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The Artists of Heartside Gallery and Studio-- Mike Katerberg

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The Artists of Heartside Gallery and Studio-- Mike Katerberg, local wood-worker!
Mike carving new work for The Superhero Show

Mike carving new work for The Superhero Show /Heartside Gallery and Studio

Underwriting support from:
Two recent carvings from the studio

Two recent carvings from the studio /Heartside Gallery and Studio

Self-portrait of the artist

Self-portrait of the artist /Heartside Gallery and Studio

This article was written in collaboration with the artist.

Heartside Gallery and Studio began in 1993 as a small offshoot of Heartside Ministry, a program working to enrich and empower the people living in the shadow of downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan’s second largest city. Since then, this ever-expanding program continues to offer the Heartside community a safe, supportive environment in which to create, exhibit and sell art.

Our artists come from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. Some have experienced the disadvantages and hardships of homelessness. Others suffer from various emotional, physical or mental disabilities. Many are people from the Heartside neighborhood who simply wish to share their talents and expertise with their neighbors.

Art is a valuable outlet for self-expression and creativity. Many Heartside Gallery and Studio artists have never experienced formal training, yet the artwork in our studio shows that talent often comes naturally and intuitively. Heartside Gallery and Studio is dedicated to providing a space for showing our artist’s unique responses to the experiences of their lives, as well as offering guidance and opportunity for trying new types of art.


Our beliefs:

  • Given a supportive environment, all people have the capacity to create
  • Visual art is a universal language
  • Creative expression fosters personal growth and the development of self-esteem
  • Socio-economic status and/or disabilities are not barriers to self-expression


Our featured artist for April is Mike Katerberg.  'Big Mike' is best known for his hand-carved walking sticks, marionettes, wall-hanings and paintings.  His commissioned work is stunning and very affordable, with the average piece costing $30.  Mike also teaches a free woodworking class at our studio every Wednesday from 10am-2pm!  To donate, bring any hard wood, Cedar or Juniper to the studio for Mike to continue his intuitive carvings!


 Here's a little bit about the artist, in his own words:

‘I am a West-Michigan native, living in the Heartside neighborhood for the last decade.  Inspired by my grandfather, Heine Maring, who worked making furniture in Grand Rapids and retired as a master crafter from Heckman Furniture.  I am also inspired by my brother John Katerberg, master painter/artist. 

I started woodworking at a young age and followed my love for art, painting, sculpting and woodworking because of their guidance and never ending support.’ 


Mike lives with manic depression and severe arthritis, and lives independently in downtown Grand Rapids. To see more of his work outside of the studio, come see The Superhero Show at Sparrows Coffee Tea and Newsstand, 1035 Wealthy St.  The show opens Friday, May 6 from 6-9pm, and will feature 20 other Grand Rapids artists!  


The Artists of Heartside Gallery and Studio is a monthly feature to highlight some of the wonderful people of the Heartside neighborhood.  Visit www.heartside.orgFacebook and our Flickr page to keep up with us, to learn about volunteering and other ways to get involved.


Sarah Scott is Arts Coordinator for Heartside Gallery and Studio, and can be reached at [email protected]

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