Art.Downtown. 2017


Mark your calendar for Saturday April 8, 2017 400 Artists, 30+ Destinations, 3 Trolleys, 1 Night

This spring, Art.Downtown. will captivate audiences on Saturday, April 8, 2017 from 12-9pm.  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! Here is a link to the map of our 2017 sites and locations! AD17_MAP[Final] (2)

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! Be sure to read our Severe Weather Event Policy. and stay up to date by following us on Facebook!



What do visitors like about Art.Downtown.?

“ The trolley. The Art. The people. Downtown alive!”

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

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“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.

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There are a few easy ways to navigate Art.Downtown. We suggest throwing caution to the wind and starting with your favorite location, grabbing a print map from one of our volunteers! See the full map here and here: AD17_MAP[Final] (2)


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Grand Rapids Art Museum – 101 Monroe Center NW

Black Waves: The Tattoo Art of Zulueta

Finders Keepers: West Michigan Collects

Prints and Processes

Devos Place – 303 Monroe Ave NW

Kendall Illustration Society

Mitten Tracks

Plural – A collection of prints by students in the lithography class at Kendall College of Art and Design investigates the unique approaches to a wide variety of stone and aluminum plate lithography techniques. Featuring: Olivia Timmons, Shellaine Kelley, Sean Allen, Angelica Hay, Alison Palmateer, Kella Marnon, Branden Redmond, Kimberly Mills, Regina Masterson

The Fed Galleries @ KCAD – 17 Pearl St. NW

Final day of the three Spring Exhibitions at The Fed Galleries.

Sentimental Ornamentation

Left Behind | Jennifer Loeber

The Shape of Self | Work by Riva Lehrer

Featuring: Michele Bosak, Reneé Zettle-Sterling, Spencer Merolla, Jonathan Wahl, Anya Kivarkis, Marcel Wanders, LiquiDesign, Sander Mulder, Lila Jang, Small Town, Jennifer Loeber, Riva Lehrer

Kendall College of Art & Design – 17 Fountain St. NW

Art and Healing features L.A. artist and patient advocate Ted Meyers and select KCAD students in a collaborative exhibition investigating themes of art and healing.

Collections Abroad offers a more intimate perspective on internationalism and different cultures. It is an atypical collection of people and places from around Europe.

Featuring: Tanya Bakija, Allie Wass, Ted Meyer, Loni Platte, Taylor Graham, Beibei Chen, Leilei Chen

KCAD Alluvium Gallery – 89 Ionia NW

Bound Just as the pages of a book can be bound together, so can the lives of individuals. Two artists explore the many connections present in their lives in book forms utilized as collections of information and knowledge. These artists use traditional book forms combined with sculpture as book. Featuring: Amber Bledsoe & Bohan Li

Ferris Coffee Shop – 40 Pearl St. NW

Perception A collection of abstract works created with acrylic paint on canvas. Audrey communicates through layers of mark making and floods of color. The work debates the definition of the word, “perception,” and how it controls the hand of the painter as well as the interpretations of the viewer.

Sundance Grill & Bar – 151 Ottawa Ave NW

Recycled Jewelry by Polyester Dress Creative the brainchild of Angie Miller, mixed-media artist whose focus is creating functional and wearable art made from recycled and sustainable materials. Popular products include wood + leather jewelry, hand-carved from fallen tree limbs and strung on reclaimed leather; and colorful jewelry sets made from pigmented clay and recycled copper. Featuring: Angie Miller

Palatte Coffee & Art – 150 Fulton St E

Natural Colors: Lisa Olivarez + Anisa Williams Natural Colors exhibition is part of Art.Downtown 2017 | Official organized by Avenue for the Arts. Featured artists: Lisa Olivarez, Anisa Williams, Michi Farias, Maria Farias, Federico Farias, Nick Anderson

Gita Pita – 2 Jefferson SE

Personal Sampler Art from Egan Franks & Aude Shattuck.

The Collective Artspace – 40 Division Ave S

Paper Planes

Spiral – 44 Division Ave S

The Inexpressible: Figurative Abstractions by Nick Reszetar Nick Reszetar’s drawings are about the experience of being human. They are a way of addressing the fragility, resiliency, complexities and capabilities of the body. This exhibition presents Nick’s drawings of the figure, where he questions psychology, identity, sexuality and interdependence. Featuring: Steven Vinson, Nick Reszetar

Rockwells/Republic – 45 Division Ave S

Attimo A stunning and thought provoking piece for Art Downtown this year. Photograpic Artist Marie Couretas works primarily in medium format film photography and has been shooting West Michigan landscapes since her arrival back from completing a Studio Art Post-Baccalaureate program at SACI in Florence, Italy.

