Here is to the loud mouths. The people who, when they are told no, find a way to create a yes. Here is to my friend and fellow artist Mark Rumsey, who created a series of events that still reverberates in our society back when it was just darn hard to get things organized (and often meant your committee was an army of one).
I've written it before in Rapid Growth but I will say it again: before there was ArtPrize, Site:LAB or Artpeers, in 2002 we had an artist who believed that vacant storefronts could be repurposed to a higher calling, so the series where we showcased local artists while opening up buildings long closed off to the public became known as the Free Radical Gallery.
12 years later, and after a few appearances here and there around the city, Free Radical Gallery returns to the Avenue for the Arts along South Division for its 12th anniversary celebration on November 7th & 14th
While there are a lot fewer vacant storefront spaces along the avenue these days, those storefronts will be transformed into temporary galleries featuring an eclectic mix of local art and artists.
Since it is also a First Friday on the Avenue, you can expect a lot of our artists with storefronts will be open with special offerings for your holiday hop. (Christmas is in seven weeks.)
Additionally, many of the galleries and businesses on the Avenue, such as Have Company, Parliament the Boutique and Vertigo Music, will have extended hours, gallery openings and the hosting of local artists. Artist Live/Work spaces will also open their doors to show and sell original pieces of artwork!
November 14 is the talk-back portion of the event. Come back and hear from the documenters about the artwork you witnessed or experienced the week before at Free Radical Gallery.
The Avenue leaders seek, as they did from their "cool cities" beginnings, to create and strengthen our local art community, to increase the commerce activity on Division, and to attract downtown residents as well as friends and supporters from the surrounding neighborhoods and the suburbs of Grand Rapids to stop by and form new connections.
Speaking of new neighbors, please consider supporting the Avenue for the Arts' attempt to secure a permanent home on the street where they work. Please consider a donation to their Patronicty campaign
that ends Nov. 17, 2014.