse that inspires collective expansion, a symbiotic and zealous vision will foster a creative revolution. The only way to propagate the shift is to keep moving forward.
Molly Tiesma: I am a Grand Valley visual studies/illustration major, who also loves theater, classic literature and her pet rabbit, Odette. With my personal artwork, I like to explore mixed media and video work. Currently, I am exploring new ways to combine my theater backgrounds with my illustration work. I am exited to be involved with Avenue for the Arts, and look forward to immersing myself in the community of Grand Rapids.
Ethan Ross: A recent MFA Photography graduate, I am looking forward to working with Avenue for the Arts. When it comes to taking photos I prefer to just go find things; interesting places that seem to be outside the normal flow of life. Outside of taking photos and making art I teach photography at Kendall, am a lover of nearly all things music, and go camping as often as possible. I’ve been a bit of a wanderer since birth so if you ever lose track of me, don’t worry; I know where I am.
Devin Hendrick: I enjoy finding adventures in odd places, I live for good sunshine and cozy socks. I have been photographing for over 7 years, but love all things artsy. I craft often, and am always down for a good cup of hot cocoa.
Art.Downtown. is organized by a team of volunteers whose expertise include, event and volunteer management, graphic design, promotions and administration. Administrative responsibilities will be overseen by Dwelling Place’s Neighborhood Revitalization Department staff. Dwelling Place is excited to continue supporting the Avenue for the Arts and Art. Downtown. through a provision of technical support as the Avenue continues its dedication to creating accessible community events that feature the vibrancy of the businesses, art, and culture in Grand Rapids.
We host 8 open planning meetings to plan the event and make connections. Find our complete planning schedule here.
Who participates in Art.Downtown.?
Artist: A person who makes art or performance or things resembling art or performance.
Curator: A person who acts as facilitator for the install, display and take down of artwork at the venue.
**Assistant Curator**: A person who shadows the Curator to gain exposure to the curatorial process of selecting artwork/artists and preparing the exhibit. **NEW Role for 2014**
Documenter: A person who records the event or activates the space to connect audience members to artists and curators and/or creates a digital archive of the event.
Site: location for the display of artwork within an 8 block radius of the 100 Block of South Division.
Volunteer: helps to plan event, shares promotion material, hands out maps or acts as a trolley guide.
REGISTRATION IS FROM JANUARY 21 UNTIL FEBRUARY 28!
January 21 – Call for curators starts
February 6 – Call for Artists opens
February 13 & 27th – Curator/artist meet-up! Attend an Art.Downtown. planning meeting and get connected!
February 18 – Artist Curator Mixer at 307 South Division
February 28th – Education event registration ends
March 6 – Artist names are selected and submitted by curators
To participate you must become a member; follow these 3 easy steps to complete your profile and become eligible.
For new Avenue for the Arts members:
For current Avenue for the Arts members:
2. To add a photo album of your artwork, scroll to top of the page and select Member photo albums. Click “Create Album” to upload your images.
3. To find an artist, curator, or documenter to fit your needs, click on the “Who We Are” tab at the top of the page, choose Advanced search and select categories as needed.
Visit our calendar for planning meetings dates and details.
* To participate as an artist, curator or documenter in Art.Downtown. you must become an Avenue for the Arts member. We also highly recommend sites become members.