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Andrew Castagne opens up The Shallows Art Gallery to community

Andrew Castagne is the new owner and operator of The Shallows Art Gallery in west Grand Rapids. The grand opening of the gallery took place on August 10. Castagne warmly welcomes local, upcoming artists and musicians to come and share what they have to offer.

/Elise Campbell

Underwriting support from:

The Shallows Art Gallery

1054 West Fulton, Grand Rapids MI

[email protected]

(616) 776-3911


Monday-Saturday 12:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.




/Elise Campbell

/courtesy of Andrew Castagne


Andrew Castagne was born and raised in Sault Sainte Marie, MI before moving to Grand Rapids three years ago to attend Kendall College of Art and Design. Castagne’s artistic and creative gears have always been turning at high speed. He began building art out of everyday materials as a young child, and learned to recreate photo portraits from his mother’s old magazines in pencils and paints by the time he reached second grade.

Castagne believes much of his inspiration and passion for art comes from the hardships he’s faced throughout his life. “It’s about the way you lay down lines, paint, or choose a subject matter - you should get a feeling from the piece,” Castagne explained. “My background has definitely made me understand that more.” A lengthy divorce severed his family when he was very young, and art quickly became a coping mechanism as well as an outlet for his emotions. Castagne’s life revolves around his art.

“While I have heavy art influence on both sides of the family, I am the first in the family to really pursue it,” Castagne said.

Named after a mile and a half long stretch of shallow wading water in a river near his grandparents’ house in Sault Sainte Marie, The Shallows Art Gallery is a symbol of perseverance for Castagne. As a small business owner and upcoming artist, Castagne says he wants the see the gallery “stay above the water” and be able to continue to offer new and upcoming local artists “some wading room.”

Many of the artists showcased in the gallery are Kendall students or alumni, yet the walls and shelves are open to any local artists looking to put their work on display. Because of the high financial demand of opening the gallery, Castagne lives in the back. The gallery has become his colorful, lively living room space, and it allows him a different connection to the space, art and people who visit him.

“It’s one thing to take off to work in the morning, and another to just open the door and turn on the lights,” Castagne said with a smile. “It’s more homey. It is my home.” This allows him to work comfortably in the studio, which he believes is a significant part of creating art.

He opens up his space up to anyone who wants to sell their art, work on their art or perform music for open mic nights. Local musicians and bands are welcomed into the studio to perform for artists while they work, viewers who stop in to the gallery and the community. The homey atmosphere and warm welcome from Castagne as well as the other artists and visitors make these nights lively community events.

Castagne has always been a fan of Andy Warhol - not for his art specifically, but rather for the “concept of his lifestyle” and the way he interacted with his peers. Warhol become famous for being an artist while he was still alive, which Castagne sees as every artist’s goal.

He has done, and will continue to do, his best to make the gallery a community area by welcoming a wide variety of arts.

Patti Fey is Castagne’s landlord as well as the previous owner of Accents Gallery, where The Shallows Art Gallery now stands. She lives above the gallery and helped Castagne open the gallery, where she displays some of her own work. She says Castagne’s dedication to the art and the community is refreshing.

“It is just so cool,” Fey said with a beaming grin. “He’s got every excitement I had seven years ago when I started the original gallery.”

Castagne has completed three years of art school at Kendall and hopes to return once the gallery is up and running smoothly. But at this point his main goals are to see the gallery grow and become a bigger, more influential and lively place.

The Shallows has a welcoming energy. So if you’re ever in the area stop in for a cup of mate tea, some beautiful art, a friendly conversation with Castagne himself and even a local musician if you’re lucky.

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