The Rapidian

Palatte Coffee and Art: A new twist on the classic art gallery

Palatte Coffee and Art combines the comfort of the coffee house with the worldliness of an art gallery.
PaLatte Coffee & Art, located on 150 Fulton St. E, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

PaLatte Coffee & Art, located on 150 Fulton St. E, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Cozy space for morning coffee or afternoon tea

Cozy space for morning coffee or afternoon tea

Artwork on display inside the cafe

Artwork on display inside the cafe

Just down the street from the Grand Rapids Art Museum is the café, Palatte Coffee and Art. As customers step into the coffee shop their eyes will be drawn to the artwork that hangs on the walls, including paintings, sculptures, photographs, and drawings. As they take in all of the unique artwork, they can enjoy a warm beverage or a bowl of homemade soup that will soothe the body and mind. Palatte Coffee and Art combines the sophistication of an art gallery with the comfort of a coffee house.
The family owned business has been open for almost five years with the goal of giving the Grand Rapids customers access to ethically sourced and produced coffee and teas while also giving them access to a casual gallery experience on a daily basis. They only feature the work of local artists and change it every two months to give regular customers a chance to be introduced to new artists, and to give those new artists some exposure. By combining art with one of the most popular beverages, Palatte Coffee and Art has created a new cultural experience for Grand Rapids, that is open for everyone to experience.
“In Beer-City USA, the locals are wild for a good beverage,” says Palatte Coffee and Art owner, Maria Farias. I spoke with her for an interview to ask how Palatte stays involved with the community and what kind of impact they hope to have. When asked about what inspired the coffee shop’s concept she said, “the coffee and art scene had exploded after ArtPrize had begun, and we wanted to further support local artists by making a gallery space that is accessible to them.” Palatte regularly participates in ArtPrize, coffee crawls, live art events, musical performances, and other local events in the Grand Rapids area. They are committed to helping keep the art life of the city alive by creating a unique experience for all who visit. After a visit to Palatte Coffee and Art, Farias wants customers to leave with a positive experience of the artwork.
Art is a huge part of Grand Rapids culture and it has been since the 19th century. It is not only the home for ArtPrize, the city’s most well known art competition, but it is also home to one of the world’s 100 most visited Art Museums, the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. It is nearly impossible to walk around the city without seeing some form of art or finding a building that displays art; whether it be a painting, a sculpture, photographs, or furniture. Art is part of Grand Rapids history and Palatte is helping to not only introduce the importance of creating art but embracing it to the public.
“Many folks around here don’t visit art galleries. Having everyday experiences with art reinforces the importance of creating art, and the importance of understanding artwork on a deeper level.” One of the things Grand Rapids is known for is its dedication to art and the artist. With several art opportunities popping up around the city year round Palatte Coffee and Art has found a nice niche for itself as it continues to stay in touch with the community. Farias hopes to inspire the Grand Rapids community by creating an appreciation for artwork and comfort in the city, and hopes to inspire more people to take up an appreciation for art.
At Palatte Coffee and Art, the history of art’s impact on Grand Rapids is never forgotten. It is proudly displayed for everyone to see as they enjoy a cup of coffee or tea.
After spending an afternoon at Palatte Coffee and Art it is hard not to feel inspired. With its display of art, the comforting aroma of the coffee, or the welcoming atmosphere, the coffee shop has helped to bring a positive impact to not only the art community but to the city of Grand Rapids.

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