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New LINC gallery to build community through the arts

Local artist Hugo Claudin transitions to new role from community organizer to LINC gallery curator.

/Eric Tank

Underwriting support from:
Former service garage turned art gallery

Former service garage turned art gallery /Eric Tank

LINC Community Revitalization Inc. (LINC) is embarking on a new neighborhood revitalization effort in the Madison Square neighborhood. LINC recently purchased the building next door to its headquarters at 1167 Madison Avenue SE.

The project is made possible thanks to a grant from the city that included a promise from LINC to clean up the building, LINC. Now the new LINC gallery is ready to serve its Madison Square neighbors by offering art and performance events.

The inaugural event is scheduled for August 26 and 27 and will be featuring well, you. That’s right. A professional photographer will be on hand to photograph individuals and pose a questions: What are your aspirations? The idea is then to project the images onto a wall with your answers in a slide show type format.

Project Story, as it’s called, is an Amway initiative that has been used in 10 countries around the world as a way to study the needs and desires of particular communities. All are invited to attend.

Hugo Claudin will be curating the new gallery space. Claudin currently works for LINC as a community organizer. He will be gradually transitioning into his new role and hopes to manage the gallery full time.

In addition to being an artist and musician, Claudin has been booking events for over 15 years. He has built a reputation in the avant garde scene by turning his loft on South Division into a performance venue called Mexicain Sans Frontieres (MSF). Claudin says he is very particular about booking high quality acts. He sees Grand Rapids as an opportunity for musicians who might not otherwise come to town en route from Detroit to Chicago.

The LINC gallery and Claudin’s personal projects at MSF will remain separate. But Claudin says he will use his artistic talent, years of experience as an event host and extensive networkingto be a great asset to the people of Madison Square and the wider city area. Claudin's passion for community building will help forge exactly what the LINC gallery intends to do. 

Claudin says he has no interest in merely bringing his own style to the gallery. He wants to learn the wants and needs of the community, and serve the neighbors’ interests in a positive way.

“I want to feature and give preference to the people that live there,”  says Claudin, “but also bring them quality things that they would not normally be able to see or have access to."

Tell Us Your Story, the gallery’s first event will be held on August 26 and 27 at 341 Hall Street SE from 3-7 p.m. Music, prizes and refreshments will be provided. The event is Free to the public.

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