Mark your calendar for April 10, 2015


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, 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!”

art.downtown_trolley                                     art.downtown_art_3

“The local artist focus and the synergy of multiple institutions, galleries and artists showing at the same time.”

art.downtown_4                                    art.downtown._3

“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.



The Map


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




ToursGet 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. Our general admission price that evening will be $5 and admission is free for members.

Park and Ride

Easy and convenient parking is available at sites along the trolley route. 

Find a Site 

Grand Rapids Art Museum101 MonroeCenter

  • Legacy: The Emily Fisher Landau Collection:This exhibition traces significant styles and ideas that have shaped art since the 1960s—abstraction, conceptualism, postmodernism, new approaches to photography, and explorations of personal identity and narrative.
  • Michigan Artist Series – Susan Goethel Campbell: Resisting Certainty:Interpreting the contemporary landscape as an emergent system where nature, culture, and the engineered environment are indistinguishable from one another.
  • GRAM Selects ArtPrize 2013: Encore:Revisit the highlights of ArtPrize 2013, without the crowds! Now in its second year, this annual exhibition showcases selected works of art from the most recent ArtPrize event, year-round.

DeVos Convention Center303 Monroe – Skywalk

  • huh…:Featuring a series of drawings pertaining to a personal line of inquiry this show features the work of A Kendall College of Art and Design Drawing 2 class.
  • New School:Showcasing select student work from Ellington Academy of Arts and Technology and local artists. Pairing practicing artists along side students to promote dialogue and model professional practices.
  • Art With a PurposeWest Michigan Center for Arts + Technology student teams partnered with organizations throughout Grand Rapids to tackle issues in their community. Twelve student teams totaling 144 Grand Rapids Public School teens combined their artistic abilities with desire to make positive change in their city.

Grand Rapids Community College- Ransom, Upper Parking Lot  Grand Rapids Community College Art StudentsGrand Rapids Community College is presenting student art works in drawing, ceramics, painting, mix media, photography, jewelry, and sculpture.

Kendall College of Art & Design- 17 Pearl Humor in CraftExplore the personal nature of humor. Our social backgrounds, personal experiences and values, knowledge of popular culture, and education all factor into our opinions about what’s funny and what isn’t,  and using craft art to start a dialogue about humanity and humor is what Humor in Craft is all about.

Kendall College of Art & Design- 17 Fountain

Black Eagle Trading Post- 2 Jefferson Spring Flowers & Beer ShowersShed those tattered winter layers and kick off this long awaited spring with some new gear and cold beer.

 (vacant)- 8 Jefferson Rooted:In a world where we are so comfortable communicating through a collection of websites, apps, text messages and E-mails, we still have no choice but to live in and interact with our natural world. Rooted takes a look at how humans coexist with organic life and social technological demands.

Cottage Bar- 18 Lagrave  SiTE:Lab: BLACKTOP  takes over the street with a multidiciplinary installation.

Palatte Coffee & Art- 150 E. Fulton Driven to AbstractionA group show of five contemporary abstract artists who represent a wide range of entry points into abstraction. Featured Artists: Maria Farias

Verne Barry Place Courtyard- 8 Weston C = a + b ( Y – T )Kendall College of Art and Design’s Relief Printmaking class utilizes this alley space for site specific large scale woodcuts and (pr)installation work. Featured Artists: Madison MayErica LangJon McAfee, Jenna ParaWhitney Ruhlman

Craft House- 40 S. Division Co=efficientA showcase of artist groups and collectives whose work benefits from the collaborative environment. The exhibition highlights the importance of collaboration and community rather than individual accomplishments. Each collective produces work through different means, using different techniques, and processes making each group environment unique.  Featured Artists: Hannah Kennedy, Taylor GreenfieldBrandon AlmanSara Scott, Katie Moore, Erica LangSam BrowerLindsay FisherRachel MarsSamantha StutzmanAbbey BlodgettTony Wright, Leslie Greenhoe, EJ Smiff

Live/Work 42- 42 S. Division Relation by ProximityCeramic ware + geometric exoskeletal sculptures. Featured Artists: Hyun Yoo

Spiral Gallery- 44 S. Division Paint SnobThe KCAD Painting Alumni Scholarship Committee presents this juried exhibition and fundraiser to create opportunity for prospective and current undergraduate Painting Majors in an effort to pursue and develop talent, build creative capital within our community, and to help students generate compelling work. Featured Artists: Hallie LeBlanc, Sarah Knill & Steven Vinson 

Heartside Gallery- 48 S. Division Small Works! Heartside presents new works under 5″x7″ by over 30 of your favorite Heartside artists.

