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UICA to Celebrate Grand Opening on KCAD Campus

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On Thursday, September 9, UICA will celebrate the grand opening of its new location inside the historical Woodbridge N. Ferris Building on the campus of Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University.

/UICA is now located inside the Woodbridge N. Ferris Building (17 Pearl Street NW) on KCAD's campus.

Save the Date! Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA) will celebrate the grand opening of its new location inside the historical Woodbridge N. Ferris Building on the campus of Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) on Thursday, September 9, 2021, 5:00-7:00pm. UICA welcomes visitors to explore the refreshed lobby and decorative arts corridor, the brand new shopUICA, and four opening exhibitions: The Art of Living Together, Other World, Whereabouts, and The Way Forward.

UICA + Amos Kennedy JR Letterpress Prints will be given away to all attendees. These prints were original designs created with UICA that quote local businesses and organizations that are making a concerted effort to serve marginalized and underrepresented groups.

5:15pm Opening Remarks + Ribbon Cutting
UICA Executive Director Miranda Krajniak
KCAD President Tara McCrackin
FSU President David Eisler

5:30-6:30pm Performance by Ritsu Katsumata, Electric Violin

5:00-7:00pm Love’s Ice Cream Cart + Cakabakery Cookies

7:00pm The Evening Concludes

Note: Face masks are required for all gallery and shopUICA visitors, staff, and students while indoors, regardless of vaccination status.

UICA's gallery admission and membership program are now free, reinforcing its mission to create equitable and inclusive cultural and community experiences.

Members will still receive benefits such as special member-only discount days in the Shop, invitations to Member Mornings, access to the Living Room space, and other special opportunities and events throughout the year. All previous card-holding members within the last two years will be automatically transitioned into this card-less free membership program. 

UICA’s new home extends throughout the 111-year-old architecture of the Woodbridge N. Ferris Building by activating the outdoor grounds and auxiliary spaces outside of the traditional galleries. The decorative arts corridor now serves as a living-room-style area with comfortable gathering places to sit, meet, read, or work while surrounded by art.

As a collaboration between UICA and KCAD, shopUICA is designed to serve as part gallery shop, part college bookstore. With a commitment to supporting local and regional artists and designers, shopUICA will carry an array of unique gifts and wares alongside a selection of art supplies and opportunities for KCAD students to sell their work.

Led by Director of Curatorial Michele Bosak, UICA’s opening exhibitions respond to the building’s unique spaces in ways that focus on the interconnectedness of space, identity, and human experience.

The Art of Living Together is a large-scale outdoor site-specific installation designed by architect Brian Petrone from Evanston, IL. The work, which activates the exterior of the building with bold, orange-colored spheres, focuses on community engagement, celebrating new beginnings, and welcoming passersby to the new space. The Art of Living Together is UICA’s only ArtPrize installation this year. On view to the public through May 7, 2023.

Other World, a juried group show, includes a mix of invitational and submitted works from 13 local and national artists. The exhibition seeks to reframe what’s possible for Queer, Trans, and BIPOC people through stories of alternate futures and worlds created on their own terms. On view in the galleries through December 11, 2021. Featured artists:

  • Alejandro Acierto – Nashville, TN
  • Isaac Aoki – Grand Rapids, MI
  • Rachel Britton – Grand Rapids, MI 
  • Antonius-Tin Bui – New Haven, CT 
  • Gabriel Garcia – Roman New York, NY 
  • Gabriella Grimes – Philadelphia, PA 
  • Emily Oliveira – Brooklyn, NY 
  • Lydia Ramos – Grand Rapids, MI 
  • Zachary Trebellas – Grand Rapids, MI 
  • Sin Wai Kin – London, United Kingdom 
  • Kali Spitzer and Bubzee – Vancouver, British Columbia   
  • Carolina Vélez Muñiz – Mexico City, Mexico
  • Daniel Walker – Grand Rapids, MI 

Whereabouts features three site-specific installations intended to recontextualize the space in the building’s lobby, decorative arts corridors, and decorative arts display cases. The show considers a nuanced understanding of art, design, and craft while pushing either conceptual or material boundaries. On view through July 30, 2022. Featured artists:

  • Jenny Roberts – Grand Haven, MI
  • Emily Oliveira – Brooklyn, NY

The Way Forward showcases three artists who are taking the time to process and experience how they move through this world, providing an in-depth view into their creative practices. The invitational exhibition aims to provide artists support and platforms to amplify their voices as they intentionally build spaces that shift perceptions and enact social change. On view in the galleries through November 25, 2021. Featured artists:

  • Eliza Fernand – Grand Rapids, MI
  • Elisa Harkins – Tulsa, OK
  • Edra Soto and Dan Sullivan – Chicago, IL

About UICA
As part of Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University, Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts presents innovative art and educational programs representing our world today. Our programs foster belonging by sharing perspectives that grow an equitable, thriving culture, and community. For more information, please visit  

About KCAD
As a college within Ferris State University, Kendall College of Art and Design prepares students for leadership in design, the visual arts, and art history; provides innovative, collaborative education that fosters intellectual growth and individual creativity, and promotes the ethical and civic responsibilities of artists and designers, locally and globally. For more information, please visit   

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