The Rapidian

New Businesses, New Talent for Art.Downtown. 2014

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

Two Beards Deli is one of many venues that is participating in Art.Downtown. for the first time.

/Chris Clark

Event Info

Who: Allison Madsen, curating for Art.Downtown.

What: Art Exhibition, "Confabulation"

Where: Two Beards Deli

When: April 11, 2014 from 6:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m.


Who: Avenue for the Arts

What: Art.Downtown.

Where: Dowtown Grand Rapids

When: April 11, 2014 from 6:00pm-11:00pm

/Ryan Brady

/Brittany Holmes

Within the past few years, downtown Grand Rapids has continued to grow. New apartment buildings, galleries, businesses and shops have sprung up in the downtown area, particularly South of Fulton Street in the Heartside District, offering unique and interesting products and services. From lunch hot spots to foodie must haves, each of them contribute to the character of Heartside District and downtown Grand Rapids. The changing landscape also makes Art.Downtown. a fresh experience each year.

With 40 plus venues that are both traditional and nontraditional exhibition spaces, each Art.Downtown. site is different from the next. New businesses such as PaLatte, the Local Epicurean, Two Beards Deli, Black Eagle Trading Post and Propaganda Doughnuts will be participating in Art.Downtown. for the first time this year. One of those businesses is Two Beards Deli, located at 38 Commerce Ave. The show will be curated by Allison Madsen, photographer and manager at the deli.

The theme of Madsen’s show stemmed from a photography project she had been mulling over for a while. She started off college working toward a psychology degree but ultimately realized her real passion lay with the Arts, specifically photography. While her career focus shifted, Madsen still had a great interest in philosophy and psychology, which she often integrates into her photography. Recently, she began a fascination with the idea of false memories.

“People may not realize that we all experience false memories to some extent, it is a relatively common phenomenon. For example, say we've heard a certain story so many times that it just ends up in our cache, it is our brain's way of filling in gaps,” she says. 

From there, she became interested in more extreme memory disturbances, or even the concept of people not being able to discern between a dream-state and the waking world. Thus the name "Confabulation" came about, which in psychology is characterized as a type of extreme memory disturbance. The main theme that will tie the work together is the concept of a waking dream-state and a falsified reality. The artists in the show will be working in the medium of their choice, so the show will be eclectic while still focusing on the central theme. The exhibit will include photography, painting and drawings.

For Madsen, choosing artists was an easy task.

“I work with quite a few incredibly talented people here at Two Beards, so I just floated the idea past some of our employees that I knew were creating art and now showing it,” she explains. “Everyone was really excited about getting involved with Art.Downtown. and it made me feel really inspired. I discussed my ideas about "Confabulation" with those who were interested and they all thought it was an interesting concept to work with, so we just decided to run with it.” The artists in this show are not only limited to employees of Two Beards Deli. Madsen also reached out to other artists in the community.

While Madsen has participated in Avenue for the Arts and Art.Downtown. as a volunteer and documenter, this will be her first time as a curator. “I am just very passionate about getting more people involved in the Avenue for the Arts, or just the arts in general,” she says. “Getting more involved has been such a rewarding experience, and I can't wait to see all the great things the Avenue for the Arts accomplishes in the future.”

Be sure to visit all of the sites participating in Art. Downtown. including PaLatte, the Local Epicurean, Two Beards Deli, Black Eagle Trading Post and Propaganda Doughnuts. Art.Downtown. will take place on April 11, 2014 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. For more information about the event visit our website. To learn more about the exhibition happening at Two Beards Deli, contact Allison Madsen. Stay updated on all Art.Downtown. news by following Avenue for the Arts on Facebook.

The Avenue for the Arts is a neighborhood title for the South Division commercial corridor. We are residential, commercial and nonprofit groups working together in a creative community. We are residents in Heartside, and active participants in shaping change in our neighborhood. In 2005, we choose the Avenue for the Arts as a title to represent our commercial corridor and the projects and events that we create. Because the Avenue is powered by volunteers guest writers create our Rapidian content. Special thanks to Leah Burke and Ali Madsen, Avenue members and writers for their coverage of "The Market on First Fridays"  

The Rapidian, a program of the 501(c)3 nonprofit Community Media Center, relies on the community’s support to help cover the cost of training reporters and publishing content.

We need your help.

If each of our readers and content creators who values this community platform help support its creation and maintenance, The Rapidian can continue to educate and facilitate a conversation around issues for years to come.

Please support The Rapidian and make a contribution today.

Comments, like all content, are held to The Rapidian standards of civility and open identity as outlined in our Terms of Use and Values Statement. We reserve the right to remove any content that does not hold to these standards.