Review: Grand Rapids Symphony kicked off the season with talent and feeling

Written by Samara Napolitan | Saturday, 16 September 2017 13:53 |

A hint of dance, a dash of American soul, a splash of color and prodigious talent ushered in the Grand Rapids Symphony’s 2017-2018 season on Friday night. This season marks the first under GRS Music Director Lehninger’s full leadership, as well as the orchestra’s return to Carnegie Hall this April.

Review: Collectors Show Offers an Accessible Introduction to Art Collecting

Written by Samara Napolitan | Friday, 15 September 2017 15:31 |

Preview Week for ArtPrize Nine is underway. As the denizens of West Michigan encounter the “radically open” art competition, New York-based artist Tyler Loftis hopes to convey that high-quality art can be “radically accessible” too.

Andrew Woodstock: Sizing Up ArtPrize

Written by Jane Simons | Thursday, 14 September 2017 10:16 |

Andrew Woodstock has garnered national attention for his work. In 2012, his entry Tuskegee Airmen placed in the Top 50 in ArtPrize and now the large-scale watercolor piece resides in its new home at the Kalamazoo Air Zoo. His 2016 ArtPrize entry was a little more colorful, but used the same technique as his 2012 Tuskegee Airmen and 2014’s Civil War. Honors and awards include being a featured artist at the Society of Illustrators in New York City and winning ADDY Awards for Excellence in Illustration.

Review: Vegas Rat Pack is a showcase of true talent, hampered only by its jokes

Written by Marin Heinritz | Wednesday, 06 September 2017 15:35 |

On the Tuesday night after Labor Day weekend, three actors and seven musicians transformed a giant barn in Augusta, Michigan into an outrageously energetic yet intimate and beloved Vegas lounge act. Just as The Barn Theatre morphed into the Sands Hotel and Casino, 2017 became 1960 as tribute artists The Vegas Rat Pack took the stage for the summer stock theater’s final week of performances this season.

Brave and Bare: 'Calendar Girls' encourages standing up to the norm

Written by Kayla Tucker | Wednesday, 06 September 2017 14:20 |

Sometimes it pays off to put yourself out there.

For Linda LaFontsee, co-owner of LaFontsee Galleries, the value in art worth collecting distills down to a very personal moment. 

“When you first look at a piece of art, your gut reaction is something you should hold onto, because it’s not going to go away.” 

Sparking that personal connection is critical to the success of local artists, as well as the vibrancy of an entire community. But artists cannot achieve success without the support of other key players. 

Lasers on the Grand: ArtPrize goes even bigger this year

Written by Dwayne Hoover | Friday, 01 September 2017 10:34 |

Now in its ninth year, ArtPrize continues to grow in both size and scope, drawing more than 500,000 visitors to downtown Grand Rapids. And with hundreds of artists showcasing their work in dozens of venues throughout the city, it certainly feels larger than life during its 19-day run.

Keeping Fresh: 'Dixie’s Tupperware Party' is a new experience every night

Written by Jane Simons | Thursday, 31 August 2017 16:38 |

Dixie Longate is quite the character, in every sense of the word.

Vanessa Autumn: 'All it takes is paying attention'

Written by Kelly Brown | Wednesday, 30 August 2017 15:46 |

Vanessa Autumn is a creator, curator and wrangler of the beauty of nature. Take a look at her website, vanessaautumn.com, and you’ll find paintings, collage work, photography, word art and more — all featuring raw emotion and the power of the nature that surrounds us. We asked the self-taught artist about her approach to creation.

Catherine Hoffman: You're Not Alone

Written by Josh Veal | Wednesday, 30 August 2017 15:40 |

Lake Michigan is more than just a body of water for Catherine Hoffman — it’s an inspiration. Growing up home-schooled in Holland, the natural world had a big impact on Hoffman, who later went on to study illustration at Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids. Now back on the lake shore, she creates art that’s meant to evoke a feeling above all else, and wants to write and illustrate her own children’s books.

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