Wednesday, 26 February 2014 10:27

Glitter Art Gallery Working to Bring Lowbrow, Pop-Surrealism Pieces to Grand Rapids

Written by  Erica Horoky
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Josh McVety and Miranda Sharp Josh McVety and Miranda Sharp Erica Horoky

Glitter Milk Gallery
901 Alpine Ave. NW Grand Rapids
glittermilkgallery.com/blog

If glitter is to gaudy as milk is to the nectar of life, it's a safe bet that the Glitter Milk Gallery will showcase only the loudest and most dazzling lowbrow and pop-surrealism works that you'll find in Grand Rapids. The gallery is currently under construction on Alpine Avenue and if all goes as planned, will have its first show on April 5. The gallery will feature contemporary works of illustration, graphic design, sculpture, and a wide range of eclectic styles.

So far, renovating the space has been a process of tearing down and deconstructing. Woodworker Josh McVety of McVety Design and illustrator Miranda Sharp, both graduates of Kendall College, are sharing the space and have had their work cut out for them so far.

When they first began tearing down the space, they found electrical wiring haphazardly wrapped in fabric, layers and layers of aging paint, and a stockpile of so many acorns that McVety assumes must have been left by generations of squirrel families.

After graduating from Kendall two years ago with a degree in Illustration, Sharp became interested in curating art shows through working in an exhibit for Art Downtown. She wanted the freedom of her own space, so she signed the lease for 901 Alpine on Christmas Eve 2013. Construction has been almost ongoing since Jan. 1, and with the help of her partner and gallery technician McVety and friends, the space is quickly transforming into their vision.

"The theme of the gallery is really going to focus more on pop art and low brow art, because there's not really an outlet for that in Grand Rapids," Sharp said. "It's not really a fine art gallery, it's more of an underground art movement."

The gallery will host monthly/bi-monthly exhibitions, focusing on merging underground pieces from the high and low art world. Sharp hopes to showcase work from the best emerging artists and well-established professionals, both local and global.

"I'm really hoping that people get exposed to a different side of Grand Rapids that isn't really represented in other art galleries around here," said Sharp."I want viewers to appreciate illustrated art, and I want to bring more of a lowbrow culture."

Visitors will also have the opportunity to learn different techniques and mediums through the monthly classes and workshops held by various artists, all in conjunction with the showcased monthly/bi-monthly art shows.

Die Cut, the first exhibit for April 2014, was announced recently and the call for art is open until March 8. The show is all about stickers, and considering the artistic influence they had on Sharp when she was younger, it makes for a fitting and nostalgic first show at Glitter Milk.

Sharp is looking for artists to design a page of stickers in the style of their choosing - be it cute, creepy, or funny, anything goes with this show.

Artists of every caliber, from students to professionals, are encouraged to submit their portfolio for consideration and a chance to be featured in the first gallery. The printing service and templates will be provided for the Die Cut show - Glitter Milk only needs your artistic and illustrative prowess.

Sharp urges any interested artists and art fans to frequently check the website, glittermilkgallery.com, for the open calls for art, updates on the opening, and any other gallery news.

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