(Photographs Available)

Contact Information: Tommy Allen, A+P Studio at Tanglefoot

                (616) 209-8278 / TommyAllenArt@gmail.com


                Elaine Dalcher, Elaine Dalcher Studio

                616-430-5778 / ElaineDalcher@me.com



Westside Grand Rapids Award-Winning Tanglefoot Artists

present their 24th Year Open Public Studio Event


Friday, Nov. 20 (5 – 9 p.m.) and Sunday, Nov. 22 (Noon – 4 p.m.)

In the Historic Tanglefoot Building, 314 Straight Ave. SW

Grand Rapids, MI  49504



Grand Rapids, MI - Tanglefoot Artists invite the public to their 24th annual open studio event on Friday, Nov. 20 and Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015.



Curious about the creative process? Find inspiring visual artworks in a casual westside  neighborhood setting during Tanglefoot 24, Grand Rapids longest running open studio event, now celebrating its 24th anniversary year.


In the late 1980s, artists Elaine Dalcher, Michael Pfleghaar, and Nikki Wall discovered the Tanglefoot building while seeking to set up individual studio spaces in the city. After settling in, they would go on to create and form this annual celebratory event where they could invite the public to experience and purchase their artwork.


Since those early days, the Tanglefoot Artists, as they have come to be called locally, have incubated their careers in art alongside many other small creative businesses within the building. 


Many years later, Tommy Allen, Jeff Condon, Alynn Guerra, Carlos Aceves, and Jason Villareal joined the collective, bringing new areas of art exploration and diversity with a focus on the land, cross-cultural themes, and social justice.


Art enthusiasts and collectors from Michigan and beyond have come to enjoy the ease of wandering freely behind the scenes as they visit the individual studios within the Tanglefoot building. 


Pulling back the curtain on the creative process, the artists in each studio space curate a showcase experience featuring fresh perspectives and break-through works for art collectors, first-time buyers, and the curious public. The event is a chance to observe and interact directly with the artists thus producing a dialogue on the themes presented.


In addition, the Tanglefoot artists, through their individual contributions to the region,  have paved the way for many other artists and recent transplants to explore their creativity, discover shared inspiration, and most importantly, celebrate the role of the creative community through their year-round programming within the building.


Over the last quarter-century the artists have conducted classes, creative workshops, presented exhibitions of other artists, contributed to ArtPrize 1.0's success in 2009, and even volunteered to create public policy that impacts the arts of our region in a positive way. 


“It is mind-blowing when I stop to reflect on the time that has flown by since I first attended one of their earliest events,” says artist and local arts advocate Tommy Allen of those days before he would join the collective.  “In those early days the artists would sometimes have live music and cook up large pots filled with homemade soup that they'd serve to their visitors.”


“But what was really inspiring is that every time we,  as a collective, thought it was time to close our doors on our annual community event, someone would appear out of nowhere with just the right words or an act of kindness so bold that it would encourage us to keep on doing what we do,” says Dalcher.


Allen recalls one dark period at Tanglefoot right after they had suffered a crippling fire in the building. The fire forced the artists to cancel their annual event - just two days before their public opening.


“After the fire, we had no choice but to call off the event. So here we had all this work, but no chance to exhibit it. We were not sure what to do,” says painter and (now retired) Grand Rapids Public School arts educator Elaine Dalcher, “Then, out of the blue (and two weeks after the fire) came an invitation from the Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts to join their annual Holiday Artists Market. This act personified the generosity and open heartedness of our arts community.”


At the beginning, the collective's goals were to simply provide Grand Rapids' local art lovers a chance to purchase new works of art. However, while the sale of the art is important, with time, the artists have leveraged the event to welcome diverse groups whose paths might not otherwise converge.


This creative collision of art and the public in a large space enabled new economies, economic and cultural, to emerge for the betterment of all of our region's artists. 


As the city has matured, so has the vision of the Tanglefoot artists, who have received awards and honors as they have expanded their reach into arts education, community action, and even public policy.


To gain more insight into the individual artists along with education highlights, awards and civic tributes, please visit their mini-biographies below.