Pub 43- 43 S. Division Integrated ObservationExamining the complexity within an established framework, whether it be time, space, or the physical nature of reality by unpacking the intricate qualities that comprise an identity, we are able to extract the simple truths inherent in our world. Featured Artists: Sara LowthianRyan WyrickDustin Coon, Evelyn Mix, Katelyn Kronshage, Ric Andersson, Rachel Mars

Republic- 45 S. Division Natural SelectionFeaturing Grand Rapids artists who are exploring ideas of nature and connection through an abstract lens. The variety of medium and materials used represents the wide range of possibilities and sharing a common interest in challenging their viewers as well as making beautiful work. Featured Artists: Dustin Coon, Jessica Page,Nicole Granger, Sally Jenks, Megan Gurisko

87 Orange Photography- 105 S. Division lux ex tenebrisA two person exhibition investigating ideas of contrast; form vs. content, sculpture vs. print, and darkness vs. light. Featured Artists: Paul Warfield, Callin Cherry, Brandon Alman

Martineau Apartments- 106 S. Division –

  • The L-Loft, Second Floor #215 Made Man:The Art of Agency
  • (106) Gallery, Street Level Putting It All TogetherRooted in anthropological curiosity, this exhibit will interrogate our strained, often absurd relationship to other animals through an array of cultural artifacts and oddities. Objects on view will range from the cute to the grotesque, extracted from our everyday experience with art, advertising, and design. Prepare to laugh and to cry, and above all to make connections between various, visual outputs of prevailing ideological apparatuses.
  •  (106) Gallery, Window
  • (106) Gallery, Lower Level AmoldarThe spanish word amoldar means disintegration as well as growth: it connotes molding in some contexts and fashioning or construction in others. It is in this paradox that our work is rooted: between temporality and a desire to anchor an experience or idea.
  • Parking Lot Dead WeightTwo 20 foot U-Haul trucks become one night gallery spaces featuring the work of the KCAD Drawing/mixed media collective, D. Composition. 20 pieces of physical work as well as video projections on the exterior of the trucks.Featured Artists: Eana Agopian, Graham Allingham, Anthony Cairo, Casey Huizenga

Harris Building- 111 S. Division

Propaganda Donuts- 117 S. Division Avenue Doughnut Delight:Grab a tastey treat and support the Avenue for the Arts! For one night only 20% of sales from “the Avenue for the Arts Doughnut” will be “Dough-nated” to support activities along the Avenue!

Martineau Apartments- 120 S. Division

Window Gallery- 121 S. Division Petite Galerie de Femmes: A seletion of pensive females drawn impressionist-style in smoky charcoal, and a steely-eyed glamour girl with ribbons of violet hair painted on canvas.

Vertigo Music- 129 S. Division Audio VisualMusic-related artwork of various media in a record store setting. Includes exciting new pieces by thirteen artists.Featured Artists: Sarah Jean Anderson, Matthew Hansen, Hannah Kennedy, Michael Taylor, Danielle Walsh, Mark Andrus

Have Company- 136 S. Division yours truly : an evening of greetings & lettershow do you interact with the card? do you make your own? give them away? a letter? a note…how do you share? join letter writers & card makers or an evening of making, swapping, and selling the art of greeting Featured Artists: Emilie Tromp, John Hansen & Marlee Grace

 Sanctuary Folk Art- 140 S. Division HOMESWhere we live helps to define us but we hold the power to change our homes and thus, change our lives. One’s home is an extension and reflection of ourselves and how we treat our home reflects upon us. Featured Artists: Marie Couretas, Nick Nortier

Take Hold Church- 222 S. Division LumosDrawing upon the use of light in the presentation and construction of artworks, lumos explores the relationship between light, space, material, and the nature of human perception. Featured Artists: Richelle Nuney, Aaron VanWyk, NJ Phillips

Kelsey Apartments- 235 S. Division

Bethlehem Lutheran Church- 250 Commerce MAJIC Concert series:Visual Art opening for photographer Steven Huyser-Honig is held at 6:30 p.m. Concerts for Jenny Walvoord and Andrew Leon will begin at 7:30 p.m. and usually consist of two 45-minute sets. A concert reception will follow the concert, hosted by members of the BethlehemChurch community. Admission is donation only.

