At Experience Live Art, two individuals are bringing the appreciation and education of art to West Michigan residents and students.
For its 10th anniversary, ArtPrize is reinventing itself. The Grand Rapids-based art festival, if not moldering, had started to show its age. Last year, MLive reported that registration for public voting numbered only 32,613 people, the lowest total in the festival’s history.
You might have noticed some familiar faces floating around Grand Rapids this summer.
Back in March, The Rad Women Art Initiative took over electrical boxes across the city, launching in celebration of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month.
Given that Grand Rapids’ iconic symbol, La Grand Vitesse, is a sculpture, it should come as no surprise that a sculptor can thrive here.
That’s especially true if you’re Andrew Kline and you get to work at the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. As preparator and assistant conservator, Kline helps install and maintain the sculptures at what he calls a “gem of the U.S.” He also maintains the downtown LOVE sculpture by Robert Indiana.
Graphic artist and muralist Kyle DeGroff dabbles in a variety of artistic projects: colorful murals, business brands, wedding invitations and photography. He is the guy behind Grand Rapids Brewing Co.’s Rosalynn Bliss Mango Blonde, Fish Ladder, Flow and other beer bottle designs, plus menus, T-shirts and more.
For Holly Anne McDermott, a.k.a. HAM, art is a way to process, express and cope all at once. In McDermott’s recent thesis exhibition, Emotional Reflections, printmaking,
etchings, metalsmithing and jewelry all come together to capture the cycles of life and nature. It’s a highly unique and eclectic collection of art that she used to explore emotions in a variety of ways. You can see a piece of it in the Michigan Emerging Graduate Artists show at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, running until Sept. 8. The Grand Valley State University graduate originally came to West Michigan from Detroit and found inspiration in her professors as well as Alexander Calder. We talked with McDermott about the meaning of her art and why she makes it.
Spencer Elliot of Grand Rapids is a model, photographer and videographer. He currently is modeling for Chaco, is a part of creative collaborative Michigan House, and is directing and shooting a documentary on NFL athlete Bronson Hill in Los Angeles through Grand Rapids-based film studio Carbon Stories. Elliot also is working on his own project called Absorb & Create, where he designs and directs photoshoots with his creative partner, Jesh Washington, to create a digital color wheel with a lens on social justice and general artistic experimentation.
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