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…


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 “2015 Sites” Tab.

2014 Sites

Sites Featured in Art.Downtown. 2015

Grand Rapids Art Museum101 MonroeCenter

DeVos Convention Center303 Monroe – Skywalk

Grand Rapids Community College- Ransom, Upper Parking Lot

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

Spiral Gallery- 44 S. Division

Heartside Gallery- 48 S. Division

Pub 43- 43 S. Division

Republic- 45 S. Division

87 Orange Photography- 105 S. Division

Martineau Apartments- 106 S. Division –

  • The L-Loft, Second Floor #215
  • (106) Gallery, Street Level
  •  (106) Gallery, Window
  • (106) Gallery, Lower Level
  • Parking Lot

Harris Building- 111 S. Division

  • The Local Epicurean,
  • Second Floor
  • Second Floor
  • Lower Level
  • First Floor

Propaganda Donuts- 117 S. Division A

Martineau Apartments- 120 S. Division

  • Parliament the Boutique- #125
  • Mexicans Sans Frontieres- #226

Window Gallery- 121 S. Division

Vertigo Music- 129 S. Division

Have Company- 136 S. Division

 Sanctuary Folk Art- 140 S. Division

Take Hold Church- 222 S. Division

Kelsey Apartments- 235 S. Division

  • GaspardGallery- #111
  • Open Source Studio- #112
  • Garden Level #100
  • Streetside Membership Drive

Bethlehem Lutheran Church- 250 Commerce

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



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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