Heartside Gallery and Studio – 48 Division Ave S

Mining the Archives Guest curator Katie Pershon has created an exhibition by combing through our extensive art archives. With an outside perspective, she’s combined Heartside artists’ work in new and exciting ways. Featuring: Katie Pershon, Various Heartside Gallery artists

The L Loft – 106 Division Ave S #215 [second floor]

Spring Open New work by Vito Art

Pop Up Gallery – 106 Division Ave S

All Mixed Up A night celebrating the art of mixed imagery. Using found images and original work, artists create collages that engage in dialogue which extends beyond any single image’s intended meaning. Featuring: Ethan Ross, Jolee Kirkikis, Ryan Wyrick, Madison Nicole May, Eana Apple Agopian

Pop Up Gallery – 106 Division Ave S

Raw Concerned with expressing raw, intense emotions that are difficult to articulate, with an emphasis in feminist ideologies, and using art as a communicator and a release.

Modes of Representation seeks to explore the arbitrary nature of systems of representation via visual works of art; in other words, to exhibit representations of reality that self-reflexively deconstruct the very modes in which they operate.

Post Perception A senior thesis exhibition from graphic design students at Kendall College of Art and Design.Featuring: Chris Fox, Nhat Chung Lam, Grant Shaheen, Erica Eeman, Greg Ward, Brad Kautz, Miao Zhang

Manifest showcases the beautiful art of Alan Compo and Valerie Wahna as they illustrate their stories, experiences, and emotions in the way that only art can.

PAY NO ATTENTION features works by a group of artists who approach drawing as an expanded creative practice. Their works function as investigations that are personal, philosophical, formal and conceptual. The exhibition offers insight into personal and shared perceptions of reality.

Harris Building – 111 Division Ave S

Art Tech Hub: 100 Peices of Art

Cerasus Studio – 120 Division Ave S #126

Inside, Outside Two artists exploring the relationships and disconnects between their inner and outer selves. Featuring: Callie Cherry, Mose Brown

Whites Bridge Furniture LLC – 121 S Division

White Bridges A display of furniture pieces crafted from reclaimed wood and metal that are available for purchase. Featuring: Nick Vandersloot

Pop Up Gallery – 122 Division Ave S

American What does it mean to be American? The space focuses on intersections of Asian and Hispanic identities especially in a political climate of anti-culture/color/immigrant. Restaurants are places of food culture. People go to ethnic restaurants to experience culture in food or ambiance, whether authentic or Americanized. Restaurants often employ immigrants, undocumented workers, and people of color to as back of house staff. The concept experiences vary with each person. With that in mind, all are invited to collaborate in the installations to add their definition of what it means to be an American, and if they consider themselves American. Featuring: Zyra Castillo

Parliament the Boutique – 136 Division Ave S

Parliament Homes Collection 2017 Debut For Art.Downtown 2017, Team Parliament is pleased to present the Parliament Homes Collection 2017, featuring handcrafted goods for the home. Littlewingsdesigns, Harbinger Leather Design, and Adventure Textiles will be releasing their 2017 collections of accessories and textiles for homes, along with goods from the following Parliament artists: Kate Lewis Ceramics, Runaway Press, PG Wood Goods, Bird + Feather, and Amy Brower Designs. This collection is the first in a two part collection this year, with the second portion of the collection, the Parliament Humans Collection, debuting in September 2017. This is Parliament’s 5th year of participating in Art.Downtown!

Featuring: Elyse Marie Welcher, Megan Roach, Jacob Vroon, Elyse Welcher (Littlewings Designs), Megan Roach (Adventure Textiles), Jacob Vroon (Harbinger Leather Design)- three main artists and curators.

