The Rapidian

The many arts of Festival of the Arts

Festival of the Arts is about to begin and the art goes from the unique to the interactive.
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When and Where things happen

Opening Ceremonies: Rosa Parks Circle to Calder Stage. Friday at 11:45 a.m.

Kite making: Grand Rapids Art Museum, Outdoor Plaza in front of GRAM. Friday, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday noon to 7 p.m., Sunday, noon to 3:30 p.m.

Swing 'n Art: Behind the County Building. Friday noon to 7:30 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Art on the Spot: Federal Building Lawn

Art on the Spot Too: Monroe Center

Festival Youth Art exhibit: Grand Rapids Art Museum Garden Room

Art Sales: Calder Plaza and Center Stage



More Festival coverage on The Rapidian:


Art on the Spot includes henna creation

Art on the Spot includes henna creation /Steve Depolo

Last year's reception for the Regional Art Competition

Last year's reception for the Regional Art Competition /Steven Scherbinski

This Friday at 11:45 a.m., Grand Rapids will start its annual  Festival of the Arts. This will be the 43rd year in a row the city has done this celebratory weekend dedicated to the arts. The festival will feature a Regional Art Competition, art sales and artists who’ll create art for visitors right on the spot.              

The Regional Arts Competition and Exhibition is located at the Grand Rapids Press Building (226 Lyon St NW). The exhibition has been open since May 25 and continues until June 10, so even if some can’t make it to the festival this weekend, viewers are able to check out all the unique art.

The competition contains 354 works of art, dozens of which will earn a prize anywhere from $100-$500. One of last year’s top winners was Kyle Fleet, who won $500 with his piece “Lily Pad Table.” This year, three festival winners will again be selected by jurors for that top prize amount. Winners will be announced on June 10 at the closing reception. Visitors to the festival will have an opportunity to choose a winner by popular vote as well: the People’s Choice Award allows viewers to choose their favorite piece.

31 West Michigan artists and artisans will have their work for sale, including everything from crocheted accessories to photography to whimsical folk art. Many West Michigan artists will have plenty of art for sale. The variety of art will include crocheted accessories, photography, whimsical folk art and plenty more to match any taste. Artwork will be available for sale in tents on Calder Plaza.

There will be two locations for Art on the Spot. The first place is the Federal Building Lawn, where henna and airbrush tattoos, magnetic and personalized jewelry and caricatures will be available. Art on the Spot Too will be on Monroe Center. This location will also feature henna, jewelry, hair wraps and caricatures. Balloon figures will also be available throughout the Festival area. Festival-goer Nicole Olweean said, “Art on the Spot is my favorite because it’s personalized and you get to watch them create the art.”

For those wanting to make their own art on the spot, behind City Hall is a printmaking station where visitors, for a small fee, can use silkscreening techniques to make their souvenir: a t-shirt. For the adults who always wanted to paint, but never have, just south of the printmaking station is the Adult Paint-In, which provides an opportunity to try painting. Kite-making is also available at the Grand Rapids Art Museum, where visitors can create an animal-themed kite.

Science and art meet at Swing ‘n Art. Right next to the Adult Paint-In, this combination is for any fan of either art or science.

Brand new this year, spectators will be able to see the works of child artists from the area, on view in the Garden Room of the Grand Rapids Art Museum in the Youth Art Exhibit. 

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