Art in Grand Rapids
Grand Rapids has long been a mecca for creators and admirers of art. In the 19th century, we were known as "Furniture City" for the artistry of our fine wood furniture. In the 20th century, we made art an integral element of the city's identity, starting with the very first public project funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. And in this century, we've revolutionized the global art scene with ArtPrize, the world's richest, most radically open art competition. Grand Rapids is also home to one of the world's 100 most visited art museums, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, one of the Top 30 Must-See Museums on the planet.
Grand Rapids also hosts a number of annual festivals beyond ArtPrize, showcasing all manner of art:
- LaughFest (March), a 10-day, community-wide celebration of the art of comedy
- Art.Downtown. (April), a gallery, studio and shop hop featuring the work of 100s of local artists
- Grand Rapids Film Festival (April), focusing on unique independent cinema
- Festival of Faith and Writing (April), with workshops and well-known guest speakers
- Heritage Hill Home Tours (May), honoring the art of historic preservation
- Festival of the Arts (June), a three-day street party highlighting visual, performing and culinary arts
- Various music festivals: Blues on the Mall (June-August); City Lights Music Festival (Electronica - July); GrandJazzFest (August); and more
The Business of Art
Grand Rapids is the center of the office furniture industry, which marries design and commerce. Local companies including Steelcase, Haworth and Herman Miller shape the future of the global workplace.
Downtown's Kendall College of Art & Design is a nationally prominent school offering a broad range of creative degrees, including furniture design, metals & jewelry design, digital media and fashion studies. Stop by to see student art, displayed throughout Kendall's public spaces. Non-professional artists can learn tips and techniques at Grand Rapids Art Museum, Brush Studio and Wine & Canvas.
Ideas to Discover Art in Grand Rapids
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