Cathedral Square- 360 S. Division Aquinas College Presents: A Selection from the 2014 Student Exhibition:A show at Cathedral Square featuring drawings, prints, paintings, ceramics, sculpture, and photography from students at AquinasCollege.

 Two Beards Deli- 38 Commerce ConfabulationA look at false memories and waking dream-state through a variety of mediums, this group of artists will express how dreams and fabricated memories can shape the way we see others, our lives, and ourselves. Featured Artists: Allison Madsen, Richelle Witbrodt

 Pyramid Scheme- 68 Commerce Form over FunctionNew Paintings

Lantern Coffee Bar and Lounge- 100 Commerce Resilient Women, presented by Resilient Women Arts Collective:A multi-media show featuring women/genderqueer artists from a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences which have called them to utilize their resilience, resourcefulness, and tenacity in order to create their work and connect to their community. Several pieces touch on the theme of survival from sexual violence. Featured Artists: Aaminah Shakur, Anisa Williams, Ariana Ortega, Chloe Viening-Butler

Bang Blow Dry Bar- 3 Oakes New Works by Carmela Loftis

UICA- 2 W. Fulton

  • …MERCURIAL SILENCE…:Artist and metalsmith Caroline Gore investigates how grief and loss manifest in society. Research into historical jewelry, Roman myth, materials, and objects inform this exploration with their relationship to the commonalities across human experience.
  • MEGA Graduate Exhibition:The Michigan Emerging Graduate Artist Exhibition showcases regional artists who have recently completed graduate programs throughout the state. Twenty-one artists will display work in mediums that include drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture and mixed media. Featured Artists: Kate Garman

Tower Pinkster- 4 E. Fulton Systems of SeeingKCAD drawing student work exploring mark making Featured Artists:  Taylor G.




Art.Downtown. Logos


Save the Date Circle

Press releases:


Art. Downtown. Radio interviews on WGVU radio with Shelly Irwin.






Who participates in Art.Downtown.?


Artist: A person who makes art or performance or things resembling art or performance.


  • Update Avenue for the Arts membership profile to participate in Art.Downtown.  before March 1 (not sure if your membership is current? Trying signing in!)
  • Submit works that are in the same vein or are the works described in the submission process
  • Work with Curator to establish drop off/pick up/hanging of work/ take down
  • Help to promote event by inviting friends, family, peers etc.
  • Provide Artist Statement and price list to Curator
  • Establish Sales Procedure with Curator
  • Provide label information of Artwork for Curator
  • Be responsible for drop off and pick up of artwork
  • Required to participate in opening event, details/shifts established with Curator.
  • Attend educational event on Saturday March 1 ,  register here
  • Attend a minimum of one Art.Downtown. Planning Meetings, see list of dates here.
  • Update your membership profile or create a new membership profile to apply. (not sure if your membership is current? Trying signing in!)


Curator: A person who acts as facilitator for the install, display and take down of artwork at the venue.


  • Update Avenue for the Arts membership membership profile to participate in Art.Downtown.  before March 1 (not sure if your membership is current? Trying signing in!)
  • Attend Planning meetings at Pub 43 (43 South Division) or set up a meeting with Jenn by emailing
  • It is recommended that curators work independently to connect with a space HOWEVER tips about available spaces are discussed at planning meetings.
  • Work with site contact/artists to establish drop off, pick up/hanging of work/ take down schedule.
  • Coordinate any additional site specific promotions, including the Avenue for the Arts/Art.Downtown. logo. This can be downloaded at
  • Help to promote event by inviting friends, family, peers etc.
  • Establish sales procedure with artists and display a price list.
  • Write and display a Curatorial Statement
  • Display labels, artist statements
  • Remain onsite during opening event
  • Attend educational event on Saturday March 1  register here
  • Attend a minimum of one Art.Downtown. Planning Meetings see list of dates here

**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**

  • Update Avenue for the Arts membership form to include Art.Downtown.  before March 1 (How to Apply)

  • Attend Planning Meetings or email

  • Have a meeting with Curator to determine role in communicating with Artists, Documenters and Site etc.

  • Assist Curator during week of April 7-11 for gallery installation and de-installation (as decided per curator)



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.


