Art Guide: 8 Ways to Explore Art in Your Community

Pottery Lane

401 Hall St SW

This dynamic gallery and studio is on a mission to spread a love of ceramics through education, appreciation and access. Pottery Lane holds open studio hours seven days a week. For $20, walk-ins get 2 lbs of clay and 2 hours in the studio with access to tools. Your creation is then bisque fired, and you can glaze it for a nominal fee. Classes, which included Intro to the Pottery Wheel, Hand Building 101, are taught by expert instructors. Students receive access to tools and supplies, custom glazes and a beginners toolkit to take home. They will soon launch intermediate and advanced classes for those seeking to continue down their clay path. More experienced potters have the option of purchasing a monthly membership to the studio, which includes 24/7 access, use of all equipment and tools, a 25 percent discount on all classes, one free event every quarter, special training, and selling privileges in Pottery Lane’s Gallery. Add a creative spin to your event and book a customized pottery experience for your group!

Kate Meyer

Artists Kate Meyer studied fine art and zoology at Michigan State University, and in her stunning pieces, she marries her passion for visual art and love for science. Her encaustic works are crafted with beeswax, resins, pigments, metal, glass and found objects which yield ravishing imagery and structural depth that draws in viewers. In her artist’s statement, Meyer divulges that her work “examines the intricate relationship between our hearts and our minds.” Her work has been on display in businesses and galleries across Grand Rapids, such a Grand Rapids Brewing Company, Fountain Street Church, One Trick Pony and the Forest Hills Fine Arts Center. To learn more about Kate and view her works, visit katemeyer.art.

My Sweet Peony

2795 Orange Ave SE

This charming store is the cultivation of owner Anne Mohan’s dream to open a shop where people can admire and purchase products from local artists and vendors. Full of handmade home decor, art and accessories, the store also hosts in-depth workshops which include macramé and succulents, mixed media and sign making, to name a few. For those who feel inspired on the spot, they have Open Studio Time for $10 per person. Book your own private workshop taught by local artists —perfect for your next girl’s night out, baby shower, book club gathering and more.Committed to giving back, My Sweet Peony partners with The Ronald McDonald House of West Michigan, the Children’s Assessment Center and sells products by Duke Cannon Supply Company, which donates a portion of their proceeds to directly support veteran causes.

Forest Hills Fine Arts Center

600 Forest Hill Ave SE

When this leading-edge facility dedicated to fostering enjoyment of the arts opened its doors the early 2000s, it was among the first of its kind to be certified for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) by the United States Green Building Council. The center’s state of the art auditorium is designed to stunningly showcase concerts and productions for an audience experience like no other. The 2018-19 kicks off in September with iconic headlining acts such a Colin Mochrie and Bard Sherwood (Sept. 16), legendary American funk band WAR (Oct. 19), Tony-award winning musical Cinderella (March 25), beloved Broadway musical comedy Rock of Ages (April 22) and more. Ticket prices vary. Group sales are now available; single tickets go on sale on Aug. 13. Visit fhfineartscenter.com to purchase.

Grand Rapids Ballet

341 Ellsworth Ave SW

For nearly 50 years, the Grand Rapids Ballet has celebrated the human spirit through the art of dance. Along with staging world-class productions that dazzle audiences, the ballet offers youth and adult dance classes. The Young Dancers Program includes Creative Dance (ages 3—4), Pre-Ballet (ages 5—6) and Elementary Ballet (ages 6—7). Young Dancers develop coordination while learning ballet vocabulary and musicality as they prepare for their very own performance of Petite Nutcracker. Boys Ballet Class is designed for boys aged 5—12 to receive a first-rate dance education as they learn goal-setting and self-discipline, hone flexibility, strength and coordination, creativity and problem-solving. For children aged 8—19, the Grand Rapids Ballet School has a seven-tier program of in-depth dance instruction that cultivates self-expression, technique, poise, grace and a love for the arts. Pricing for classes and programs vary. Interested students are granted one free class, and financial aid and scholarships are available.

Quilt Week

303 Monroe Ave NW

Aug. 22—25

Devos Place Convention Center welcomes the American Quilter’s Society for an incredible week celebrating this time-honored craft. Novices and old hands alike are welcome to partake in workshops such as Basic Hand Quilting, Border Me Beautiful: Explore 20 Flexible Borders, Creating Collages, Designing Outside the Lines: Unlock Your Creative Potential, and more. Workshops are taught by industry experts. Enjoy more than a dozen exhibits by renowned quilters and purchase supplies from more than 50 on-site vendors. For admission pricing and details, visit quiltweek.com

St. Cecilia Music Center

24 Ransom NE

Hosting both internationally-renowned classical and contemporary musicians, St. Cecilia Music Center (SCMC) has stood as a pillar of music appreciation in West Michigan for more than 100 years. Their tour de force programming includes concerts series Acoustic Cafe (folk), SCMC Jazz Series and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (chamber). The upcoming season kicks off in October with performances by legendary banjo duo Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn, rising jazz vocalist Veronica Swift and the Benny Green Trio, and acclaimed pianist Wu Han. Ticket prices for each performance vary. Ticket holders have the opportunity to attend a post-concert reception with a cash bar to meet the artists and purchase signed CDs.

The GRAM Museum Store

101 Monroe Center St NW

After marveling at the stunning permanent collection and latest exhibitions at the Grand Rapids Art Museum, explore the Museum Store.  Affixed to the GRAM, The Museum Store is brimming with one-of-a-kind items from art-centric children’s toys, dazzling home decor, handmade adornments, books, clothing, and more from local and international artists alike. A Herman Miller for the Home retailer, the store also carries furnishings from the iconic furniture manufacturer. GRAM members receive 10 percent off all purchases.

 

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