Live art inspired by live music: SPACE brings new events to vacant spaces in downtown Grand Rapids

A new downtown Grand Rapids art event hopes to bring together live art, live music and networking as a new way of promoting the artists, musicians and the vacant downtown venues where they'll be creating.

SPACE, a concept imagined by Josh Marunde and Josh Beebe, gives artists 90 minutes to create a piece of art inspired by live music while attendees watch and mingle.

"We saw lots of other events and said 'why can't we do one?' So we met at a Starbucks and brainstormed," Beebe says. "We want to get people in the door to see the spaces and to hopefully inspire some economic development."

"We wanted to integrate music and art, and make it a networking experience," Marunde adds. "At a concert, you don't get a chance to meet people, and the music will provide inspiration for the art."

The first SPACE event takes place June 10 on the third floor of 140 Monroe Center, a venue that 616 Lofts hopes to develop into 10 loft apartments. Marunde and Beebe have issued a call for artists and hope to have 10 on board. Local musician Jason "Syts" Sytsma will perform original piano music.

"The doors open at 8, at 9 the music starts and art begins. The music will play for an hour and we give the artists another 30 minutes to wrap up their pieces," Beebe says. "The rest of the night will be an open gallery. We close at midnight and ticket holders can attend our after party at Reserve and get 15 percent off their bill."

Tickets are $8, with a portion of the purchase going to the Saint Cecilia Music Center.

SPACE plans to have two additional events this summer, one in June and one in July, says Beebe, with music provided by hip-hop artist The SEVENth and Indie rock act Valentiger. Dates and locations to be announced.

For more information or to register as an artist, click here.

Source: Josh Marunde, Josh Beebe, SPACE
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor
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