Whether it's for your home or office, art enhances your space. The idea of purchasing an original artwork can be intimidating, but the best way to start the process is to get to know the artists. Luckily, the abundance of art galleries in Grand Rapids makes that easy.  

Heartside Gallery
Heartside Gallery and Studio showcases the neighborhood's creative spirit.

Heartside Gallery and Studio

Heartside Gallery and Studio opens its doors to Heartside neighbors to work not only in their art studio, but also in their wood shop, fiber arts room and public pottery studio. Opened in 1993 and connected to Heartside Ministry, the gallery regularly sees 45 neighbors creating in the studio's art spaces.

“When our artists have been working in the studio for six months and have at least seven pieces, they're ready to place their work for sale on our art wall,” Zachary Johnson, arts coordinator for Heartside Gallery and Studio said. “The artist receives 74% of every art sale with 20% going directly back to the Heartside art program to purchase new supplies.”

Pieces created by local artists that are currently available include paintings, watercolors, colored pencil work and ceramics. Much of the fiber art, including messenger bags, purses, animal face change purses and winter hats, is ready just in time for the holiday season.

“Our artists set their own prices, with most items coming in under $100,” Johnson said. 

Sanctuary Folk Art Gallery
Sanctuary Folk Art in Downtown Grand Rapids.

Sanctuary Folk Art

Reb Roberts from Sanctuary Folk Art says artists are the greatest patrons of shopping local and their dollars that they earn from their art sales are most often spent close to home. "When our community financially supports them, then they as artists are able to stretch out and hopefully spark the rest of the world to take notice of our artistically rich local scene," Roberts said. 

Original artworks contain some of the artists' physical, emotional, mental and spiritual energies lacking in reproductions found in the mass market. Reproductions bought from the mass market are devoid of the real energy that is present only in original / handmade artworks. For those unsure how to "purchase art" Roberts advises that it is most important to select work that you like. Artwork in your home or office can be personal , profound or simply vibrant and fun.

Heather Lane Pottery
Customized Blessing Bowls by Heather Lane Pottery in Ada, Michigan.

Heather Lane Pottery

Heather Lane Pottery in the charming Grand Rapids suburb of Ada is home to a collection of artists who design and hand paint each individual piece that was thrown an in-house potter with over 40 years of experience. The studio prides itself on the fact they do not use any molds, pre-bisque pieces, stencils or appliqués in their work.  

"Our pieces are created to be functional as well as works of art, bringing that accessibility of art to the home," Susan Hathaway, owner of Heather Lane Pottery, said. "Every time you take that Heather Lane Pottery mug from the cupboard for your morning coffee, it makes that ordinary moment that much more extraordinary."

Heather Lane Pottery also creates unique, one-of-a-kind, personalized gifts that will take your gift giving to the next level in only 2-4 weeks. Known for their handcrafted Blessing Bowls, the unique pottery studio has something for everyone on your list. 

Whether your tastes includes art you can wear like fine, handcrafted jewelry from MercuryHead Gallery, large paintings like those you might see at LaFontsee Galleries, or something in between, Grand Rapids has many options that allow you to support local artists and beautify your life.