Art for the people, by the people – that’s what The 49507 Project is all about. Lead by Black, Brown and queer artists and youth, this public art initiative seeks to shift power dynamics in under-resourced areas, specifically in Southeast Grand Rapid’s 49507 zip code.
David Edward Smikle was born in 1953 in Queens, some three thousand miles from Portland, OR, where, that same year, Carrie Mae Weems came into the world. Both had an artistic bent: Smikle gravitated toward music; Weems to street theater and dance. The two wouldn’t meet until 1977, by which point Smikle had changed his name to Dawoud Bey.
When Amanda Barbour was looking for a table, she wanted it to come from someone local. She wasn’t buying it for herself; Barbour, the founder and executive director of Children’s Healing Center, was buying it for the center.
Bold use of color, divine feminine representation, and elements of nature are just some of the stylistic choices that define the works of Kristin Zuller, multidisciplinary visual artist and Grand Rapids native.
Creative director and freelance designer Edgar Hernandez is never without multiple projects at a time. Under his brand, The Oddest, Hernandez owned and operated a clothing store for three years in the Grand Rapids Downtown Market.
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