The Rapidian

In the Works- Dinderbeck Studio

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3 of the 5 Founding Members: Anthony Mead, Kyle Isbell, and Brandon Alman

3 of the 5 Founding Members: Anthony Mead, Kyle Isbell, and Brandon Alman /Amber Stout

Dinderbeck prints at the Avenue for the Arts Market

Dinderbeck prints at the Avenue for the Arts Market /Amber Stout

Prints and screen printed shirts at the Avenue for the Arts Market

Prints and screen printed shirts at the Avenue for the Arts Market /Amber Stout

Around town, the name ‘Dinderbeck’ can be used and people will willingly accept the word without truly knowing, but what is Dinderbeck? Who are they and what do they do? An interview with three of the five founding members helps to explain the name, the studio, and everything else Dinderbeck.

According to members, Dinderbeck is a Grand Rapids artist collective engaged in promoting local and regional emerging contemporary artists. The studio is in a transitional phase and is currently being used as a private studio for the five founding members, Anthony Mead, Brandon Alman, Kyle Isbell, Lucas Schurkamp, and Trevor Hill-Rowley. The majority of the founders studied printmaking at Kendall College of Art and Design and are recent graduates that were once in need of a studio space. This group of five guys had already worked together during their studies in college, and sold at Avenue for the Arts Markets with the printmaking club, “Collective Pressure.” This past January they acquired a prime space on the corner of Wealthy and Straight Street near other studios like Tanglefoot and Josh Tyron’s photography studio. Knowing that they needed a serious title for their new space, they began throwing around some words for ideas. The word ‘Dinderbeck’ appeared out of thin air and stuck due to its ambiguous nature and professional surname sound. 

After some heavy cleaning of the space, the group started off building a woodshop, but quickly discovered they were lacking the necessary materials needed to fill a workshop. Luckily they were able to acquire the machinery and materials they needed from parents, grandparents, schools, barns, and even dumpsters. Dinderbeck knew they couldn’t survive solely on their findings, especially if they wanted to build a new gallery space. So they turned to the DAAC’s newly founded mini-grant program called Sunday Soup. The group pitched their proposal at the second ever Sunday Soup in April and was awarded the money needed to build moveable walls and track lighting for the gallery section of their studio space.

Soon things were off and running and it was time for Dinderbeck’s first ever salon style show in June. They titled the show “Soup: A Metaphor for Community” as a tribute to the money they were granted from the local community. The show had forty artists with sixty pieces of work and brought in a large audience from the local community.

When the gallery show was over, the studio space still didn’t feel quite like a studio. Something was missing, and that something was more  printmaking equipment. Luckily Brandon’s artist connections during the 2009 ArtPrize helped the group gain two old presses from the St. Louis artist Matt Isaacson. One the presses was a Vandercook 325 G hand proof letterpress from 1950, that was so heavy that it took over ten guys just to move it. The other press, nicknamed “Frankenstein” was from the first company to produce lithograph presses in America called Fuchs-Lang. Dinderbeck plans on refurbishing the Frankenstein press to its original condition. The studio also houses other printmaking methods such as screen printing and papermaking.

“We’re trying to bridge the gap between old and new … We would like to bring craft back into mass production,” Anthony explains.

Coming up on October 22, Dinderbeck will host their next show for a group of Grand Rapids artists called GR8. The show also takes place on the same night as other Grand Rapids events such as Free Radical and Sitelab.

To learn more about Dinderbeck Studios, search for them on Facebook and view more photos of their studio on Flickr. To meet Dinderbeck and find out more, come to the final, bigger than ever, Avenue for the Arts Market on Saturday, September 11 from 4 –9:00 pm on Division Avenue between Weston and Williams.

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