In 2019, Experience Grand Rapids commissioned West Michigan-based artist Joel Schoon-Tanis to create a representative painting of our local tourism landscape.
Utilizing his characteristic whimsical style, Joel depicted some of the area’s most iconic destinations, activities and experiences. The working antique carousel at Grand Rapids Public Museum provided the conceptual framework for the piece and inspired the name, A Grand Ride.
The painting was unveiled at Toast the Town, an annual luncheon event hosted for community stakeholders. Toast the Town 2019 showcased the role of the region’s vibrant arts scene in attracting visitors. A Grand Ride celebrates the work of local artists and art organizations, and the unique community that inspires them.
The original A Grand Ride painting hangs in the offices of Experience Grand Rapids – but a limited number of print reproductions are available for purchase. (Sorry, a giclee version has sold out.) You can get a framed or unframed print at rivercityartsolutions.com/shop – or contact Jeanine Samuelson (616-485-2258) email@example.com.
Joel Schoon-Tanis is a celebrated painter and book illustrator, a sought-after speaker, and the creator and writer of an Emmy-winning children’s television program. “I strive to view the world through a child-like lens – full of color, whimsy and honesty,” he says. Visit his website for a look at his work.
See if you can identify A Grand Ride elements that represent these local tourism (and resident) amenities:
1928 Spillman Carousel at Grand Rapids Public Museum
Alexander Calder’s La Grande Vitesse
The Blue Bridge
Founders Brewing Company
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
The Fruit Ridge
Gerald R. Ford International Airport
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum
Grand Rapids Ballet
Grand Rapids Children’s Museum
Grand Rapids Griffins
Grand Rapids Symphony
John Ball Zoo
Meijer Gardens Summer Concert Series
New Holland Brewing -– The Knickerbocker
West Michigan Whitecaps