Supporting artists: Kate Lewis (Kate Lewis Ceramics), Michelle Johnson (Runaway Press), Patrick Garrett (PG Wood Goods), Amy Brower (Amy Brower Designs), Marianne Gardner (Bird + Feather)

Vertigo Music – 129 Division Ave S


Woosah Outfitters – 131 Division Ave S

High Altitude Everyone breaths faster, deeper and more intentionally when at high altitude, in order to survive. Creating and carving woodblock prints during times of stress, change and adjustment is Erica Lang’s way of breathing through it. She took inspiration from the theme of climbing in high altitude and created a series of woodblock prints. Come see first hand what high altitude looks like at Woosah. Featuring: Erica Lang, Erica Lang

Smokin Js – 133 Division Ave S

Tsunami of Consciousness/Happy Henna is a compilation of pieces by transdisciplinary artist Mackenzie Tucker. These pieces are made impulsively without any compositional plans. Together this body of work unites to depict the artist’s uninhibited expression. Featuring: Brian Keesbury, Mackenzie Tucker

Sanctuary Folk Art – 140 Division Ave S

You Do What You Can Art created to pay for groceries. Featuring: Reb Roberts, The Payday Collective

Dime & Regal – 209 Division Ave S

Knots exhibits a collection of minimal etchings lifted from wood knots and other imperfections from a willow tree. Featuring: Courtney Jones, Tim Albon

Archive Antiques – 222 Division Ave S

Chronicles of an Organic Population New Work from Dustin Coon

Avenue for the Arts – 307 Division Ave S

A Found Environment This exhibition is an exploration of found materials, both natural and man made, to discover the life an item can have as a work of art after it can no longer serve its original purpose. Featuring: E.J. Cobb, Alison Palmateer and Steven Vinson

Light Gallery + Studio – 317 Division Ave S

Process : Fiber The Light Gallery + Studio will be kicking off a set of new programming during Art.Downtown 2017. Process: Fiber will explore the many types of fiber art; including weavings, tapestries, embroidery, etc. The exhibition will include 10 local artists. There will be patchwork kits, fabrics, and zines available for purchase, as well as our standing local artisans shop. Featuring: Erika Townsley, Anny Crane, Carrie Burch, MacKenzie Lund, Eliza Fernand, Elisabeth Foster, Lisa Price, Erika Townsley, Mariah Cowsert, Callie Cherry

KNITit – 319 Division Ave S

3D Knitting: A Versatile, Flexible, and Sustainable Process You already know about 3D printing but KNITit would like to introduce you to a more versatile, flexible, and sustainable manufacturing process, 3D Knitting. Visit the KNITit studio to get hands on experience with this old-new technology and enjoy a short film on the benefits of 3D knitting versus other processes. Featuring: Liz Hilton, Liz Hilton, Alexis Troxell, Tracey Weisman

Pop Up Gallery – 325 Division Ave S

Illumination An ART SHOW of emotion, spirituality, and mind. And of course a bunch of my light sculpture. We will also have local musicians and modern dance performers. All ART is for sale. Featuring: Aaron Lee Van Wyk, Aaron Lee Van Wyk, Danielle Rodriguez, The Fabulous Vans, Rodger Van Wyk

337 project space – 337 Division Ave S

Chuchvara/Wassenaar – DITA performance 7:30 Art installation by Ann Chuchvara and Miriam Wassenaar with modern dance performance by DITA Featuring: Tom Duimstra, Ann Chuchvara, Miriam Wassenaar, Dance In The Annex

Studio 341 – 341 Division Ave S

Art is a Drag is the body of work produced through the collaboration of twins, Kaylee and Rachel Britton. Kaylee painted each piece onto her own face, and Rachel photographed and helped style the looks. While this work utilizes makeup to create illusions, the entire collection incorporates multiple disciplines—illustration, fine art and photography—with drag queens. Featuring: Stafford Smith, Rachel and Kaylee Britton

SiTE:LAB – 333 Rumsey St SW

Rumsey Street Project Featuring Projects by students from: CCS, GRCC, GVSU, Hope, KCAD

Founders Brewing Co. – 235 Grandville Ave SW

Dream World

Lantern Coffee Bar and Lounge – 100 Commerce Ave SW

Little Devil’s Advocates will be an art show about the ugly truth-seekers of life. Join artist Barbara Counsil for her debut of new, fresh ink & watercolor paintings at one of Grand Rapid’s favorite coffee bars.

Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts – 2 Fulton W

Fresh Pick: Eana Agopian The UICA Fresh pick solo exhibition award recognizes an emerging artist of exceptional promise, and is awarded annually to one student in the graduating class of Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University. Eana Agopian, a graduate of the MFA program, has been honored with the 2016 award. Agopian’s new solo show, Interlace, opens at UICA in spring 2017. Inspired by the progressive and transformational nature of the creative process, Interlace draws upon themes of alchemy, psychology, and various modes of sensual perception to explore realms of the unknown.