  • Update Avenue for the Arts membership profile to participate in Art.Downtown.  before March 1 (not sure if your membership is current? Trying signing in!)
  • Work with Curator to understand the content of the show and how your activities will build/reflect/bridge the conversation between curator, artist and community
  • Help to promote event by inviting friends, family, peers etc.
  • Provide a digital representation of your activity, action or record for the Art.Downtown. website.
  • Required to participate in opening event, details/shifts established with Curator.
  • Attend  educational event on Saturday, March 1 register here
  • Attend a minimum of one Art.Downtown. Planning Meetings see list of dates here


Site: location for the display of artwork within an 8 block radius of the 100 Block of South Division.


  • Update Avenue for the Arts membership profile to participate in Art.Downtown.  before March 1 (not sure if your membership is current? Trying signing in!)
  • Provide appropriate space for display of artwork, artist statement and price list.
  • Provide access for curators and artists during install dates, April 7-11th
  • Required to participate in opening event April 11th 6-11pm
  • Establish a volunteer or staff person to act as host at your venue/site for event
  • Help to promote event by inviting friends, family, peers, customers etc.
  • Hang show poster in window
  • Distribute postcards, in a venue appropriate manner
  • Attend a minimum of one Art.Downtown. Planning Meeting see list of dates here
  • Continue to keep an up to date description of event submitted to Art.Downtown. staff.
  • Attend  educational event on March 1 register here


Volunteer: helps to plan event, shares promotion material, hands out maps or acts as a trolley guide.


  • Email expressing interest or fill out the volunteer registration form
  • Attend a volunteer orientation
  • Show up on April 11th during your shift, perform assigned duties, and have fun!



Staff: NEW Learning Lab Team: Kate Garman, Leah Burke, Lauren Cummings, and Elizabeth Hertl*

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.

Art.Downtown. is made possible with support from the DGRI and Kendall College of Art and Design, among others.

*Learn about our Learning Lab team by reading their bios below.

Hi! I’m Kate Garman. I’m fresh out of Grand Valley’s Visual Studies BFA program. I’m currently dividing my time between interning with the Avenue as the Volunteer and Education Events Manager, as well as working at Grand Rapids Public Library as a book slave, or as they ‘technically’ call the position, a page. In the near future I’m curating a textiles show at GVSU, called Beyond Materials. I’m really interested in exploring textiles more in depth in the upcoming months.

Hello, I’m Leah Burke. I graduated from Grand Valley State University last year with a BFA in Visual Studies. My recent artwork uses installation and photography to examine how products are perceived by both laborers and consumers. I’m currently interning as the Promotions Coordinator for Avenue for the Arts while working as curator for the West Michigan Photography Collective LLC. I also work for the Dominican Sisters of Grand Rapids at Marywood.

Hello there, I’m Lauren Cummings! I am finishing up my final semester at Grand Valley State University and will be graduating in April with a B.F. A. in Art and Design with an Emphasis in Printmaking. I am filling my time by working on my senior show, interning as the Membership Coordinator for Art Downtown, participating in Change U through Grand Valley, and working away at Java City coffee shop. I am so excited about all of these experiences, opportunities and great people I will be working with over the next few months!!

I’m Elizabeth Hertl! I moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan in 2005 to attend Aquinas College. After graduating with a BFA in painting in 2010, I started working with the exhibition center Cathedral Square for ArtPrize 2010 as assistant curator. I also worked at the Grand Rapids Art Museum in the Guest Services department. I have continued to work with Cathedral Square for ArtPrize 2010-2013, expanding my title to Co-curator in 2012 and then Curator and Communications Coordinator in 2013. I’m currently employed as the Assistant Events Coordinator for Downtown Grand Rapids Inc (DGRI). I’m looking forward to this new experience with Dwelling Place and Avenue for the Arts.



  • Registration open until Saturday, March 1
  • Curators placed into sites by Friday, March 7
  • Curators select artists & documenters by Friday, March 14

To participate you must become a member; follow these 3 easy steps to complete your profile and become eligible.

1. Become an Avenue for the Arts member or sign in (not sure if your membership is current? Try signing in!) *

For new Avenue for the Arts members:

  • Fill in member profile fields, such as contact information, biography, images of work, etc.
  • Fill out the Art.Downtown. Application 2014 at the bottom of your profile page
  • Click Save to complete your member profile and to submit your Art.Downtown. Application for 2014. Continue to step 2 of the application process.

For current Avenue for the Arts members:

  • Log into membership profile and select View profile in the top right corner
  • Go to Edit profile on the left, underneath My profile
  • Fill out the Art.Downtown. Application 2014 at the bottom of your profile page
  • Click Save to submit your Art.Downtown. Application for 2014. Continue to step 2 of the application process.

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.

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