FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                           

June 28, 2016            


CONTACT:  Stephanie Kotschevar, Experience Grand Rapids




Selected artists will be featured on billboards throughout Michigan during the summer of 2016


Grand Rapids, Mich.—Experience Grand Rapids (EXGR), the area’s official destination marketing organization, invited local artists to enter a Grand Rapids’ inspired design for its annual Art Outdoor billboard campaign earlier this year. The Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, a major partner this year, handled the submission process and a selection committee made up of local art devotees determined the following artists would have their artwork displayed on billboards this summer:

  • Ryan Crawley
  • Karin Nelson
  • Bud Kibby
  • Samantha Luotonen
  • John VanHouten

The selection committee comprised of local, passionate art enthusiasts selected five submissions based on originality, variety of scenes entered, use of contrasting colors, simplicity and the Grand Rapids’ inspired design. The committee included:

  • Reb Roberts – Gallery Owner, Sanctuary Folk Art Gallery
  • Steffanie Rosalez – Program Director at Cook Arts Center, Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities
  • Trudy Ngo-Brown – Director of Teen Programs, West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology
  • Miranda Krajniak - Executive Director, UICA
  • George Bayard– Co-Owner, Bayard Art Consulting & Frameshop
  • Richard App- Gallery Owner, Richard App Gallery 

The selected artworks will be featured along highways in Michigan from August 1st- September 25th, and the artists received a $500 reward. Blog posts highlighting each selected artist will be shared on the Experience Grand Rapids blog through August and September. Merchandise featuring the selected artworks will be sold at starting in August.


For pictures of the selected billboards and a map of where the billboards will be displayed over the summer contact Stephanie Kotschevar at More information about Art Outdoor is available on the Experience Grand Rapids blog at


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About Experience Grand Rapids

Established in 1927, Experience Grand Rapids (EXGR), the areas official destination marketing organization, strengthens the region’s economic vitality and quality of life by marketing Grand Rapids/Kent County as a preferred visitor destination.