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Republican Headquarters provides quality art off the beaten path

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

Not what you might expect, the Kent County Republican Headquarters as an ArtPrize venue offers quality work in a setting that enhances the experience.
Underwriting support from:

Kent County Republican Headquarters

Kent County Republican Headquarters has  many unique pieces to offer in ArtPrize. Compared to other more crowded venues, it offers convenient parking, handicap accessibility, restrooms, and of course no charge. For a quieter change from the normally hectic ArtPrize, be sure to see this wonderful selection of works at Kent County Republican Headquarters at 725 Lake Michigan Dr.

Take a look at the Youtube video showcasing additional works at the venue.

/Anna Swartz

/Anna Swartz

By Anna Swartz, Hope College student

Those wanting to experience ArtPrize often overlook art featured in venues that are smaller or not centrally located. One venue very much worth seeing is located at the Kent County Republican Headquarters, 725 Lake Michigan Dr. This is the first year Kent County Republican Headquarters has participated as a venue for ArtPrize.  Multiple pieces of differing mediums ranging from paintings to ceramics, from sculpture to textile pieces can be seen here in one large space. The space at Kent County Republican Headquarters allows viewers to look closely at each piece while also allowing for distance to take each piece in as a whole. Notable too is the fact that the facility is handicapped accessible, and free parking is available.

Classical music played softly in the background.  Personally, I found the presence of music soothing and aided in my viewing of the artwork. For quite some time there was no one else present in the venue, which left me unhindered to move about the room in whatever way I chose.

Twelve artists are represented in the space. Immediately upon entering, I was drawn to the works of Jon Hunter and Jacob Grant.

Grant’s piece consisted of ceramic bowls ranging in size from 6” to several feet in diameter, mounted on a 40’ x 10’ wall. The sheer number of bowls, as well as their size, makes this piece incredible. Each piece is uniquely glazed in earth tones.  Having the pieces mounted on the wall vertically allows viewers to easily appreciate the circular patterns and varied glazing techniques, and each of the bowls is up for sale, ranging from $20 to $400.

Directly across from Grant’s installation is a painting titled On the Edge, by Jon Hunter.  This painting is a 13’ x 4’ view of the Grand Canyon.   Hunter comes from Jenison, MI and is something of a renaissance man, with professional experience as an illustrator, designer and art director in areas as diverse as advertising, film, internet, automobile and architectural design.  I had the opportunity to speak with Hunter briefly about his painting. On the Edge took 500 hours to complete over a course of four months.  Considering the amount of detail and the scale of the work, this is not surprising. The piece is remarkable.

The effort it takes to get to this smaller, quiet venue is incomparable with the quality of work exhibited. One critique I have of the venue is the lack of seating and apparent lack of a unifying theme to the body of works.


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