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UICA to offer opportunity to watch as artists create

UICA's Live Coverage invites the audience to watch artists in the process of creation and to purchase the resulting artwork.
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UICA Live Coverage 2014

February 22, 2014

2 Fulton West Grand Rapids, MI 49503

7-11 p.m.

$50 for UICA members, $65 for nonmembers

For more information call (616) 454-7000

Anthony Mead at Live Coverage 2013

Anthony Mead at Live Coverage 2013 /Courtesy of the UICA

Stephen Duren at Live Coverage 2013

Stephen Duren at Live Coverage 2013 /Courtesy of the UICA

/Courtesy of the UICA

Usually an art audience sees only the final product of an artist’s labors. However, at UICA’s Live Coverage, observers watch as artists channel the muse.

The 13th incarnation of the annual event and fundraiser will take place at the Fulton Street gallery on February 22 from 7-11 p.m. Over 50 artists, including Stephen Duren, Rick Beerhorst and Sally England, will create pieces of artwork in-house. Attendees may witness the creation of pieces and buy the finished art at the event’s live auction starting at 8 p.m. 70% of the proceeds from sold artwork are donated to the UICA to promote and facilitate the contemporary art center.

“I’ve been doing Live Coverage since its inception,” says Duren. “Painting while others watch can be a performance piece. One artist dances back and forth in front of her easel. Another uses a mirror to check his painting progress. This event allows the public to observe the enigmatic dance that sometimes occurs between artist and art.”

Artistic mediums used at the event will include painting, stone sculpture, macramé and collage. UICA’s exhibitions curator, AJ Paschka, says the atmosphere of the event is determined by the artist’s approach.

“There’s really no limit to the artist’s creation and it puts you as close to creation as possible,” Paschka says. “It would be inspiring just to be there.”

Grand Rapids artist Rick Beerhorst admits that creating art in public can be a struggle for himself and some of his colleagues.

“My work is usually done in privacy and takes months,” says Beerhorst. “[Public performance] is a problem for artists because we start doing art as a way to communicate, express and console ourselves. Then we grow older and we’re still consoling ourselves, but how do we share that with the public?”

Beerhorst says that this is the first year he has found a comfortable approach. He plans to enter a finished piece valued at $7,000 into the Live Coverage auction, and during the event he plans to collect addresses from attendees. Midway through the event the gathered addresses will be printed on envelopes by Beerhorst and his daughter, Pearl Beerhorst. Each envelope will contain a card with a handwritten message alongside a blank handmade postcard, and will be mailed the day after the event.

“Live Coverage is about getting artists out of their hidden bunkers,” says Rick Beerhorst. “[It’s] an opportunity to open up to friends, family and complete strangers and say, ‘This is what I do,’ and maybe even, ‘Let’s be friends.’”

In addition to the visual art, this year’s Live Coverage will have a musical performance by 800beloved and will include a performance by youth break dance ensemble Aerial Tactic. A private dinner for up to 12 people at the Frank Lloyd Wright Meyer May House will be auctioned off and Raise the Paddle, a fundraising event for UICA’s Teen Artworks programs, will be introduced.

“For the entry fee you get food, a drink, a DJ, a live art performance and a band,” says Miranda Krajniak, UICA’s executive director. “This truly is a fundraiser so that we can keep the UICA’s functions going, but we’ve also really stepped up our hospitality this year.”

Tickets for Live Coverage are $50 for UICA members and $65 for non-members. Tickets include valet parking, food and one drink. Tickets can be purchased through or at UICA’s guest services area. 

Duren emphasizes that the event’s composition is truly special.

“At its best, it’s magic,” he says. “And who doesn’t love a magic show?”

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