MEGA 2017 MEGA 2017 The Masters Student Collective of Kendall College of Art and Design proudly presents the 7th Annual Michigan Emerging Graduate Artists (MEGA) exhibition at UICA. MEGA is a juried exhibition of works by artists who are currently enrolled in graduate level study, or are current-year graduates of an undergraduate program, at one of Michigan’s academic institutions. MEGA 2017 features 2D, 3D, and installation works by more than 20 artists representing 6 different Michigan Universities.

US IS THEM / Here + Now Art from the Pizzuti Collection is a powerful exhibition of works by 42 international artists who confront issues of politics, religion, and racism. The exhibition presents contemporary artworks across a diverse range of media including painting, sculpture, photography, and video. Abandoned Margins: Policing the Black Female Body, curated by Janice Bond, is a group exhibition that originated at Chicago’s Woman Made Gallery in early 2016. “Abandoned Margins” takes on representations of black women in US popular culture and public discourse by confronting stereotypes and creating a visual language to challenge systems that undermine the agency of black female bodies and perpetuate their marginalization. Special performance by Shani Crowe during Art.Downtown.

Performance by Shani Crowe 6-8:30pm


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
  • Stop into our Avenue for the Arts [Work] Space at 307 S. Division Ave
  • Show up on April 9th during your shift, perform assigned duties, and have fun!




Art.Downtown 2016 from GRTV on Vimeo.
Survival Guide Art.Downtown. 2016


For a sneak peak at ARTDOWNTOWN-2016



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


Email for more information about our Art.Downtown. 2017 event. Our below learning lab members are spearheading the project, address one of them in the email to receive a direct response.

Promotions – Deanna Duba

Coordinator – Ian Thompson




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 3 open planning meetings to plan the event and make connections. Meetings are held at the Avenue for the Arts Headquarters at 307 S. Division Ave. S Division, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. Here are the dates to the 3 planning meetings:

Wednesday January 25th  from 3-4:30pm.

Wednesday February 22nd from 6 to 7:30pm.

Wednesday March 22nd from 6 to 7:30pm. 

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


To participate you must become a member. Follow these 3 simple steps to complete your profile and become eligible for Art.Downtown.

1. Become an Avenue for the Arts member or if are already a member, then 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 for 2017 at the bottom of your profile page
  • Click Save to complete your member profile and to submit your Art.Downtown. application for 2017. 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 for 2017 at the bottom of your profile page:


  • Click Save to submit your Art.Downtown. application for 2017. 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.


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 February 25th (not sure if your membership is current? Try signing in!)
  • Make sure you include a link in the membership profile to you digital portfolio. Curators will have access to these profiles and will make decisions based on your portfolio. EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.
  • Curators and sites will contact artist members directly to participate as an artist in Art.Downtown. or First Fridays.
  • 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(s) for Curator
  • Be responsible for drop off and pick up of artwork
  • Required to participate in opening event, details/shifts established with Curator.
  • Want to learn more about promotions and encouraging event attendance? Break it Down | Make it Better on February 25th, register here.
  • Don’t have an online portfolio? Consider using Flickr, Squarespace, Tumblr, Weebly, a Facebook Page, etc. to upload photographs.
  • Participation as an artist is not guaranteed!


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 profile to participate in Art.Downtown. before February 12th (not sure if your membership is current? Try signing in!)
  • Attend Planning meetings at 307 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 here.
  • 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 February 20th, register here
  • Attend a minimum of one Art.Downtown. Planning Meeting. 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 February 12th (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 5-9 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, and email (not sure if your membership is current? Try 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, February 20th. Register here
  • Attend a minimum of one Art.Downtown. Planning Meeting, 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 February 28th (not sure if your membership is current? Try signing in!)
  • Provide appropriate space for display of artwork, artist statement and price list.
  • Provide access for curators and artists during install dates, April 5-9th
  • Required to participate in opening event April 9th, 12-9pm
  • 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 February 20, 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
  • Stop into our Avenue for the Arts Hub at 307 S. Division Ave
  • Show up on April 10th during your shift, perform assigned duties, and have fun!


January 21 – Call for curators and artists opens
February 12 – Call for curators ends, curators must attend a planning meeting
February 20 – Break it Down Make it Better event
February 28th – Call for artists closes
March 11 – Artist names are selected and submitted by curators


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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