Monday, 01 February 2016 11:09

Affordable art

Written by  Nicole Rico
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Ripple Effect: From Industry to Environment in the Kalamazoo River Basin Ripple Effect: From Industry to Environment in the Kalamazoo River Basin COURTESY PHOTO

If you’ve got a burning desire to take in a museum and admire expensive pieces of art, but are still trying to pay off those shockingly high overage charges on your cell phone bill, here’s a shortlist of artsy West Michigan hotspots that won’t wipe you out.

Ripple Effect: From Industry to Environment in the Kalamazoo River Basin
Fed Galleries at KCAD
17 Pearl St. NW, Grand Rapids
Through Feb. 20, FREE

Featuring work by Sarah Lindley and Steve Nelson, Ripple Effect takes place inside the abandoned Plainwell Paper Mill alongside the Kalamazoo River. The site showcases Lindley’s colossal 20-foot by 35-foot intertwining, three-dimensional structure that references the Kalamazoo Watershed. According to Lindley it also reflects “the push-play power dynamics between industry, surrounding communities and environments.” Also on display are Nelson’s large-format photographs of abandoned industrial sites.

ARTbreak: Art in the 21st Century, El Anatsui & Yinka Shonibare MBE
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
314 S. Park St., Kalamazoo
Feb. 9, FREE, (269) 349-7775

The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts hosts several events this month in honor of Black History Month. ARTbreak, which happens Feb. 9, features work by two internationally acclaimed West African artists. Shonibare, from Nigeria, explores the topics of colonialism, globalization and cultural identity through his work. And Anatsui, from Ghana, uses simple materials and transforms them into intricate pieces.

Coming Home: Lydia Boda, UICA Fresh Pick
Urban Institute for Contemporary Art
2 Fulton West, Grand Rapids
Through March 20
$5, Members: FREE, (616) 454-7000

As part of their Coming Home series, UICA spotlights Lydia Boda’s sculptural work through March 20. A BFA graduate from Kendall College, Boda specializes in Functional Sculpture, constructing work that’s “rooted in memory and ritual.” Using her own strict rules for creation, she uses paper, wood, metal, clay and found objects to form meticulous installations.

Art + Chocolate: Seeing Red
Grand Rapid Art Museum
101 Monroe Center St. NW
Feb. 13, 11 a.m.-12 p.m., 1 pm.-2 p.m., and 3 p.m.-4 p.m.
$8 members, $10 non-members, (616) 831-1000

Check out this guided tour that explores the “color of love” and how it’s utilized in art to produce different emotions and responses within the viewer. Bonus: At the end of the tour, participants receive a chocolate bar. Contact Andrea Morgan at for more information, or register online at

Toy Stories: The Toy Collection of Tom & Merrill Taylor
Holland Museum
31 West 10th St., Holland
Through Feb. 27
$4-$7, Children under 6: FREE, (616) 796-3329

For those wistful folks who cling to the thought of yesteryear, but are still children at heart, this Toy Stories exhibit is the one to see. Tom and Merrill Taylor have been building their antique collection of old-fashioned signs and advertisements since the 1970s. Stop by the Holland Museum to see the pair’s diverse collection of not only signs, but vintage toys and memorabilia.

I, Too, Am America: The Art of Bryan Collier
Muskegon Museum of Art
296 W. Webster Ave., Muskegon
Through April 17
$5-$8, Children 17 and under: FREE, (231) 720-2570

The MMA’s Finding Common Ground, an African American art program series, spotlights Bryan Collier, a renowned artist whose illustrations were published in Langston Hughes’ 2012 book I, Too, Am America. Collier has received many accolades for his work, including the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award, the Caldecott Medal and the Jane Addams’ Children’s Book Award. If you enjoyed the exhibition, stop by the museum on March 10 at 7 p.m. when Collier makes an appearance to talk about his life and career. n

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