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Local culture gets H.A.C.K.ed

Local art community activists unveil a website focused on art criticism, discussion, reviews and more.
Underwriting support from:
Joel Schoon-Tanis working in his studio

Joel Schoon-Tanis working in his studio /Courtesy of H.A.C.K.

/Courtesy of H.A.C.K.

Local arts activists Jenn Schaub, Tori Pelz, Emma Higgins and Miriam Slager have been working behind the scenes to create the new website "H.A.C.K." that went public this Monday at 5:00 p.m. Buzz was already building via Facebook: a new Facebook group was created on Sunday and by midday Monday had almost 250 members. 

"We anticipate being a platform for other guest writers from neighboring communities as far as Detroit and Chicago and as close as Muskegon. We'll release new content weekly such as show reviews, interviews, timely shout-outs for art events, artist resources and opportunities," explained Pelz.

Many posts currently published are penned by "arthack1," an anonymous author. Pelz explained that whether a post is anonymous or has a revealed author depends on the kind of article that it is. "We assign authorship to articles such as interviews, opinion essays and show reviews. Our "troll" section, on the other hand, features anonymous rants regarding the local art scene. And yes, we welcome your own rants. We will use some discretion in what we publish. Brief posts regarding event happenings, artist opportunities, and so on are posted under the broader H.A.C.K. moniker [arthack1]."

When asked what they're about, founders point to the "About" explanation on their website"H.A.C.K. is a collective of visual culture hackers in West Michigan. We write about visually interesting and culturally relevant art, people and places. What does H.A.C.K. stand for? That depends…"

The site includes a page presenting resources for West Michigan creatives, entitled "Find It," that holds listings for where to purchase supplies as well as support groups, collectives, classes and other information for local creatives.

Schaub explained, "in the spirit of doing it together, we are launching H.A.C.K. H.A.C.K. will be a space to get together, talk about people making things and what is being made. Both in GR and a car ride away from the city. We are going to crush on some favorite local makers, give thanks for sharing, shoot and get blunt."

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