Grand Rapids is a city awash in murals. But our murals don’t only appear on walls – just about any blank space can serve as a canvas for creativity, from roadways and barricades to storm drains and electrical boxes.
We believe even the most mundane objects can be made bright and beautiful. Yes, even parking lot ticket booths.
In spring 2023, Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc. (DGRI) and Mobile GR partnered on a project to enhance public parking areas with work from local artists. By fall, 21 artists had completed work on 19 city-owned booths.
You can see all of them on this walking tour – it’s a bit of a hike, so feel free to tackle a bit at a time. Or just make a point to look for these booths as you park in downtown lots and ramps.
Government Center (Monroe)
Start at the Government Center parking ramp, located on Monroe Ave. NW across from DeVos Place Convention Center. There are two entrances to the ramp off Monroe. Artist Steph Cionca’s love of mid-century modern design and pop art is evident in the eye-popping graphics on the booth at the southern entrance, and artist Jamie Lee adorned the booth at the north entrance with colorful flowers popping out of a field of green.
Government Center (Ottawa)
Walk to the opposite end of the Government Center ramp to see a booth with a more subdued color palette. Artist Kalee Fix employed cool hues and a more formal structure to create this soothing tableau.
Ottawa Fulton Ramp (Ottawa)
Exit the ramp and head right (south) on Ottawa Ave. NW. Walk four-tenths of a mile past Lyon St., Pearl St., Monroe Center Ave and Louis St. to reach the Ottawa-Fulton parking ramp, just before Fulton St. and the Van Andel Arena. Artist Christina Hutton painted both booths at the Ottawa Ave. entrance, drawing inspiration from nature.
Ottawa Fulton Ramp (Ottawa)
Walk to Fulton St. and head east one block. Turn left at Iona Ave. and you’ll see the Ionia entrance to this ramp. Artist Elise Hewitt painted the north booth, which gives nods to the city’s iconic Blue Bridge and craft beverage expertise. The south booth features the work of Jacob Wiseheart, who applied “nostalgic” colors and patterns to the structure.
Monroe Center Ramp
Keep heading north on Ionia past the first intersection (Louis St.) to the Monroe Center ramp. The two booths there were painted by illustrator/graphic designer Ashley Nash.
Area 3 Lot
Go back south on Ionia, crossing Fulton St. and Weston St. to reach the Area 3 surface parking lot. It’s across from two restaurants – Max’s South Seas Hideaway and Luna – just in case you’re hungry. The booth here was painted by Alice Martinez.
Area 2 Lot
Continue south on Ionia to the next intersection (Oakes St.) and turn right (west). Within a couple hundred feet is the booth for the Area 2 surface lot, directly behind Van Andel Arena. Rhiannan Sibbald painted the booth as a whimsical dreamscape intended to “spark a sense of joy and a sense of imagination” in viewers.
Cherry Commerce Ramp
Head back to Ionia and go south to the next intersection (Cherry St.) Turn left (east) on Cherry and go about a half block to the Cherry Commerce Ramp. There’s a booth inside the ramp, just to the right of the entrance, painted by Jeff Ockerse. It depicts brightly colored ducks in different environments.
Area 6 Lot
Go back west on Cherry, past two stop lights to the Area 6 surface lot. It’s located under the 131 highway overpass, on the south side of the street. The father-son team of Troy and Jonah Bosworth transformed this booth with a kaleidoscope of colors and graphics.
Continue west on Cherry past the stop light at Cesar E. Chavez Ave to the next stop light, which is Market Ave. Turn right (north) on Market. The booth fronting the surface lot directly across the street was painted by Kalamazoo-based artist Chafe Hensley.
Louis Campau Ramp
Continue north on Market past Fulton St. (about 1/3 mile), at which point Market morphs into Monroe Ave. The next intersection north is Campau Ave. The Louis Campau parking ramp sits at the corner. The booth at the Monroe entrance to the ramp features fantastical characters in a meadow-like setting. It was painted by Brae Hunter.
The booth at the opposite end of the ramp (the Campau entrance) was painted by Leah Teighen, whose fanciful dandelions (and a bunny rabbit!) evoke nature and childhood.
Area 9 Lot
Follow Campau north past Z’s Restaurant and Bar and the JW Marriott Grand Rapids until it dead ends at Pearl St. and the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. Turn left (west on Pearl St.), crossing the Grand River. You’ll walk past the Grand Rapids Public Museum and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, Front Ave., Scribner Ave., Mt. Vernon Ave., Summer Ave. and Winter Ave. until you come to Seward Ave. (It’s about one-half mile from the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.) Turn right (north) on Seward. The first painted booth you’ll encounter was painted by Dania Grevengood, who describes her design as “a dance of milkweed and crownvetch, native and invasive plants that are constantly vying for the green space along Michigan’s roadways.”
Another booth a few hundred feet north features the work of self-described “Michigan mural-making dynamic duo” Kay Blair and Laura Mettam, whose work can also be seen in Detroit and Saginaw.
Area 8 Lot
Continue north on Seward to the stop light at Bridge St. Turn right (east) and go about one-tenth of a mile to Winter Ave. Turn right (south) on Winter. The parking lot booth a few hundred feet down the street was painted by artist and graffiti writer Guillermo Jesus Sotelo. Look for the “E” Sotelo embeds in every mural he paints, a shout out to his son Ezra.
Area 9 Lot
Take Douglas St., directly across from the Area 9 parking booth, east past the next intersection, Summer Ave. You’ll see a booth painted by Jenny Hearns, who blended nature and technology to create “a visual representation of how I pictured the booth operated.”
Now take Mt. Vernon Ave south (right) to the next booth, which was painted by Sophie Rodriguez. See how she’s integrated her love of origami into the design.
You’ve now reached the end of our Painted Booths Tour – and you could probably stand to put your feet up and relax. We suggest heading north a short distance on Mt. Vernon to Bridge St. Turn left (west) to enter the Bridge Street entertainment district, which is lined with restaurants, bars and breweries.
Want to see more public art after your break? Our West Side Murals Tour starts and ends on Bridge St.