The Rapidian

Con Artist Crew looks to change the perception of art in Grand Rapids

Kendall graduates Reuben Garcia and Magdalene Law opening art gallery and artist studios at 1111 Godfrey SW; gallery Grand Opening May 12.
Magdalene Law and Reuben Garcia, creators of Con Artist Crew.

Magdalene Law and Reuben Garcia, creators of Con Artist Crew. /Derek Foltz

Underwriting support from:

Con Artist Crew Events, Past and Future

  • March 17 at The Front Room on Plainfield - Heroine Snake Bite
  • March 31 at 1111 Godfrey SW - Soft Opening
  • April 27 at 1111 Godfrey SW - The Tao of Amen
  • May 5 at 1111 Godfrey SW - Nightvision: A Tribute to Owls.
  • May 12 at 1111 Godfrey SW - Grand Opening
  • May 19 at The Winchester on Wealthy - Show for Spectrum
Con Artist Crew Logo.

Con Artist Crew Logo. /Magdalene Law and Reuben Garcia

Crowd gathering at Con Artist Crew's soft opening.

Crowd gathering at Con Artist Crew's soft opening. /Michael D Willis

In October 2011, Magdalene Law and Reuben Garcia, both graduates of Kendall College of Art and Design, teamed up to form Con Artist Crew. Having had work displayed in galleries around the city, the two artists decided it was time to take the next step. According to Garcia, “we wanted to create something bigger, something that would impact the city we love for the better.”

After forming Con Artist Crew, Law and Garcia bought space in the 400,000 square foot warehouse at 1111 Godfrey SW, a building known for its history of housing artists of all kinds, and began renovating.

Law explained Con Artists Crew’s mission as hoping to “change the perception of art here in Grand Rapids. This crew will include any artist who believes in our goal of expanding and improving the art community in GR. We care about our artists, and strive for a mutually beneficial partnership that also shows the public the success of our collaborations.”

Law continued, “The idea behind purchasing the space was not only to transform it into our own art gallery, but to create additional spaces for artists to rent and have their own personal space to create.” They have already held two art events there to gain attention, and the results were a success, with the gallery doubling as a music venue while supporters enjoyed the art on display.

The first event was a soft opening for the gallery to generate buzz and get people interested in purchasing personal art space. By 11pm, the gallery was packed with people dancing to the DJ’s selections and admiring the various arts on display. The second event was the Tao of Amen, a show featuring abstract art by San Fransisco’s Randy Visser and headlined by Drum and Bass artist Paradox.

The next event held at their gallery will be Nightvision, a tribute to Owls featuring the art of Law, Garcia, and many others. Additionally, Con Artist Crew will by co-hosting an event with Spectrum health on May 19 at The Winchester, which will be to get people exited about the ArtPrize  entry the crew will be creating alongside individuals from Spectrum. 

Garcia added specifics of how they plan to change people’s view of art. “Through multimedia collaborations between vast arrays of artists, we hope to create an environment that fosters the development of a blossoming art scene. By combining live painting with music, as well as other creative performance-based arts, we will enhance the perception of what art can do, as well as further the careers of the artists involved.”

Their Grand Opening is May 12, and open to the public. To get in touch with the crew, check out their website. To see pictures of past events and projects, go to Con Artist Crew on Facebook




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