Grand Rapids is undeniably an art destination. Residents and visitors experience art when we tour Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, the Grand Rapids Art Museum, and ArtPrize, but there's more to art here than exhibits and competitions. The city also showcases an impressive collection of public art, including La Grande Vitesse by Alexander Calder, and is home to many working artists,art galleries and art educational programs including those at Kendall School of Art and Design and Grand Valley State University. Experience Grand Rapids recently invited local artists to help inspire art enthusiasts to visit Grand Rapids by creating art for the Art Outdoor project.

Twenty-seven talented artists with Grand Rapids ties submitted artwork that depicted and promoted Grand Rapids as a travel destination. A selection committee comprised of art devotees and Grand Rapids gallery owners then chose 5 submissions to be displayed on billboards throughout the state during the summer.

Here are the selected pieces of art and the artists' names:

Alex Gilford

Grand Rapids Art Oudoor entry winner by Alex Gilford

Maggie Bandstra

Grand Rapids Art Oudoor entry winner by Maggie Bandstra

Emily Chilvers

Grand Rapids Art Oudoor entry winner by Emily Chilvers

Alynn Guerra

Grand Rapids Art Oudoor entry winner by Alynn Guerra

Nick Nortier

Grand Rapids Art Oudoor entry winner by Nick Nortier

Wow, right? Best of all, there are a couple of ways you can see these creative pieces for yourself:

  1. The artist reception at the Richard App Gallery on July 23, from 6PM 8PM. Not only will you be able to see the original works, you can meet and chat with the artists.
  2. From July-September, the 5 pieces will be displayed on billboards throughout the state. Here's where you'll find them:

Map of where the Grand Rapids Art Outdoor billboards will be located in Michigan

Later this summer, you'll also be able to grab a t-shirt or poster of your favorites at

Be sure to check back, because beginning later this month, we'll profile each of these artists individually so you can find out more about them, their art, and what makes them tick.